Today, the Link Year students traveled from Belfast to Dublin (a 2 hour journey). The first stop that we made was at the Library of Trinity College Dublin to see the Book of Kells. I was the “tour guide” for this stop, which means that I got to sit at the front of the bus with Mark (our driver) and give a brief history of the Book of Kells and explain what the future viewers could be expecting.
I told my fellow students that the Books of Kells is a manuscript of the four Gospels, written on calfskin. I explained the history of these manuscripts, that they were written around 800 AD in monasteries located on small islands between Scotland and Ireland. The Book of Kells came to Trinity College Dublin in the 19thcentury and since then has been taken great care of, having undergone extensive restoration and being kept under very secure conditions. I explained to my fellow students that a part of the school’s attempts to keep the Book of Kells manuscripts in the best possible condition, only two of the four volumes were on display for them to see. I painted word pictures for my peers of brilliantly copies, elegant script and vividly vibrant illustrations. Many of my classmates were inspired. The Books of Kells was one of the tours we had to pay for ourselves; many of my classmates made the decision to pay the fee and see the Book of Kells.
Many people described the Book of Kells as: “magnificent,” “breathtaking,” and “inspiring.” Everyone that I later spoke with agreed that seeing the Book of Kells was a highlight of their trip and that they were elated with their decision to view these manuscripts.