A number of bound manuscripts were recently conserved for an exhibition at the National Library of Wales, entitled Edward Lhuyd (1660-1709). Edward Lhuyd was a noted scientist in the latter part of the 17th century. He was well known for his expertise in anthropology, linguistics, botany, geology and also as a Celtic scholar. His personal manuscript collection, which included the Book of Leinster and the Yellow Book of Lecan, were bought by Sir Thomas Sebright in 1715 and presented to the Library of Trinity College by his son, Sir John Sebright, in 1786.
Lhuyd published Archaeologia Britannica in 1707, a study of the natural history of Wales and of the history, languages and cultures of Britain’s first settlers, represented by the "Celtic" speaking peoples of Britain, Ireland and Brittany. The publication was preceded by an extended research tour from 1697-1701 throughout Cornwall, Wales, Bas-Bretagne, Scotland and Ireland.
Trinity College Library Dublin holds a number of Lhuyd’s manuscripts relating to his research.
MS1368 is a small semi-limp vellum binding with a foredge flap, which was used during Lhuyd’s travels and notes a dialogue, in Irish, recording the hiring of a ferryman for the crossing between Wales and Ireland. Extensive repairs were carried out on the vellum covers and the binding structure, which had completed broken down.
MS1380 is an Oxford Almanack for…1703, and contains notes for Lhuyd’s Irish dictionary. The book in an "in-board" binding, however, the covering materials are no longer extant. Blank areas in the text block are filled with Lhuyd’s iron-gall ink annotations. The leaves at the front and back of the text block displayed signs of extensive water damage. Paper repair was carried out on these areas and a Phytate treatment was carried out to stabilise the iron gall ink.