The Book of Kells: free online course!

Detail from folio 114r © The Board of Trinity College, University of Dublin [IE TCD MS 58]

I’m a big fan of MOOC’s: Massive Open Online Courses. I follow them regularly on several platforms. If, like me, you are always interested in learning something new, this is an easy way to start. You can fit it into your schedule and ,usually, MOOC’s are free of cost.

If you browse these online platforms, like Futurelearn, EdX, or Coursera, you’ll discover a ton of interesting courses for history buffs. Medieval history is well represented with courses from renowned universities all over the world. Courses vary in length and in the level of actively participating: some have assignments and tests, some don’t.

Online platform Futurelearn will offer ‘The Book of Kells: Exploring and Irish Medieval masterpiece’ again, after a very succesfull run in 2018. I joined this course then, because I love this most famous medieval Irish manuscript. And although I visited the Book of Kells exhibition in Dublin at Trinity college, I learned a lot of new stuff.

This is a short course of 4 weeks and will explain not only the historical context, but also how a book like this is made. It shows you the entire journey through history of this book, untill it was put on display on permanent display at Trinity College. You’d be surprised what uses and abuses have marked this book in a 1200-year journey!

The course is taught by Dr. Rachel Moss (Associate Professor in the History of Art and Architecture) and Dr. Fáinche Ryan (Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology and Director of the Loyola Institute, both at Trinity College Dublin. Aided by short video’s, articles, photo’s and source material, they will share their knowledge in a very accesible manner.

If you really can’t wait, you can take a good preview of the digital Book of Kells. It is available for the public, since not everyone has the opportunity to visit the exhibition. And even if you do, there are only 2 pages on display at a time. You can find the complete manuscript at the digital collection of Trinity College Library.

Folio’s 12r, 27v en 34r. © The Board of Trinity College, University of Dublin [IE TCD MS 58]

>> Join now, together with many enthousiasts from all over the world, and start the course at March 18th. Enjoy!<<

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