The Book of Kells is ranked as one of the best-known art treasures in the world, while simultaneously representing an important part of Ireland’s heritage whose visual beauty has become part of the national imagination.
Visitors from all over the world make their way to Trinity College Dublin to see this work of art on display in the College’s Old Library, so to wonder at the skill and artistry of the monks who created this magnificent manuscript over 1,200 years ago. However, it has only been possible to gaze upon this 8th Century treasure behind a protective glass, and only four pages at a time.
Thanks to Norma Smurfit, of the Jefferson Smurfit Foundation, visitors to DCU’s John O’Reilly Library can now view the Book of Kells in its entirety. This facsimile edition of the Book of Kells (Faksimile Verlag Luzern Edition) allows a wider audience to see the full splendours of the manuscript, free from the protections necessary for the original book. The reader can now turn the pages and marvel at the extraordinary richness and imagination in the design, as well as at the wonderful state of preservation, especially to those which are not normally exposed to view.
Professor Daire Keogh, Deputy President of DCU, said:
“We are particularly grateful to Norma for her continual support of the University’s visual arts initiative. This facsimile edition of the Book of Kells is a very welcome gift to DCU’s John O’Reilly Library, which will be a useful resource for students.”