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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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  • Uilliam Mac Dhuibhne
    fl. 15th c.
    Irish scholar and scribe who adapted Innocent III’s tract De contemptu mundi in Irish.
  • William M. Hennessy
    d. 1889
  • John Wynn [1553-1627]
    d. 1627
    Welsh politician and landowner, member of the Wynn family of Gwydir (Caernarfonshire) and author of a history of that family.
  • Máel Brigte húa Máel Úanaig
  • 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.
  • Broccán [scribe]
    suppl fl. 5th century
    Irish saint noted for having been a scribe (scríbnid) of Saint Patrick’s household. There are other saints of the same name or name-group (Broc, Broccaid, Broccán) who were said to be related to St Patrick, such as Broccaid of Emlagh (Co. Roscommon) and Broccán of Breachmagh/Breaghey (Co. Armagh), both of whom are given as a son of Patrick’s sister Darerca. Ó Riain has suggested that they may have all originated as a single individual.
  • Philip O'Sullivan Beare
    d. 1634 or after
    Irish historian and author, of the O'Sullivans of Beare and Bantry, who lived as an exile in Spain and Portugal, following the Nine Years’ War and the Irish defeat at Kinsale. He wrote a number of Latin treatises on subjects of Irish interest.
  • Aindrias Mac Mathghamhna
    fl. second half of the 18th century
    Aindrias Mac Mathghamhna, Irish scribe
  • Mícheál Óg Ó Longáin
    Irish scribe; son of Mícheál mac Peadair Ó Longáin
  • Thomas Tenison
    English clergyman, archbishop of Canterbury (1694–1715).
  • Paitín Ó Duibhgheannáin
    fl. 16th century
    Irish scribe from a learned family of historians
  • Stiabhna Ríghis
    s. xviiex–xviii1
    Stiabhna Ríghis/Rís or Stephen Rice, a Munster scribe who became active in Dublin and befriended Tadhg Ó Neachtáin.
  • Domhnall Ó Teimhinn
    s. xviiiin
    Domhnall Ó Teimhinn (or perhaps Teinn), Irish scribe
  • Corc Óg Ó Cadhla
    ''fl'' .1570s–80s
    Irish medical scribe
  • Henri Dahelou
    s. xiv
  • Authors

    A random selecton of authors and those so described.

  • Roderic O'Flaherty
    Roderic(k) O'Flaherty / Ruaidhrí (Óg) Ó Flaithbheartaigh, Irish nobleman, historian and collector of manuscripts; author of Ogygia seu rerum Hibernicarum chronologia (1685).
  • Comgán Mac Dá Cherda
    fl. first half of the 7th century
    Poet and fool (óinmit) in Irish literature; a son of Máel Ochtraig (king of the Déisi Muman) and a contemporary of Cummíne Fota. The name Mac Dá Cherda would mean ‘Son of Two Arts’, but seeing as it may go back to an original Moccu Cherda (as suggested by Jackson and Ó Coileáin) it is perhaps best spelled conservatively, without lengthening in Da.
  • Elis Gruffydd
    Welsh administrator and soldier as well as a chronicler and translator, who is probably known for having compiled an extensive Welsh-language chronicle of world history.
  • Richard Holland
    15th century
    Scottish cleric associated with Archibald Douglas, earl of Moray, and author of the early Scots verse fable The booke of the howlat.
  • Llywelyn ap Gutun
    fl. c. 1480
    Welsh poet.
  • Dúngal of Saint-Denis and Pavia
    d. after 827/828
    Irish scholar, teacher and poet known for his career on the continent, who was associated with Saint-Denis, Pavia and Bobbio.
  • Coirpre mac Étaíne
    Legendary poet and satirist of the Túatha Dé Danann.
  • Aogán Ó Rathaille
    Aogán/Aodhagán Ó Rathaille (Egan O'Rahilly), Irish poet.
  • Diarmaid mac Taidhg Chaim Ó Cléirigh
    d. 1522
    Irish scholar, historian and poet, who was a son of Tadhg Cam Ó Cléirigh. His obit in the Annals of Ulster describes him as a duine maith ealadhna and sai re sencus ⁊ fer dána maith. He was slain in 1522.
  • Columbanus
    fl. c.550–d. 615
    Irish peregrinus, scholar, abbot and monastic founder known chiefly for his activities in the kingdoms of Merovingian Gaul and Lombard Italy. His foundations included Luxeuil and Bobbio.
  • Isidore of Seville
    Archbishop of Sevilla (Visigothic Spain), theologian, scholar and highly influential author, who is known especially for works such as his Etymologiae, Synonyma, De natura rerum, De ortu et obitu patrum, De officiis ecclesiasticis and a Chronica maiora.
  • Malsachanus
    s. viii
    Hiberno-Latin grammarian
  • Fothud na Canóine
    d. 819
    early Irish poet who was attached to the church of Othain (now Fahan, Inishowen barony, Co. Donegal)
  • Gilla in Choimded ua Cormaic
    11th/12th century?
  • Marie de France
    fl. late 12th century
    Medieval poet from France, who was active at the court of King Henry II; author of twelve Lais, an Isopet (collection of fables), and the Espurgatoire seint Patriz.