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Book of Kells (Dublin, Trinity College, MS 58), f. 200r. Retrieved through IIIF from

A module for identifying agents - encompassing persons, peoples and organisations - and managing information about them has been around for many years, continually evolving as time went by, but what was absent all this time is a public interface for accessing relevant data in a user-friendly way.

This is a first attempt at offering such an interface, which is provided "as-is" and should be considered beta-quality for now (not that there is any official product release cycle as such but using the label is a convenient means to sound the right alarm bells). It currently consists of a basic search, aggregated data overviews for individual agents, and hover-card labels that you will meet elsewhere in the catalogue.

I am aware of duplicates, uneven coverage and other shortcomings that typically arise from the progressive nature of this website or simply, lack of personpower. An earlier version of the interface was available to editors partly because it helps us address some of those issues. None of these objections, however, seemed to weigh heavily against the alternative, which is having nothing at all to offer.

Note that for convenience's sake, many agents are not formally indexed but are nonetheless included by exclusive virtue of being linked. It is a wonderful forte of the system that allows us to retrieve and bring together disparate data from disparate data sources, but some useful metadata will be missing and discoverability is more limited as a result. For instance, we may be linking to a scribe whose name and associated data can be retrieved and presented, but without, say, a floruit it will be difficult to find this person within the appropriate time range. I say "difficult" because it is possible, to an extent, to rely on the dates we have, if any, for associated objects (manuscripts, scribal hands), but such a circuitous approach comes with limitations of its own and is not necessarily methodologically sound.

Meanwhile, I hope that the new interface will improve your experience in using this website. Next up are thematic categories for scribes (in the broadest, non-pejorative sense of the word), authors and scholars.

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Randomised results

  • William Maurice
    d. 1680
    Welsh antiquary, collector of manuscripts
  • Owen Jones [Owain Myfyr]
    Welsh skinner and antiquary
  • Art Mac Bionaid
    Irish scholar, scribe and poet.
  • Peadar Ó Longáin
    Peattair/Peadar Ó Longáin, scribe who was based in Co. Cork and belonged to the Ó Longáin family of scribes; son of Mícheál Óg and brother of Pól Ó Longáin.
  • Anchorite of Llandewi Brefi
    fl. mid–14th century
    Anonymous scribe usually known as the ‘anchorite of Llandewi Brefi’.
  • Anonymous [LU scribe M]
  • Hywel Fychan ap Hywel Goch
    fl. 14th century
    Hywel Fychan ap Hywel Goch was a fourteenth century Welsh scribe. He was a man with clerical training who knew Latin and was able to edit and organize a book. He also wrote lawbooks.  Hywel Fychan is most famous for being the chief scribe of the Red Book of Hergest (Oxford, Jesus College, MS 111). He is also connected to Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, Peniarth MS 11; Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, Llanstephan MS 27 (Llyfr Coch Talgarth); and Philadelphia, Library Company, MS 8680.O. He furthermore made a contribution to the Culchwch ac Olwen-text of the White Book of Rhydderch (Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, Peniarth 4-5) on folio 83v.
  • Maoílechlainn Ó Cianáin
    fl. late 15th century
    Irish scribe responsible for Dublin, King's Inns, MS 12-13 (c. 1491/2), a compilation of classical Greco-Roman tales in Irish
  • John David Rhys
    Welsh physician, scholar and grammarian
  • Thomas Arthur
    Limerick physician educated at Bordeaux and a Catholic with an interest in devotional literature. One of his better known patients was bishop James Ussher, who at one time appears to have lent him a manuscript of the so-called Kilkenny recension of Latin lives of Irish saints. A manuscript of transcripts by Thomas is still extant.
  • Anonymous [hand of CTC B.10.5]
    s. viii
  • Pól Ó Longáin
    scribe who was based in Co. Cork and belonged to the Ó Longáin family of scribes; son of Mícheál Óg and brother of Peadar Ó Longáin.
  • James Scurry
    Irish: Séamus Ó Scoireadh, farmer, scholar and translator from Kilkenny.
  • Francis Cherry [English non-juror]
    1665–23 September 1713
    English non-juror (i.e. clergyman who did not acknowledge William III and Mary II); philanthropist, and patron of Thomas Hearne.
  • Thomas Carte
    English clergyman (C of E) and historian.
  • Authors

    A random selecton of authors and those so described.

  • Áedán mac Melláin
    fl. ?
    early Munster poet of whom little is known. The tale Cath Maige Mucrama cites a quatrain beg. Usce Máge cenbad sruth (§ 5), perhaps ascribed to him, which says that the river Maigue (Co. Cork and Co. Limerick) passes by his courtyard (les).
  • Tadhg Ó Neachtain
    c.1670–c. 1752
    Irish scribe and scholar, son of Seán Ó Neachtain.
  • Augustinus Hibernicus
    fl. mid–7th c.
    theologian and author of the Hiberno-Latin treatise De mirabilibus sacrae scripturae, sometimes attributed to a certain Augustine, hence the use of the phrase Augustinus Hibernicus (the Irish Augustine) or Pseudo-Augustine.
  • Conaire Ó Cléirigh
    s. xvii
    A brother of Mícheál Ó Cléirigh and one of the occasional assistants of the Four Masters.
  • Dafydd Ddu of Hiraddug
    d. by 1371
    Welsh poet and editor of a Welsh bardic grammar.
  • Broccán clóen
    d. 650
  • Tadhg Cam Ó Cléirigh
    d. 1492
    According to his obit in AFM s.a. 1492, ollamh to the Uí Dhomhnaill in history, poetry and literature (i n-eiccsi, h-i filidheacht ⁊ a senchus).
  • John of Cornwall
    d. in/after 1198
    Theologian and author.
  • Fíngen mac Luchta
    In Airne Fíngein (‘Fíngen's vigil’), a prince (rígdomna) of Munster, who stands on top of Druim Fíngin one Samain night when he meets Rothníam, a woman of the síd, and through her learns of a series of wonders associated with the birth of Conn Cétchathach.
  • William Hals
    Cornish antiquarian, author of a History of Cornwall (published, posthumously, in 1750) and a (misguided) Cornish-English vocabulary.
  • Siôn Tudur
    d. 3 April 1602
    Welsh poet who was mostly active in North Wales.
  • Mongán mac Fiachnai
  • The Morrígan
    deity or supernatural figure in medieval Irish literature, frequently associated with war and destruction; she sometimes appears as part of a triad with Macha and the Badb; also associated with Nemain.
  • Aonghus Ruadh Ó Dálaigh
    d. 1617
    Irish poet; composed a series of satirical verses on Gaelic families that is known collectively as Muintir fhiodhnacha na mionn.
  • Dáibhí Ó Bruadair
    fl. 1625–c.1698(?)
    Prolific Irish poet.