Laing had always been a fervent scholar and student of local and Scottish history and in 1860 he began a movement for the foundation of a Public
Library. He bequeathed his own extensive library and antiquarian specimens to the town, and also a sum of £1220 for the erection of a building to house them.
In 1856 he was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. His most famous book of local history "Lindores Abbey and the Burgh of Newburgh" was published in 1876 and in 1878 St. Andrews University confeffed upon him the honorary degree of LLD. Dr. Laing was a well known and much respected scholar until he died in 1892 aged 84 years. This excellent museum is well worth a visit.