Scotland’s oldest book goes on display


An extract from the book

By Cara Sulieman

SCOTLAND’S oldest surviving book is set to go on display tomorrow (Friday) for the first time in over forty years.

The pocket-sized medieval book of Psalms is often described as Scotland’s Book of Kells due to the vivid and detailed coloured illuminations that cover the pages.

Dating back to the 11th Century and thought to have been made at the monastery on Iona, it is part of a display at the University of Edinburgh celebrating their extensive collection.

Experts believe the book could have been commissioned for St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland.

Rare Shakespeare

Even without its original binding, the psalter’s script is clear and can still be read despite its age.

Other exhibits going on show include a rare copy of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet published during Shakespeare’s lifetime.

And two more firsts for Scotland are featured, including the first book printed in Gaelic and the first printed book.

The exhibition – entitled “Masterpieces 1” – opens December 11 and runs until March 14.

See more of our pictures at our Flickr site and videos at our dedicated channel,  Deadline TV.


  1. I am puzzled that an 11th century book of Psalms is said to be the oldest surviving book n Scotland. Yet one of the most famous of books from Scotland is St. Eunan’s (Adamnan) biography of Columba. Columba lived from 523-597 AD & his kinsman, St. Adamnan, was abbot of Iona a century later and wrote Columba’s biography in the late 7th or early 8th century. A very old copy was discovered in 17th century in a German monastery & re-discovered in the 19th century.

Comments are closed.