Conservation work on the Great Book of Ireland
The vellum manuscript, which has been described by Mary Robinson as a modern day Book of Kells, has been acquired by UCC and is now safely housed in Special Collections. I have been involved in book conservation in UCC for about 10 years, and in conjunction with Cronan O'Doibhlin and the archivists, have been preparing this volume for its relaunchCareful housing, handling, future exhibitions, digital imaging and long term safe storage are issues, as well as condition reports and conservation treatments.
|Cronan O'Doibhlin, Conservator Paul Curtis, |
Seamus Heaney, President Michael D. Higgins
Over the past few months I have been working on digital imaging, ( using the talents of David Davidson ) and controlling the display conditions leading up to the launch in UCC on 18th January.
The Great Book of Ireland , which comprises the original work of nine composers, 121 artists and 143 poets, is a handbound vellum manuscript with original artworks, poetry and calligraphy.
Bound using Irish vellum in goatskin, over elm boards hewn from a tree planted by W. B . Yeats in Thoor Ballylee.
Three literature Nobel Laureates, Samuel Becket, Seamus Heaney and Derek Walcott feature.
It was produced in Dublin between 1989 and 1991.
President Michael D. Higgins marked the acquisition at a special ceremony in UCC, attended by many of the original poets and artists.
With original pieces by Louis le Brocquy, with Samuel Beckett's last ever handwritten contribution receiving particular attention.
|Head of Samuel Beckett by Louis le Brocquy|