The Book of Kells, by Edward Sullivan, , at sacred-texts.com
THE Editor desires to acknowledge his indebtedness to the late Rev. Dr. Abbott, Librarian of Trinity College, Dublin, who kindly gave permission and every facility for the reproduction of the pages from the Book of Kells which appear in this volume. Special thanks are due to the Sub-Librarian, Mr. Alfred de Burgh, whose invaluable assistance and untiring pains in revising the reproductions at various stages of the work reduced very considerably the difficulties with which the engravers were faced. As mentioned by Sir Edward Sullivan towards the end of his Introduction, the compound letters shown in the last five plates are from remarkably clever copies made by the late Mrs. John R. D’Olier. Her son, the late Mr. Isaac D’Olier, kindly placed the copies at the disposal of the Editor for reproduction in the present volume.
To those who have not examined the Book of Kells two features in the plates may require explanation; viz., the cut margins, which in some cases have damaged the designs; and the variation in the tones of the backgrounds. Both these defects are present in the original manuscript. The first, as explained on page 6 of the Introduction, is due to the ignorance of some incompetent binder to whom the priceless volume was entrusted about one hundred years ago; and the second is caused by discolouration, for which age and the fact that the Manuscript was for some time buried under the soil are probably responsible.