We have reached the first milestone in digitising all our out-of-copyright books in Gaelic: the first 50 are now freely accessible and can be read in full on our website about Early Gaelic Book Collections! The digitised books were published between 1631 and 1900 and cover mostly literary and religious subjects from poetry and songs to translations of John Bunyan’s works, editions of the Psalms and the Bible, catechisms and Gaelic hymns.
That sounds like a lot of religious stuff, and it is! The first Gaelic book that was not concerned with anything religious was only published in 1741. That was a Gaelic-English Dictionary (H.M.109(1)), obviously the first of its kind. You can also access this Galick and English Vocabulary online.
One of the highlights of the first batch of 50 items in Gaelic is the second ever book printed in Gaelic. It is a translation of John Calvin’s Catechism,(F.7.g.5(2)) and ours is the only known surviving copy!
It is a remarkable fact that none of the 50 books now available online have any illustrations.