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The shelves and display units are packed full of literary rarities, including unique records of 1790 parish registers from all over Scotland, possibly the most detailed census of its time.

It has since remained as a museum to local heritage and history, maintained and operated by members and villagers.

horizons of the men. For their part, the hard working miners coughed up a few shillings each, and the facility was an immediate success.

She grew up and still lives in the very building which was the original location for the library's first 50 years. She used to peer curiously through the windows of the formerly members only society's current location, when she was a child heading into the adjacent village Omega Speedmaster Blue school.

He slashed the men's working hours by a third, set up a school and then, with the backing of the local population, he helped create the Leadhills Reading Society to broaden the knowledge and

The library was operated as a members' club where the men could read papers and books at their leisure, as well as play chess and other intellectual pursuits when they were not down the shafts.

For the past 30 years, she has been the president of the society, and is proud of the tradition of the one room building filled with some of the most important books in the world and a literal mine of local history.

However, the treasure trove in the town, which has a population of 350, is in dire need of support and funding. According to Michael Davis, of Leadhills Heritage Trust, there are some vital repairs and improvements needed to maintain the building for the future.

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Stirling, a mathematician who was friends with Sir Isaac Newton, contributed books, while local nobles bought books and newspapers for the men to read.

from there so as to avoid suspicion from his wife back in Alloway in Ayrshire.

"I find it hard to believe that something as special as the library isn't more widely known across Scotland," she said.

It was then taken over by the council and operated as a public lending library, until it was closed in favour of mobile library vans throughout the remote hill towns. But it was reopened by the local community as a members' society again in 1972.

It's not certain that he visited the Reading Society itself, but the current custodians feel he was very likely to have taken the opportunity to enjoy the literary facility.

A few years after it opened, the poet William Wordsworth and his diarist sister Dorothy visited the town, with Dorothy remarking in letters how amazed she was to meet miners who could quote Shakespeare to her.

IT'S one of the most important hidden gems of Scottish literature and history.

"It's an amazing record of life in this area, but it's also important in the Scottish tradition of education and libraries. I wish more people knew about us."

"In the last 30 years, we have worked to make sure the library is open to everyone because it should be celebrated and enjoyed by all."

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The library was founded by the miners in November 1741 with the help of a visionary Scot, James Stirling, who was put in charge of the Scots Mining Company in 1735.

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Delving into the magic of Leadmills Miners Library which was founded in 1741

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But for most Scots it's the greatest cultural and literary treasure trove Omega Seamaster Professional On Wrist

The committee was enabled by their statute to force entry into members' homes to inspect the way a book was being kept.

Immediately, he set about revolutionising the way the lead mining village, near Abington and the M74, was set up.

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Charles Dickens is also among the famous recorded admirers. One of his journalists, Harriet Martineau, visited in 1892, and Dickens published her plea for its expansion: "What a blessing it would be to these people if some kind person would send them a good assortment, and a plentiful one, of works of fiction!" it read.

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Robert Burns is known to have visited the town to post letters to his mistress Clarinda with the theory being that he preferred to post Omega Watches Prices Philippines

Each book would have cost around 20, a year's salary to a miner, so every tome was treated as a precious object.

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you will never have heard of and that's something Mary Hamilton and a hard working group of villagers are keen to put right.

Tucked away in the picturesque and rolling hills of south Lanarkshire, just far enough away from the motorway to remain quiet and undiscovered, the Leadhills Miners Library is the UK's oldest subscription library, and is now a keystone of modern Scottish culture.

Few people know the library in the Lowther Hills as well as 85 year old Mary.

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There is a copy of Chetwood's The Voyage and Adventures of Captain Robert Boyle, of which the only other known copy remains in Philadelphia, as well as Irish Bishop James Ussher's book, Annals of The Old and New Testament.

"What a new world it would open to them during the long snows of winter, and in the light evenings of summer when the men are exhausted by their hot toil under the ground."

The library continued well into the 20th century but toiled after the mines dried up and shut down in the 1930s.

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