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Inverness Public Library


(Dr Bell's School)

Located opposite the bus station in Farraline Park, towards the northeast of the town centre, Inverness Public Library is a low ashlar building in the Greek-revival style with a fine tetrastyle pedimented Doric portico. Built 1839-41 by architect William Robertson of Elgin as Farraline Park School (or Dr. Bell's Institution), one of several in Scottish towns founded under the will of Rev. Dr. Andrew Bell (1753 - 1832), originator of the 'Madras System' of education, it operated as a school until 1937.

The building became Inverness Public Library in 1981 and now includes the important Highland Council Archive and Highland Council Genealogy Service, both of which are considered tourist attractions. The Council Archive holds the records for the former counties of Sutherland, Ross and Cromarty, Invernessshire and Nairnshire dating from 1890 together with the eleven burghs within those counties, with records from 1455.

A plaque commemorating the work of civil engineer Sir Murdoch Macdonald (1866 - 1957) was unveiled in 1990, while a scheme of floodlighting was provided by Inverness Common Good Fund in 2003.


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