Lara Haggerty - Sir Walter Scott and Scotland’s First Lending Library

Our speaker on Thursday 7th April was Lara Haggerty.

The Library of Innerpeffray, located in beautiful rural Perthshire, was Scotland’s first free public lending library founded in 1680. It has a collection of some 5000 books, covering five centuries and an amazing register of borrowers which is a history of local reading from 1747 to 1968.

The thirty first Keeper of the Books at Innerpeffray is one of Scotland’s brightest young librarians, Lara Haggerty, who not only looks after the books but also curates exhibitions, markets and promotes the library as well as conducting guided tours and managing her brilliant team of volunteers. She is also is also a fundraiser, which is crucial for an independent organisation, and she looks after all the day to day business.

Lara earned an Honours degree in English Literature and Theatre from the University of Glasgow and spent her early career in the arts, mainly in theatre management, and then in a local authority advising schools on arts and heritage before she went to Innerpeffray.

But perhaps of closest interest to us is the amazing collection of Scottish First Editions which Innerpeffray has been gifted by the American bibliophile Janet St Germain which includes a collection of Sir Walter Scott first editions.

I found Innerpeffray fascinating when I visited it some time ago and I am sure those of you who have not been there will also find it a remarkable experience. So, to tell us a lot more about the collection and her work with it I am delighted to welcome Lara Haggerty.

Download her talk here:  

(There is an error with the Audio for the first 17mins)