Pope John Paul II views the Book of Kells Collection at St. Peter’s Basilica. His Holiness received number 01 of the edition from the People of Ireland at a grand ceremony in the Vatican


"This selection of five pages from the twelve hundred year old Book of Kells illustrates, with accurately produced colour and finely enlarged detail, both the grandeur and intricacy of this world famous manuscript."

Dr. G. O. Simms D.D., Ph.D., D.Litt.
Archbishop of All Ireland

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"The Irish Georgian Society is happy to endorse the beautiful set of blown-up reproductions of five of the key pages of the Book of Kells."

The Hon. Desmond Guinness Founder Irish Georgian Society

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Welcome to Book of Kells Collection !

History of the Book Of Kells


The Book of Kells is one of Ireland's treasures. This finely written, profusely decorated manuscript of the four Gospels of the New Testament is some twelve hundred years old. A remarkable product of what has been called a 'golden period of Christian art and learning', there is something here to interest everyone within its pages. The architect, antiquarian, historian, artist, craftsman and archeologist find inspiration here.

The book is incomplete. The beginning and the ending have been lost. However, no fewer than 340 leaves survive. These contain both writing and colour ornament, for the most part, on both sides of each folio.We are fortunate to have, therefore, 680 calf-skin pages, measuring 13 inches by 9 1/2, upon which to feast out eyes.

The book is now bound in four separate parts; one volume for each of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. As a result, it has been possible to see more pages at a time, as they lie open to view in their glass case, in the Long Room of Trinity College, Dublin. On occasions also, it has been possible for part of the priceless treasure to be shown at exhibitions in the United States, in many countries of Europe, as well as in London. The home of the Book of Kells is Dublin; this national treasure is gladly shared with a whole world. There are many ancient manuscript versions of the Bible in Latin; but those who look into the Book of kells find not only a Latin text, but a whole civilisation. The biblical scholar, no less than the general viewer, knows that the setting, the over-all design, the wealth of colourful detail, the atmosphere of the solemn, the grotesque, the weird and the humorous, are all to be found in this work of artistry and craftsmanship unparalleled and still baffling.

G.O. Simms, D.D., Ph.D, D.Litt.

4th July 1988, Dublin

What has been Said of the Book of Kells

"The great Gospel of Columcille, the chief relic of the Western World."

- Annals of Ulster, 1006

"The most sumptuous of the books to have survived from Europe's early Middle Age"

- P. Brown, author of books on the Book of Kells

"Fine craftsmanship is all around you, but you might not notice it. Look more keenly at it, and you will penetrate to the very shrine of art. You will make out intricacies, so delicate and subtle, so exact and compact, so full of knots and links, with colours so fresh and vivid, that you might say all this was the work of an angel, and not a man."

- Giraldus Cambrensis, 1185 on the Book of Kildare, probably the Book of Kells

"Although the great paintings are the pages that are most immediately striking in the manuscript, it is the profusion and decoration of the text pages that single out the Book of Kells from the other insular manuscripts...Its general trend of decoration conforms with that found in other manuscripts in the group, but the total effect is more overpowering than that of any other."

- P. Brown

"The insistent interest in iconography is one of the striking characteristics of the Book of Kells."

- Francois Henry, author of books and many papers on the Book of Kells

In a time of uncertainty the power that emanates from these timeless manuscript pages is one of unswerving constancy


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