Book of Kells. IE TCD MS 58 Public Deposited

Book of Kells. IE TCD MS 58

Alternative title
  • IE TCD MS 58
Shelf Mark/Reference Number
  • IE TCD MS 58 ; former shelfmarks: Lyon: A.1.6 ; Bernard: 417 ; Foley: D.23
Rights statement
  • Copyright The Board of Trinity College Dublin. Images are available for single-use academic application only. Publication, transmission or display is prohibited without formal written approval of the Library of Trinity College, Dublin.
Copyright status
Date Created
  • circa; 800
Physical extent
  • 25
  • The Book of Kells, created around 800 A.D., contains the four Gospels in Latin based on the Vulgate text which St Jerome completed in 384 A.D., intermixed with readings from the earlier Old Latin translation. The Gospel texts are prefaced by other texts, including "canon tables", or concordances of Gospel passages common to two or more of the evangelists; summaries of the gospel narratives (Breves causae); and prefaces characterizing the evangelists (Argumenta). The book is written on vellum (prepared calfskin) in a bold and expert version of the script known as "insular majuscule". It contains 340 folios, now measuring approximately 330 x 255 mm; they were severely trimmed, and their edges gilded, in the course of rebinding in the 19th century. In Irish are: 1. Carta de Balli Uidrin cum Molendino et de Balli Comgain cum Molendino, granted by the family of Kells for the support of pilgrims c1126-1140. 2. Grant by Maelsechnaill, son of Conchobhar O'Maelsechnaill (d.1087) king of Tara, of Disert Columcille in Kells with its vegetable garden to God and pious pilgrims. Not later than 1084. 3. Statement as to land purchased by the priest of Kells and his kinsmen for eighteen ounces of gold with names of witnesses. Before 1094. 4. Do saire Delga inso. Of the freedom of Cill Delga granted by Conchobhar O'Maelsechlaind to God and Columcille for ever, in atonement for a violation of sanctuary. Between 1021 and 1050. 5. Purchase of a house by Congal Ua Brestlen. Probably 11th century. 6. Freedom of Ard-Breacain granted by Muirchertach O'Lochlainn, king of Ireland, and by Maelschlaind king of Meath and by Aedh king of [Uí] Loegaire. The last surrenders his privilege of one night's "coinmhe" in each quarter, in consideration of three ounces of gold. Mid 12th century. 7. Purchase of land by Gilla Crist mac Manchain for twenty-four ounces of silver, besides the tuition of Cu Uladh's son. Probably close of 11th century. The dates cited above are those assigned to the original deeds by John O'Donovan; the copies in TCD MS 58 he assigns to the later 12th century. James Ussher had transcripts of the first six deeds made (see in TCD MS 580). The digital surrogates represented here have been scanned from transparencies, which were imaged by Faksimile Verlag, Lucerne, Switzerland, in 1990. For further information please see the Manuscripts & Archives Research Library’s catalogue entry:
  • Jones, Henry, 1605-1682 , Donor
  • The Book of Kells was presented to Trinity College Dublin by Henry Jones, Bishop of Meath in the 1650’s.
Resource type
  • colored ink
  • vellum (parchment)
  • Irish
  • hm50tr726


Parent works and subseries:

This object has no parent works or subseries.

In Collection: