Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Menu Search

New Book – Early Irish Gospel Books in the Library of Trinity College Dublin

Hot off the printing press and just in time for Christmas is a beautifully little book that provides an overview of the Library’s early Irish gospel books.

The Library of Trinity College Dublin possesses seven early Irish gospel books, dating from the 7th – 9th centuries and possibly earlier, of which the Book of Kells is the most famous. This book outlines what is known about how these manuscripts were made, including recent scientific research on the pigments used by their makers. It explores who might have been responsible for their creation, and the type of environment in which they worked. The different formats of the books, and the nature of their ornament yield some clues as to how they were originally intended to be used, while various interventions – from added lines of text, to forged signatures, to particular patterns of damage – provide glimpses into the stories of their survival. The book is lavishly illustrated with many photographs published here for the first time.

The book is available in the Library shop (with the usual staff discount), and via email from

Susan Bioletti and Rachel Moss, Early Irish Gospel Books in the Library of Trinity College Dublin, (Trinity College Dublin, 2016), pp 97; ills 71. ISBN 978-1-911566-00-7. €10