This site is currently in the final phase of being upgraded. Not everything may work as intended and in the interim, we are unable to offer you the previous, stable version of the website since we lack the storage capacity to keep both versions running on the server. It should not take long, however, before the final hurdles are overcome.

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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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  • Gwilym Was Da
    fl. c. 1300
    al. Gwilym Wasta, Welsh scribe
  • Murchadh Ó Cuindlis
    ''fl. c''.1400?
    Murchadh (Riabhach) Ó Cuindlis, Irish scribe; pupil of Giolla Íosa Mac Fhir Bhisigh
  • John Leland
    English antiquary and poet.
  • John Windele
    Irish antiquarian and historian in Cork
  • Seáan Ó Cianáin
    d. c.1400
  • Hugh Evans [Denbighshire clergyman, fl. 16th c.]
    fl. 1550s–d. 1587
    A clergyman active in Denbighshire. Evans was born ca. 1523 in Wales. He graduated at Brasenose College in Oxford in 1548-9 and took his MA there in 1553. He held a prebendary at St Paul’s cathedral in 1558. In 1560 he moved to north Wales, where he became dean of St Asaph, Denbighshire (1560-1587); sinecure rector of Cwm, Flintshire (1566-1574); vicar of Northop, Flintshire (1571-1577); and vicar of Henllan, Denbighshire (1582-d.1587). Evans died on 17 December 1587, aged 64 (Marx 2015). It has been suggested (O'Rourke 2003) that he may well have been the same Hugh Evans who was responsible for compiling the composite manuscript NLW Peniarth MS 12.
  • Maghnus Ó Duibhgeannáin
    fl. early 15th century
    Irish scribe, known as one of the three that wrote parts of the Book of Ballymote (RIA MS 23 P 12) under the tutelage of Domnall Mac Aedhagáin.
  • Pádruic Gruamdha Ó Siadhail
    fl. 1657–58
    Irish scribe.
  • John Beaton [of Kilninian]
    fl. second half of the 17th century
    Rev. John Beaton, episcopalian minister of Kilninian, Mull; second son of John Beaton (1594-1657); physician and head of medical family
  • Mac Aodhagáin family
    Mac Aedagáin; MacEgan (anglicized); important learned family of legal historians and scribes based in Connacht and Co. Tipperary.
  • William Reeves
    Irish antiquarian scholar; bishop of the Anglican see of Down, Connor and Dromore; keeper of the Armagh Public Library
  • Seághan Ó Conuill
    fl. 18th/19th century
    Seághan Ó Conuill / John O'Connell, Irish scribe
  • Martin of Laon
    Irish scholar and teacher at the cathedral school at Laon.
  • Ciothruadh mac Taidhg Ruaidh Mac Fhir Bhisigh
    fl. 1510 x 1530
    Mac Fhir Bhisigh, Ciothruadh mac Taidhg Ruaidh - apparently a great-great-grandson of the scribe Giolla Íosa Mac Fhir Bhisigh. He is known primarily because he added a footnote to cols 380–81 of Yellow Book Lecan (TCD 1318), in which he states his name and gives the title of the manuscript as Leabhar buidhe ‘Yellow book’. When Ciothruadh's manuscript was bound together with other, unrelated parts, the title was carried over to the compilation as a whole.
  • Seán Ó Dreada
    Irish scribe and sculptor based in Cork.