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Over 62,500 viewed Rossdhu Book of hours in Luss

Media Release


24 November 2010


Over 62,500 visitors travelled to Luss to view the Rossdhu Book of Hours

It’s travelled thousands of miles, been viewed by more than 62,000 people, including a future monarch, but now the Rossdhu Book of Hours is back home as part of the Sir George Grey Special Collections at Auckland Libraries.

This precious prayer book was on loan to the Scottish village and parish of Luss for four months to mark the 1500th anniversary of the introduction of Christianity in Scotland.

During its brief stay the interest was overwhelming.

“We know that just over 62,500 actually came specifically to see the Book of Hours while it was in Luss,” said Rev Dr H Dane Sherrard from Luss.

”For a tiny community of just 102 people that is truly remarkable.”

Among those to view the book in Luss were Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

“One of the things which struck me over the summer was how many people came to visit from Auckland. It was good to see them and many of them said that they would come into your library to tell you about seeing the book in Scotland,” Rev Sherrard said.

Now returned, it is once again on display as part of the Shades of Grey exhibition currently on at the Central City library until 29 January 2011.

The digitisation of this intricately handpainted medieval prayer book allows customers incredible viewing access with an ebook version available on The Grey Collection website www.georgegrey.org.nz which displays the book page by page.

For those wanting to view specific parts of this elaborate 220 page book our digital library offers an information rich version which is key word searchable on www.aucklandlibraries.govt.nz


Books of Hours were prayer books popular in the late middle ages from the late 13th to the 16th century. They were intended to be read in private by ordinary people during the course of the day.

The book’s first owner was probably Scottish noblewoman, Elizabeth Dunbar, Countess of Moray, who was married to the laird, Sir John Colquhoun. They lived at Rossdhu near the village of Luss.

In 1863 Sir George Grey bought the book from a London book dealer and it was later part of his private collection that he gifted to the citizens of Auckland in 1887.

ENDS

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