The Book of Kells

Iona(?), an Irish monastery on the west coast of Scotland, circa 800
Text in Insular Majuscule

Library of Trinity College, Dublin (Ireland)
Ms. 58 (A.16)

Date of Publication of the Facsimile: 1951
Publisher: Urs Graf-Verlag, Bern (Switzerland)
Color Photography and Blocks: F Schwitter Ltd, Basle (Switzerland)
Monochrome Photography: Fine Art Engravers Ltd, London (Great Britain)
Color Printing and Binding: Otto Wlater Ltd, Olten (Switzerland)
Heliogravure: Funke & Saurenmann and W. Stierli, Zurich (Switzerland)

Published in two large volumes, this was the first facsimile of the full contents of the Book of Kells, finally making it possible for scholars to study this important manuscript without causing further deterioration to the original. Most pages were reproduced in black and white, but there were 48 pages in color.

Heliogravure is a sophisticated process involving the effect of light on certain chemicals, by which the photographed image is transferred to the printing plate in such a way that the printing surface is sunk below the surrounding portions of the plate. Printing with this method requires special care, but good quality photogravure yields a very close copy of the photograph. The quality of the original photograph is also a determining factor in the end result.

fol. 7v
fol. 7v
fol. 8r
fol. 8r
fol. 19v
fol. 19v
fol. 40v
fol. 40v

Palaeographia
Sacra Pictoria

Ancient Irish
Manuscripts

The Library of the Medieval Institute