Tag Archives: Trinity College Library

Ireland — Dublin; Trinity College Library and the Book of Kells


The Book of Kells exhibit — Trinity College Library

There is within the walls of the Old Trinity Library a magnificent illuminated manuscript. This is the famous Book of Kells, and it contains in Latin the four gospels of the New Testament.

Book of Kells exhibit

The Book of Kells dates back to late 8th to early 9th century. It may have originated in Kells, or perhaps any of several places with the British Isles. The accepted theory is that the book at least began life in a Columban monastery on Iona and was completed at the Abbey of Kells.

Book of Kells exhibit

So, what exactly is an “illuminated” manuscript? No; it’s not one that is bathed in light from a manmade source. In this case illuminated means the work is highly decorative, with stylized drop caps, decorative borders, and miniature illustrations, all done in bright colors and with gold and silver leaf. Take a look at this for examples:

Book of Kells exhibit

The Book of Kells is quite the wonder. But so, too, is the library which houses it today. This is the incredible Library of Trinity College, specifically, the Old Library completed in 1732. The most impressive, and iconic, view is of the Long Room:

Long Room, Trinity College Old Library

Busts of historic authors and philosophers are contained throughout the Long Room:

Long Room, Trinity College Old Library

Here are the busts of Greek philosopher Plato and his teacher Socrates:

Plato
Socrates

Time to marvel at the spectacle of the Long Room:

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Filed under Photography, R. Doug Wicker, travel, vacation