This is an historical section of the website. The monastery is no longer open. Please read the INTRODUCTION page. The photograph shows the library before the books and shelving were removed.
Until recently the monks' library contained many valuable books and manuscripts which had been accumulated by the community and its predecessors over almost a thousand years. For a number of reasons they could not be sold and have therefore been deposited at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh for scholars to study and for reasons of security and preservation.
Until the closure of the monastery in 1998, the library contained the more ordinary works and reproductions of some rarer books for the monks' use.
St Benedict envisaged some kind of a monastery library. In his chapter on the observance of Lent he states that monks should be given a book from the library and read it from cover to cover. The monk uses the library to choose books for his spiritual reading and for his ongoing formation.
The monks' library and the rest of the monastery here at Fort Augustus, were off-limits to visitors and provided a peaceful atmosphere in which to read and pray.