differences between copies at NLS sheds light on Scotland's
first experience with printing.
Two of the first works to be printed in Scotland have gone online today after being bought for the nation.
The Aberdeen Breviary and a unique small book called 'Compassio Beate Marie' give public access to an essential piece of Scottish history.
Printed in 1509-1510, 'Breviarium Aberdonense' was commissioned by the Bishop of Aberdeen to provide services and readings in Latin for use in Scottish churches. The Breviary was the reason that James IV granted a printing licence to Edinburgh-based Chepman and Myllar, Scotland's first printing house.
Only four complete sets of this two-volume work survive. Two sets are now at the National Library of Scotland and available via the NLS website.
The newly digitised copy is considered to be the best surviving example of the Aberdeen Breviary. For many years it has been at Glamis Castle in the Earl of Strathmore's ownership.
Because each of the three copies is different, comparing them furthers our understanding of how Scotland's first books were printed.
The 16-page 'Compassio Beate Marie' was printed between 1510 and 1532 and is the only surviving evidence that printing was carried out in Scotland during this period. It contains orders of service and readings in Latin about the arrival in Scotland of the relics of St Andrew. The 'Compassio' is included as part of the Breviary volume entitled 'Pars Hyemalis'.
Read more in the Aberdeen Breviary media release.
24 September 2014