Trinity College Library holds an exceptional collection of medieval manuscripts written in Latin, Irish, French, German, Italian, Greek, Icelandic, and Middle English.
The Library’s medieval Latin manuscript collection comprises around 450 separately numbered items, and is especially rich in historical and theological texts.
The medieval codices for which the Library is best known are the Book of Kells (MS 58, c.800), the Book of Durrow (MS 57, c.700), and the Book of Armagh (MS 52, c.807).
Other noteworthy Latin manuscripts include:
- Codex Usserianus Primus, MS 55, one of the earliest surviving examples of a Gospel Book thought to have been made in Ireland;
- Book of Dimma, MS 59, an 8th century Irish pocket gospel book originally from the Abbey of Roscrea, founded by Saint Cronan in County Tipperary, Ireland;
- Book of Mulling, MS 60, an Irish pocket gospel book from the late 8th/early 9th century;
- Garland of Howth, MS 56;
- Clondalkin Breviary, MS 78, a 15th century antiphonal, with music;
- Martyrology of Trinity Cathedral in Dublin, MS 576, an Arrouasian codex;
- Dublin Apocalypse, MS 64, a 14th century apocalypse manuscript in the style of the Ormesby Psalter workshop.
See Dr. Alison Ray's blog piece for the Library, 'Reading the Manuscript Page: Design Features of the Medieval Book' which can help to shed some light on how to read and navigate medieval manuscripts by means of understanding some typical medieval design and layout elements.
A selection of the Library’s digitised medieval Latin manuscripts may be explored below.