Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Zooming in on the Book of Kells

The colours, the craft, the years of intricate details, gold lettering, the secrecy and the beautiful result of the Book of Kells is a sight to behold.

So when the news that The Book of Kells App for the iPad was released I was both happy and disappointed.
Happy because I want the world over to know about this illuminated manuscript created by Celtic monks from the late 6th Century up to the 9th Century.
But disappointed because, for some they will download the app, scroll through it and never actually take the trip to Trinity College Library, Dublin to see this national treasure.

I made the trip to Trinity College to see one of our most sacred treasures a few years ago. The visit to see the Book of Kells is much more than the few minutes you get with the selected pages.
It it about seeing Trinity College, the most prestigious and historic university in Ireland. It is about
the other manuscripts on display and the magnificent Long Room which houses 200,000 of the Library’s oldest books in its oak bookcases and the build up to the main event with a ‘Turning Darkness into Light’ exhibition which provides all the background and info needed.

The Library changes the four pages on display every few weeks, so each visit is never the same, but of course it means paying the admission fee each time to see it. For $11.99 in the iTunes store the Book of Kells App contains all 680 pages of the manuscript.

The good points of the app are of course that you will get to see each and every page of the Book of Kells in intricate details with some you can zoom up to six times their original size!

Technology is amazing and it makes this beautiful and mysterious treasure available to everyone. People will be awe struck by it’s contents that may never have known of its existence or may never have had the means of plans to ever view it. Maybe we can get more theories on it, more information from researchers the world over.
So do purchase, download and admire, but please remember seeing the actual book is much more magical and dazzling than the touch screen of your iPad.

And of course the original was not created for zoom, tap and click it was produced to inspire, to amaze and to educate.


  1. Hi Fiona,
    Are you sure you're not mixing up Charles Gidley's eBook book with this app?


  2. Steph - thanks for that I had the wrong link attached.