This summer, for the first time in more than one thousand years, the Book of Deer, an exquisite 10th century gospel pocket book, returns to the north-east of Scotland. Live Life Aberdeenshire are delighted to be working in partnership with the Book of Deer Project, Aberdeen City Council / Aberdeen Art Gallery, the University of Cambridge, the University of Aberdeen and Cameron Archaeology Ltd on this National Lottery Heritage Funded project.
To celebrate the return of this very special wee book dig into our programme of events and activities taking place from March to October.
You can participate in some of our activities from the comfort of your home. These are highlighted with the @ Home sign on the table below.
|From Book to Banner (@ Home)||1st May to 3rd September|
|Doodle Dig!||2nd April to 30th October|
|Wax Carving a Piece of History||11th June|
|Marvellous Manuscripts||17th June|
|Summer Reading Initiative (@ Home)||20th June to 27th August|
|Words of the Past (@ Home)||25th June|
|Murder Most Silent||6th, 13th and 20th July|
|Deer Doodle Gold Hunt||27th July, 3rd and 10th August|
|Art-Land-Science (@ Home)||13th August|
|Inspired Illustration||3rd and 4th September|
|Art on the Road||3rd September|
|Talking Picts||17th September|
|Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?||19th and 26th October|
1st May - 3rd September Banchory, Banff, Inverurie, Mintlaw, Peterhead libraries and at home
Calling all fans of fabric and stitch! Live Life Aberdeenshire seeks volunteers to help create fabric banners inspired by the Book of Deer and designed by textile artist Rachael Forbes. Stitchers and crafters of all kinds and abilities welcome. The project runs from the 1st May to September with group sessions taking place at at selected libraries (work can also be done at home). Be part of this ambitious community project - learn new skills and re-engage old ones! Final sign-ups will be mid June.
Sign up: For more details on how to take part email email@example.com
2nd April - 30th October Aberdeenshire Farming Musuem
Digby the mole has been dig, dig, digging up doodles from the Book of Deer! Bring your family for this fun trail around Aberdeenshire Farming Museum and pick up a small prize at the end.
Sign up: No booking required just turn up and pay cash at the door - £2 per child
11th June The Smiddy, Old Market Place, Banff
Live Life Aberdeenshire has invited The Smiddy to host a creative wax carving and jewellery making workshop for beginners. Within this workshop you will learn about the Book of Deer and taught how to wax carve a small charm inspired by this ancient manuscript. Charms will be sent away to be cast in silver using a lost wax casting process. When cast, charms can be added the participants' silver bangles which they will also get the opportunity to make within the workshop. 5 places available.
Sign up: Wax carving a piece of history - Free
17th June Aden Theatre, Aberdeenshire Farming Museum
Join Live Life Aberdeenshire Museums' Curator Amy Miller for a captivating insight into the history, style and context of illustrated manuscripts.
Sign up: Marvellous Manuscripts - Free
20 June - 27th August Live Life Aberdeenshire libraries or register online
Fancy reading something different? Our Summer Reading Initiative runs from 20th June to 27th August and is suitable for all ages. Sign up to take part in this fun reading activity including a Book of Deer themed creative competition.
Sign up: register in any Live Life Aberdeenshire library or online from 20th June - Free
25th June Mintlaw Library at MACBI Community Hub and virtually on Teams
Intrigued by the culture and society that created the Book of Deer? Then join us for a creative writing workshop for adults of all writing abilities, inspired by the past. Take part in person or online via Microsoft Teams.
6th July, 13th July and 20th July Aberdeen Farming Museum
Your team has taken a vow of silence and must complete the tasks and solve the clues to find out what happened to Brother Godfrey – without speaking to each other!
A challenging medieval crime conundrum for families and groups. Recommended aged 7+
Sign up: Murder Most Silent - £12 per team (max six people per team)
27th July, 3rd August, 10th August Aberdeenshire Farming Museum
A fun medieval treasure hunt for families and groups! The pages in an ancient illuminated manuscript contain clues to the hiding place of a secret hoard of gold. Find and solve all the clues to discover where the hoard is hidden in the monastery.
Recommended 7+ years
Sign up: Deer Doodle Gold Hunt - £12 per team (max six people per team)
13th August online via Teams
An afternoon of thought-provoking online presentations from north east artists and crafters who use materials derived from the landscape, revealing how significant this is to their practice. Speakers include Mary Bourne, Lynne Strachan, Lynne Hocking, Kevin Andrew Morris and Carole Keepax. We'll also hear about the fascinating work of the Beasts2Craft European Research Council Team conducting parchment analysis on the Book of Deer, looking at proteins and DNA in the animal skins used to make the parchment, and what this reveals about the source of the animals and the book's production. Followed by a Q&A session.
Sign up: Art-Land-Science - Free
3rd September and 4th September Aberdeenshire Farming Museum
Create your own contemporary manuscript inspired by medieval illustrations in this exciting hands-on session. Embrace colour, page composition and pattern making, and explore how to represent human and animal form in your own unique way. Led by accomplished north east artist Gabi Reith.
3rd September Aberdeenshire Farming Museum
Immerse yourself in creativity and get on board our one-off minibus artist studios tour across Aberdeenshire. Visit local artists Bryan Angus, Alison Milne, Mark Green, Kerstin Gren and Maria Guerreiro, showing work akin to the Book of Deer through imagery, composition, local landscape and culture. See beautiful work in unique locations and bring a packed lunch to enjoy along the way! Tour begins and ends at Aberdeenshire Farming Museum, Aden Country Park, Mintlaw. Free car parking on site, please arrive promptly. Visit to the Aberdeenshire Farming Museum included.
Sign up: Art on the Road - £25 per person
17th September Mintlaw Library at MACBI Community Hub
Join Professor Gordon Noble from Aberdeen University for an engaging and informative talk on the compelling history of the Picts in the North East of Scotland.
Sign up: Talking Picts - Free
19th October and 26th October Aberdeenshire Farming Museum
It was a dark and stormy day back in 1294, when Brother Barnabus left the abbey to look for herbs and mysteriously disappeared. Travel through time following Jet, the witch's cat, solving the puzzles and clues to discover what happened to him.
An archaeological medieval mystery for families and groups.
Recommended for age 7+
Sign up: Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? - £12 per team (max six people per team)