The Book of Kells, the 9th-century manuscript housed in the Old Library in Trinity College Dublin, has acted as the main inspiration for a new award-winning Irish animated film, The Secret of Kells. Set in the 9th century Ireland, factual details concerning the writing and illumination of the Book of Kells are incorporated into the narrative of the film which centres on the fictional adventures of a young boy, Brendan, who is brought up in the monastery at Kells.
Speaking about the film, director Tomm Moore said: “The visual style of the film is inspired by ancient Celtic art and illuminated medieval manuscripts, including of course, the Book of Kells.” To coincide with the opening of the film in Irish cinemas, a special viewing of The Secret of Kells has been organised for the children taking part in the 2009 Children’s Bookmarks Programme which is a joint project of the Trinity Access Programme and the Ark, a Cultural Centre for Children. The art in the Book of Kells acts as the main inspiration for the children who are encouraged to use the same creativity in their own storybooks.
The Book of Kells is on view daily in the Old Library building. Entrance is free for all primary schools students and their teachers. Secondary school groups and their teachers can avail of free admission from October 1st through to April 1st. For more information about the Book of Kells please see the library website. To view a trailer of The Secret of Kells, please click here.