The Marion Campbell Library has long been a significant part of Kilmartin Museum. The furniture was made by local craftsman and artist Martin Murphy in the summer of 2000, and has been admired and appreciated by visitors to the Library ever since. The beautiful table and chairs are the centrepiece of the Library and are constructed using natural materials found in the landscape of Kilmartin Glen. The Library shelves are made from oak and birch, with carvings representing the twelve months of the year on the oak posts.
The publications in the Library mostly belong to the Marion Campbell Collection, bequeathed to Kilmartin Museum in 2001. Marion Campbell of Kilberry was a noted local author, archaeologist, poet and historian who surveyed many of the archaeological sites in Kilmartin Glen in the 1960s. The Library also houses the book collection of the Natural History and Archaeological Society of Mid-Argyll, as well as Kilmartin Museum’s own publications and other books and journals acquired by donation.
The Library is currently usually available to the public to visit and to use as a reference library during Museum opening hours, and by arrangement for meetings and events. However, our plans for an ambitious redevelopment of the Museum buildings to provide world class facilities and services for the people of and visitors to Argyll are coming to fruition in the near future, which will entail all the Museum buildings being vacated while construction work is carried out. The furniture and Library collection will be carefully packed up and stored off-site for the duration of the construction period.
The redeveloped Museum is due to open in 2020, with a new permanent exhibition, collections store, temporary exhibition gallery, laboratory, learning space and visitor facilities. In order to preserve the ethos of the Library, improve access to and provide better protection for the furniture and Library collection, it will be relocated to an identically proportioned room on the first floor of the Museum. As before, visiting researchers and members of the public will be able to visit, consult the books and publications and admire the Library furniture. It is our hope that the Library will continue to be a fantastic resource for years to come.