Friends indeed! Unprecedented philanthropic response secures unique artefact for Ireland

TCD MS 11500One of the few remaining manuscripts from the medieval Cistercian abbey of St Mary ‘near Dublin’ has returned to Ireland after four centuries.

Lost to the world of scholarship since the 18th century, the fourteenth-century St Mary’s Abbey manuscript has not been in Ireland since the 16th century. It is the first Irish medieval manuscript to have been offered for sale in over a century.

Professor Seán Duffy, Jane Maxwell and Dr Bernard Meehan

Professor Seán Duffy, Jane Maxwell and Dr Bernard Meehan

The level of enthusiasm among scholars, across the university and among the wider historically-minded community in Ireland, for the return of this manuscript to Dublin, was given practical expression once the sale had been announced last Summer: the Library turned to its alumni and friends, seeking the necessary support for this acquisition, and the response was unprecedented. Apart from the generosity of  departments and groups within College, support was also received from the Friends of the National Collections of Ireland, the Cistercian Order in Ireland, Glenstal Abbey and the Sisters of Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary in Roscrea

IMG_9718 croppedIMG_9719 croppedA press launch announcing the acquisition, on 19 March, was followed by an event to thank the donors who were invited to a special viewing of the new arrival. They were then addressed by the Keeper of Manuscripts Bernard Meehan, the Professor of Medieval History at Trinity Seán Duffy and scholar Br Colmán Ó Clábaigh, OSB.

Jane Maxwell

Links to media coverage


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