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Visit to Dunfermline Carnegie Library

18 November 2019

Visit to Carnegie Library in Dunfermline

Staff and postgraduate students from the Medieval and Renaissance Research Group visited Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries on 6 November 2019 where they were shown 16th and 17th-century printed books by Local Studies Officer Sara Ann Kelly.

PhD students and students of the MLitt in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literary Culture were thrilled to handle early editions of Ben Jonson and Milton, and two copies of Shakespeare's folios (the second and fourth editions), along with a copy of the Bassandyne Bible, the first bible printed in Scotland, and an edition of Chaucer's works from 1602, evidence that the poet was still widely read at the start of the 17th century.

Other less well-known books provoked great interest: everyone was intrigued by a book of prayers from 1578 that had been repeatedly inscribed by a female owner, and by the insights into Tudor herbal remedies offered by William Langham's, The Garden of Health.

The students, who were accompanied by Dr Margaret Connolly, Dr Alex Davis, Dr Harriet Archer (all from the School of English), and Ms Elizabeth Henderson (from the University Library), unanimously found this to be 'excellent fun' and a 'great experience'. One student commented:

'This was so exciting! I learned so much and had such a fun time', and another described the trip as 'A fantastic experience that really made me feel valued in the department and program. The staff from St Andrews and Dunfermline were exceptionally encouraging and all the information was useful to our course and even to specific interests.'

The School of English is grateful to the staff at Dunfermline Carnegie Library for accommodating us. We definitely hope to visit again next year!

Students handling the books in Dunfermline Carnegie Library