Medieval Celtic Manuscripts

General Information about Medieval Celtic Manuscripts

ISOS–Irish Script on Screen
The object of ISOS is to create digital images of Irish manuscripts, and to make these images – together with relevant commentary – accessible on a WWW site. Irish Script on Screen (ISOS) is a joint project of the School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, and the School of Computer Applications, Dublin City University, in partnership with Trinity College Library, Dublin, and funded by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and the DCU Educational Trust. The collection includes The Book of Leinster at Trinity College, Dublin, here, and the Book of the Dun Cow, Lebor na Huidre from the Royal Irish Academy, here.
Specific Celtic Manuscripts

The Aberdeen Bestiary
Aberdeen University Library MS 24, written and illuminated in England around 1200, is of added interest since it contains notes, sketches and other evidence of the way it was designed and executed.
Library Book of Lindisfarne
The British Museum has put several sample digitized images from the manuscript collections, including f.210b Cotton Nero D. IV, the
Book of Lindisfarne. The Book of Lindisfarne or Lindisfaarne Gospels were created in the Monastery of Lindisfarne, on Holy Island, just off the coast of Northumberland in the late seventh century. It is now in the British Library. Sometime between 950 and 970 a priest named Aldred added glosses in Old English, translation annotations between the lines of the original Latin text. Though less famous than Kells, the Lindisfarne Gospels are decorated in the same beautiful Hiberno-Saxon style. Janet Backhouse has written a very readable and beautifully illustrated introduction to the MS. Janet Backhouse, The Lindisfarne Gospels. Oxford: Phaidon Press, 1981.
The Black Book of Carmarthen
This manuscript, now in the National Library of Wales, was written c. 1250, and is most famous for the so called “Myrddin” texts, though it also contains devotional materials, elegies and the “Stanzas of the Graves/Englynion y Beddau.
Codex St. Pauli
This site, by Hildegard Tristram, displays images of the manuscript that contains “Messe ocus Pangur Bán,” “[A] Scholar and His Cat” 1 verso unten (bottom)”. “Suibne Geilt” poem, go to “8 verso oben (top)”. The manuscript originally belonged to the Benedictine monastery of Reichenau, an island in Lake Bodensee on the border of Austria,
Switzerland and Germany, and was taken by Benedictine monks to its present home, St. Paul im Lavanttal in Carinthia/Austria.
The Red Book of Hergest
Oxford, Jesus College, MS. 111, one of the two best manuscripts of the Mabinogi, part of the Jesus College collection described below.
Manuscripts at Jesus College
As part of the Early Oxford Manuscript imaging project, Jesus College has placed digital images of nine Welsh manuscripts online. These include MS. 15 Welsh gramatical texts, 16th cent. MS. 16 a sixteenth century Welsh Dictionary, with Latin and some English equivalents, MS. 20 Welsh poetry, genealogy,etc., 14th cent. MS. 22 Welsh kalendar and medicine, 15th cent. MS. 28 Part 1, Dares Phrygius on the fall of Troy, in Welsh and Part 2, the Brut Tysilio, a Welsh text which is probably a late reworking of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia regum Britanniae MS. 57 Laws of Hywel Dda, in Welsh, c. 1400 MS. 88 Welsh poetry, 18th cent. MS. 111 The Red Book of Hergest, Welsh, after 1382 MS. 119 The Book of the Anchorite, Welsh, 1346.
The Book of Deer
The site covers two separate but complimentary elements inspired by The Book of Deer. The Book of Deer is a tenth century illuminated manuscript from North East Scotland. Amid the Latin text and the Celtic illuminations the 84 folios of the Book of Deer contain the oldest written Gaelic text in manuscript form from early Medieval Scotland. The first project is The Book of Deer manuscript itself, and its scholarship. The second is is The Book of Deer Project. This is a community based initiative and the catalyst for renewed academic interest, research and community development in the North East of Scotland. Unfortunately, the site requires browsers with frame abilities.
Peniarth 28
This is a twelfth century manuscript (c. 1250) of the laws of Howel Dda preserved in the National Library of Wales. The entire manuscript is available in digital facsimile.
The Bodleian Library
The Bodleian Library has digitized leaves from several manuscripts. One of my favorites is fol. 60v from Rawlinson G. 167. This leaf from an Irish Gospel is from about the second half of the 8th century.
Leaf 55 from The Book of Leinster
Steve Taylor has included an image of leaf 55, with an enlarged detail and a transcription, of a small section of the Irish epic, the Tain.
Celtic Fonts
I have collected a few links to sites with Celtic style fonts, both those copying the uncial hand used in many manuscripts, and some purely decorative ones as well.

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