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Irish Manuscripts

Date range: 15th, 18th and 19th centuries

Medium: Manuscript

Number of items: Over 130 items, in English and Irish.

The sole 15th-century manuscript is a valuable Materia Medica, based on Latin herbal dictionaries (Irish MS 35).

The remainder of the collection consists primarily of literary (Fenian and Ossianic tales and poems), historical, genealogical and grammatical works from the library of the Irish scholar Denis Henry Kelly (1797–1877), which were purchased by the 25th Earl of Crawford at the Denis H. Kelly sale in Dublin in 1875. There are numerous transcripts by well-known 19th-century scholars of important manuscripts, which were formerly in the Royal Irish Academy but are now lost.

Further information:

  • Majority of items are listed on the National Library of Ireland’s Sources database.
  • Unpublished outline list produced for the Earls of Crawford, available via Special Collections Reading Rooms.
  • Janet Wallwork, ‘Irish treasures of the John Rylands Library Mancheste’, History Workshop Journal, vol. 31 (1991), pp.136–44.
  • Irish MS 35 is catalogued in detail in N. R. Ker, Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries, III, Lampeter - Oxford (Oxford, 1983), pp. 456-8. Copy available via Special Collections Reading Rooms.


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