Why this old document might be the most interesting thing at Orkney Library

‘So marvellously nerdishly cool.'

Saying Orkney Library has quite the history is something of an understatement – it’s been “providing books and more since 1683”.

So when it announced on Twitter that its archive carried something “amazing” we buckled in for a thread that did not disappoint.

The tweets explained how on one shelf in the archive is a sturdy box which holds a number of folders.

Inside is a disposition written on vellum – that’s calf or goat skin – which is older than the library itself.

Or, to put it another way, “when Henry IV was King of England and Robert III was King of Scots”.

It predates Columbus sailing to the Americas, the birth of Shakespeare, the Great Fire of London, and the Battle of Waterloo.

The joyous thread secured thousands of likes and shares across the multiple posts. It really struck a chord with followers.

Orkney Library was itself bowled over by the reaction.

Principal librarian Karen Walker told Press Association. “It’s great. It shows the variety of things we do. We’re not just a library, we have a strong archive section as well.”

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