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Book of Kells Creative Competition - from virtual to reality!

Published February 14th, 2019

Last October Elisa Markhoff, from Pennsylvania USA, logged on to begin Trinity’s MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on the Book of Kells. Little did she think that three months later she would be up close and personal with the actual historical manuscript itself in Trinity’s Long Room Library.

Elisa was one of the winners in the art category in the recent Book of Kells Creative Competition, run by the Commercial Revenue Unit, and flew over from the States with her family to collect her award at a ceremony hosted in the Dining Hall at the end of January.

Elisa was just one of the 1,600 entrants in this year’s Book of Kells Creative competition, now in its second year, which aims to raise awareness of one of the world’s most famous medieval manuscripts. This year’s event attracted budding artists and writers of all ages – with the most senior winner aged 82 – from as far afield as Australia.

RTE’s Sharon Ni Bheolain, one of the judges and a Trinity graduate of Irish studies, commented: “It was a pure delight to be an ambassador for this year's Book of Kells Creative Competition. I was bowled over by the standard of entries. People from every walk of life put their heart and soul into interpreting and visualising our most celebrated of manuscripts. The Book of Kells is a national treasure and it is so gratifying that Irish people retain such pride in its enduring charm.”          

The creative competition is open to all and entries for 2019 are now being accepted. The closing date is November 30th, 2019, and this year’s theme is ‘Irish Culture and The Book of Kells’. Further information will be available in the coming weeks on the website

Last year the Book of Kells cemented its position as one of Ireland’s greatest treasures when it welcomed its one millionth visitors to the exhibition.

  • Photo (L-R): Professor Darryl Jones, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, RTE’s Sharon Ni Bheoláin, Elisa Markhoff, Chief Operating Officer Geraldine Ruane