Treasures of the Rare Books Room: The Book of Kells in Three Volumes


Named after one of its early homes, Kells, Ireland, the Book of Kells is undoubtedly one of the most famous and recognizable illuminated manuscripts in the world. Around the year 800 CE monks who worked in a scriptorium, a room in a monastery for storing, copying, illustrating, or reading manuscripts, wrote and decorated each page by hand on vellum (calfskin). The elaborate swirls, knots, figures and beasts in this book brilliantly exemplify the medieval Celtic art style.

Today the Trinity College of Dublin, Ireland, houses the original Book of Kells in the Old Library. A complete digitized version of the original manuscript can be viewed on their website.

The Milwaukee Public Library holds copy number 237 from a limited edition of 500 printed in Switzerland in 1950. It is in three volumes: volume I Reproduction of Folios 1 - 182, volume II Reproduction of Folios 183 - 339, and volume III Introductory. Here is the complete title as it appears in CountyCat: Evangeliorum quattuor Codex Cenannensis. Auctoritate Collegii Sacrosanctae et Individuae Trinitatas juxta Dublin auxilioque Bibliothecae Confederationis Helveticae totius codicis similitudinem accuratissime depicti exprimendam curavit typographeum Urs Graf. Prolegomensis auxerunt viri doctissimi Ernestus Henricus Alton [et] Petrus Meyer.

To arrange a visit to view this item, please call the Central Library Art, Music and Recreation Department at 414-286-3071.

Valerie @ Central




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This page contains a single entry by Valerie Stradivarius published on January 6, 2014 9:31 AM.

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