Autumn 2013 marks and exciting time for Irish language scholars worldwide with the launch of the 2nd phase of the ISOS project at Trinity College Dublin. Irish Script on Screen (ISOS) is a co-operative project between the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) and Trinity College Library to digitise, and make available online, important Irish language manuscripts from the collections in Trinity College Library.
The purpose of the ISOS project is to provide exposure on the internet for a vital part of Ireland’s cultural heritage; to place these primary materials at the disposal of scholars and students; and to contribute to the conservation of these valuable manuscripts, reducing the need to handle the artefacts themselves.
Trinity College Library has over 240 manuscripts in Irish. The first stage of the TCD/DIAS collaboration began in 1999, with the digitisation of the complete collection of medieval Irish medical manuscripts held in TCD (there are 28 in total), as well as the 12th century Book of Leinster (MS 1339), an anthology of Irish tradition – prose, verse, and genealogy. The second phase will involve six manuscripts in total, with the long-awaited digitisation of some significant Irish legal manuscripts, including a 16th century manuscript containing Brehon law tracts (MS 1336), as well as the Yellow Book of Lecan (MS 1318) a late-14th/early-15th century composite manuscript of medical tracts, grammar and prose, including almost the whole of the Ulster Cycle saga.
The newly digitised Trinity College Library manuscripts are expected to be available online in 2014. See www.isos.dias.ie for further information on the ISOS project and see the M&ARL webpage for further information on our Irish manuscript collection.
Caoimhe Ní Ghormáin