03.05 Carnegie Casket Displayed In Stirling Library

From Clan Stirling Wiki
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A silver casket owned by the steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie has gone on display at the Stirling Public library.

The casket has been put on display as part of the centenary celebrations of the Stirling Public Library, where the casket was originally presented to Carnegie in 1902 when the memorial stone of the library was set down.

For a number of years it has been kept with many other artefacts belonging to Carnegie at the Dunfermline Carnegie Birthplace Museum.

However Steve Dolman, development librarian at Stirling, managed to track the casket down and bring it back to Stirling.

He said: "The casket contained Carnegie’s burgess ticket, granting him the freedom of the burgh, and is made of solid silver. It is divided into eight panels, each representing a view of the Stirling area, including the castle, the Old Bridge, Cambuskenneth Tower and the Royal Tomb. The lid panels bear likenesses of Andrew and Louise Carnegie and representations of the burgh seals, along with Mr Carnegie’s monogram in Celtic characters. The lid is mounted by a female figure seated in an academic chair, symbolising literature, history and geography."

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Other exhibits in the display include the silver trowel with which Carnegie’s wife Louise laid the memorial stone, the original architect’s drawing and the gold key with which Provost James Thomson opened the library for the first time on February 6, 1904.

Mr Dolman added "We hope that many more people take this opportunity to see these artefacts on their return to the city after all this time. They are a very important part of our past and we are delighted to be able to give them prominence in our centenary year."

"I am sure that Mr Carnegie would have been delighted to think that they would have been a focal point in his gift to Stirling a hundred years on."

Carnegie was born in Dunfermline in 1835 emigrated to the States from Scotland when he was just 13. He became one of the world’s richest men through his steel corporation and funded the building of free libraries. He spent almost 60 million dollars building 2,500 libraries worldwide and gave away over 400 million in his lifetime.