Agents persons, peoples and institutions

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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.

Last added

Randomised results

  • Brian Ó Fearghail
    Irish scribe and agricultural worker.
  • Uilliam Mac an Leagha
    fl. 15th century
    Irish author, translator and scribe
  • Pádraig Ó Pronntaigh
    d. c.1760
    Ulster poet and scribe, who in one of his manuscripts gives his name as Pádraig Ua Pronntaigh mhic Néill mhic Seadhain, ó Loch Eírne.
  • Máel Brigte húa Máel Úanaig
  • Donnchadh Ó Floinn [d. 1830]
    d. 1830
    Donnchadh (Bán) Ó Floinn, Irish scribe, scholar and publisher from Cork.
  • 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.
  • William Jordan [of Helston]
    fl. 1611
    Cornishman responsible for an incomplete transcript of the Cornish biblical play known as The creacion of the world or Gwreans an bys.
  • Conchubhar Mhágaodh
    s. xvii
    Irish scribe.
  • John Goolde [friar and scribe]
    fl. c.17th century, first half
    Friar, guardian of the Franciscan friary in Cashel, and scribe who was responsible for a copy of the Vitae sanctorum Hiberniae and had worked together with the Four Masters.
  • John O'Donovan
    Irish scholar
  • Muiris Ó Gormáin
    d. c.1794
    Irish scribe and schoolmaster who lived in Dublin
  • Corc Óg Ó Cadhla
    ''fl'' .1570s–80s
    Irish medical scribe
  • Stiabhna Ríghis
    s. xviiex / s. xviii1
    Stiabhna Ríghis/Rís or Stephen Rice, a Munster scribe who became active in Dublin and befriended Tadhg Ó Neachtáin.
  • Risteard Ó Conchubhair
    Irish scribe and physician from a medical family in Ossory.
  • Thaddeus Connellan
    Irish-language scholar and scribe.
  • Authors

    A random selecton of authors and those so described.

  • Risteard Ó Conchubhair
    Irish scribe and physician from a medical family in Ossory.
  • Risteard Pluincéad
    fl. 1662
    Franciscan friar of Trim and compiler of a Latin-Irish dictionary.
  • Seán Lúid
    Irish schoolmaster from Limerick; author of Short tour, or an impartial and accurate description of the County of Clare (1780).
  • Eochaid ua Flannucáin
    Irish poet and scholar, who was guestmaster at Armagh and superior at Cluain Fiachna (Clonfeacle). He was identified by Rudolf Thurneysen as the poet Eochaid úa Flainn, to whom several poems, most of them in the Lebor gabála, are attributed. This identification has gained favour over the years. In order not to pre-judge the matter, the two are distinguished in the present catalogue.
  • Rechtgal úa Síadail
    fl. late 8th / early 9th century
    Old Irish poet
  • Eoghan Ó Caoimh
    Munster poet and scribe.
  • Riaguil of Bennchor
    fl. 8th/9th century?
    The name ‘Riaguil of Bennchor’, suggesting a religious associated with the monastery of Bennchor (Bangor, Co. Down), is attested for: (1) a saint commemorated in the martyrologies of Tallaght and Donegal under 11 June, and (2) a poet to whom a couple of verses on the battle of Dún Nechtain (685) are attributed. Although the first name, presumably a monastic name, is relatively rare, it is possible but by no means certain that they refer to the same person.
  • Huw Pennant [Syr]
    fl. 15th century (second half)–1514
    Welsh poet; scribe of Peniarth MS 182.
  • Cellán of Péronne
    d. 706
    Irish churchman, fourth abbot of St Fursa’s foundation in Péronne, Neustria, in what became Picardy, France. From William of Malmesbury, he is known to have corresponded with Aldhelm. He has been identified as the author of a number of Latin  poems. The Lorsch annals give his obit under 706.
  • Finn mac Cumaill
    Finn mac Cumaill (earlier mac Umaill?), Find úa Báiscni: central hero in medieval Irish and Scottish literature of the so-called Finn Cycle; warrior-hunter and leader of a fían
  • Gilla Cóemáin
    fl. 1072
    Middle Irish poet
  • Coirpre mac Étaíne
    Legendary poet and satirist of the Túatha Dé Danann.
  • Dafydd ab Edmwnd
    fl. 1450–1490
    Welsh poet.
  • Martin of Laon
    Irish scholar and teacher at the cathedral school at Laon.
  • Morann
    mythical judge (brithem) who is said to have given instructions of wisdom to the young king of Tara, Feradach Find Fechtnach son of Crimthann Nia Náir, after the revolt of the aithech-thúatha; besides Audacht Morainn, a number of further texts relating to wisdom and law are attributed to him.