George IV Bridge – celebrating 50 years

The Murthly Hours: acquired in 1986

One of the National Library of Scotland's great treasures is an extensively decorated manuscript of the late 13th century.

'The Murthly Hours' has many illuminated letters and colourful line-fillers showing leaves, dragons, dogs, hares and birds. These are seen against a background of burnished gold.

A page from Matins of the Office of the Dead is shown here. The initial contains the burial of a corpse. The foot of the page shows a funeral procession. There are also 23 full-page miniatures at the beginning of the volume.

The manuscript was acquired with the generous assistance of:

  • The National Heritage Memorial Fund
  • The National Art Collections Fund
  • The Friends of the National Libraries
  • Donations from private and institutional benefactors.

You can see a digitised copy of the whole Murthly Hours manuscript online, with information about its contents and history.

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