The Innerpeffray Register
Amongst the most precious books at Innerpeffray are the Borrowers’ Registers. These records of every person who borrowed from the Library between 1747 and 1968 give us a fascinating window into the past. They are a priceless social historical record through which we can come to know those who used the Library, what they read, and the different walks of life from which they came.
Although we no longer lend out books, Innerpeffray continues to be a special place to many who visit, use, and enjoy the library today. The Innerpeffray Register is an extension of the Borrowers’ Register, created to record the experiences and thoughts of today’s library users and visitors. Everyone who makes a contribution to the Library is invited to become part of the story of Innerpeffray by adding a ‘leaf’ to the Register.
To find out more about the ways in which you can contribute to the work that Innerpeffray does, and ‘leave your leaf’ in the Register, please visit the Support Us page. To learn more about the Register and associated records, read on below and follow the links:
The Borrowers’ Register
The first entry in the Borrowers’ Register was made on June 5th 1747, where it recorded that James Sharp “Borrowed from the Library of Innerpeffray the Life and Death of the Twelve Apostles which I oblige myself to deliver in three months after the date under the penaltie of ten shillings.”
The final loan was recorded on May 27th 1968, where A. Torbet of Crieff borrowed five books, including ‘The Interpreter’ by John Cowell, a 17th century legal text which had belonged to David Drummond, the library’s founder.
You can explore the Borrowers’ Register further here.
The Visitors’ Book
In the mid-19th century, the nearby town of Crieff became a popular tourist destination, bringing an influx of visitors to the area. In the 1860s, the Keeper at Innerpeffray began keeping a record of those who came to visit and use the library, but who did not borrow books. A huge range of visitors is represented in this record, which has been kept ever since – local residents and folk from further afield.
Some well-known names are dotted among the lists of visitors: J.M. Barrie, George Bernard Shaw, Beatrix Potter’s parents to name a few. To read more about current research being done into the individuals recorded in the Visitors’ Books, you can read the ‘Visitor Vignettes’ posts in our blog, written by PhD researcher Isla Macfarlane.
A Register for Today…
The Library has informed and educated generations of people since David Drummond left his book collection in trust for the benefit of anyone who wanted to read. For nearly 350 years the dedication of benefactors has kept this legacy going, and it is people who have meant that Innerpeffray survived: borrowers, trustees, Keepers, visitors, students, volunteers, Friends and more.
Innerpeffray remains relevant and vibrant thanks to the efforts and generosity of all those who become part of our story. The creation of the Innerpeffray Register aims to capture for future generations a sense of what the library means to people today. Those who give of their time or who support the continued work of the Library through financial contributions can ‘leave a leaf’ in the Register – to find out more about the many ways you can do this, see the Support Us page.