Scribes, Scholars and Saints: Book of Kells (Part 2)

Scribes, Scholars and Saints: Book of Kells (Part 2)

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Trinity College




Transmission 30/08/1987


26min 01sec







Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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Dr George Simms delves into the history of the Book of Kells, looking particularly at the art work and calligraphy which fills its pages.

Setting the scene, Simms educates the viewer on the early christian church in Ireland and the various locations where buildings can be found which tell the church's history. The Book of Kells assists in showing what people were like and did at the time of the early church.

Proudly proclaiming it "the most beautiful book in the world", Simms then begins to discuss the intricacy which goes into the pages with Brother Timothy O'Neill demonstrating cutting pages from calf skin and how to prepare the quill and ink before finishing with finally putting 'quill' to paper. Though the work in the Book of Kells seems anonymous, the artist/'s add their own mark on every page with the passages being "a riot of colour".

Concluding the episode, the  audience is told an antidote about a scribe and his white cat.  


A UTV Production.


Written and presented by Dr. George Simms

Executive Producer: Andrew Crockart

Produced and Directed: Donald Taylor Black

Ulster Television would like to thank: The Board of Trinity College Dublin, National Museum of Ireland, Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland, Commissioners of Irish Lights, Timothy O’Neill, Roscrea Heritage Centre, Fine Art Facsimile Publishers of Switzerland, John Kennedy (The Green Studio, Dublin), University College Dublin, Joe McDonagh, The Off-Line Suite, Dublin.  



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