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UCD Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute

Fondúireacht Mhíchíl Uí Chléirigh, UCD

Manuscript Conservation and Access

UCD Archives: Seamus Helferty

Conservator: John Gillis, Trinity College Dublin & National  Museum of Ireland

Funding: Heritage Council

One of the primary functions of the UCD-OFM Partnership is the conservation of the Franciscan manuscripts that have been moved from the Franciscan house of studies at Dún Mhuire, Killiney to UCD. This is an expensive and very slow process given that the oldest vellum manuscripts are almost a thousand years old.

The immediate objective is to conserve the collection and make it available as a research tool for scholars in accordance with best modern practices. This involves the conservation of each individual manuscript (vellum and paper) by professional conservators and the digitisation of the most important manuscripts as part of the national project Irish Script on Screen Project (ISOS) administered by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. Twenty-nine Franciscan ‘A’ manuscripts (mainly medieval and early modern Irish manuscripts including the Annals of the Four Masters (MS UCD-OFM A13)) are now available on the ISOS website. To date, five vellum manuscripts (A1: the Psalter of St. Caimín, A2: the Liber Hymnorum, A3: a fragment of the Book of Leinster, A4: Acallam na Senórach, A7: Félire Óenguso and A8: Maghnus Ó Domhnaill’s Life of Colum Cille) have been  fully conserved. 

For permission to use images of UCD-OFM manuscripts please contact Seamus Helferty, Principal Archivist, UCD Archives.