The Book of Kells An Illustrated Introduction to the Manuscript in Trinity College Dublin

Bernard Meehan

A captivating guide to Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure—the Book of Kells manuscript at Trinity College, Dublin.


The Book of Kells, dating from about 800 CE, is a beautifully decorated manuscript of the four Gospels. This official guide by the former Keeper of Manuscripts at the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, where the Book of Kells is on permanent display, provides fascinating insights into one of the greatest surviving examples of medieval art. The illustrations in this guide include striking reproductions of complete pages, and details that reveal the astounding intricacy and richness of the decoration. The Book of Kells is explored through its historical background; its structure; its decorative elements, including its use of symbols and themes; the scribes and artists who worked on the manuscript; and the tools and pigments used in its creation.


Enthralling …the range of vivid colors is almost as impressive as the striking use of gold in creating this sacramental treasure.

— Antiques Diary


Bernard Meehan


Bernard Meehan was head of research collections and keeper of manuscripts at Trinity College, Dublin, where the Book of Kells is on permanent exhibition.