A Special Report

Meet the Ancestors
of the Book of Kells

Four priceless Irish manuscripts from the Dark Ages have been conserved by Trinity College Dublin following a three-year programme.

Rarely Seen

The rarely seen manuscripts, which date back as far as the fifth or sixth century, have been repaired, analysed and digitised and will go on public display together for the first time.

Preeminent Collection

The manuscripts are the Codex Usserianius Primus, the Garland of Howth, the Book of Dimma, and the Book of Mulling. They join the Book of Kells, the Book of Durrow and the Book of Armagh to form the most preeminent collection of early Irish manuscripts in the world. Listen to Senior Conservator John Gillis describe them.

Origins of the Manuscripts

The manuscripts come from different parts of Ireland and their stories are rich in history and myth. Listen to Dr Rachel Moss explain the origins of the Garland of Howth.

Drone footage courtesy of Trinity College Dublin

The Conservation Project

Non-destructive scientific techniques have enabled the team to identify some of the raw materials used in the production of the manuscripts. Listen to the Keeper of Preservation and Conservation, Susie Bioletti, on the pigments used by Ireland’s earliest painters.

These national treasures are finally publicly available for all to study, scrutinise and simply enjoy.

Listen to College Librarian/Archivist Helen Shenton talk about the manuscripts being made available to the public.