Ancient scripts to go online


Some of Ireland's most famous manuscripts, including the Book of Leinster compiled in the second half of the 12th century, will soon be available on the Internet.

Manager of the project, Dr Padraig O Machain of the School of Celtic Studies said that the participants were conscious of advances in information technology and were anxious to see how it could be used for people doing research into manuscripts.

Irish Script on Screen (ISOS),, which will be launched next Thursday, is a co-operative project between the School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies and the School of Computer Applications at Dublin City University in partnership with Trinity College Library. The project aims to create an electronic resource of scholarly, educational and cultural interest that can be accessed from around the world. It will contribute to the preservation of the original manuscripts because they will no longer need to be handled by researchers.

ISOS aims to produce high-resolution digital images of Irish manuscripts for display on the World Wide Web. The manuscript originals for the pilot stage of the project were provided by Mount Melleray Abbey, Co Waterford, and the website will be created and run by the School of Computer Applications. E and The Irish Times on multimedia projects.

ISOS's main thrust is the Book of Leinster but it also aims to digitise the complete collection of Irish medical manuscripts in TCD. whose The 28 manuscripts account for over more than a quarter of all existing medical manuscripts in Irish.