A drawing from the Book of Deer showing two figures

Book of Deer Events

Book of Deer Events

Book of Deer Events

Book of Deer Events

Book of Deer Events
Book of Deer Events

Book of Deer Programme

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. 

At a glance programme – scroll down to see remaining activities

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.

Event Date
From Book to Banner (@ Home) - FULL 1st May to 3rd September
Doodle Dig! 2nd April to 30th October
Summer Reading Initiative (@ Home) 20th June to 27th August
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


The book itself will be on display at Aberdeen Art Gallery from 9th July, click on the full online programme at the bottom of this page for details.

A collection of wool, tread, scissors, pencil, needles and paintbrush

From Book to Banner 

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!

Activity now full, but you can follow our progress on the Aberdeenshire Museum Service Facebook page.



A cartoon mole digging a hole with a spade

Doodle Dig!

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

Graphic with the Live Life Aberdeenshire heart logo over an open book

Summer Reading Initiative

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

An old pot of gold coins

Deer Doodle Gold Hunt

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)

A photo of a seaside landscape


* BOOKING NOW CLOSED * 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.


Inspired Illustration with Gabi Reith

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.

Sign up: 3rd September Inspired Illustration - Free / 4th September Inspired Illustration - Free. Suitable for adults.

A map with some chalk and charcoal pencils lying on top

Art on the Road

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

A photograph of a standing stone

Talking Picts

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

The inside of a cathedral

Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

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)

View the online brochure for a full list of events taking place this year as part of the Book of Deer project : What's on: Book of Deer Programme

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