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.

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Randomised results

  • Seán Riabhach Ó Duibhgheannáin
    16th century
    Irish scribe
  • Amhlaoibh Ó Súilleabháin
    Irish businessman, storyteller and schoolteacher, known for writing a diary, largely in Irish, between 1827 and 1835.
  • Anonymous [hand of CTC B.10.5]
    s. viii
  • Aodh Buidhe Ó Leighin
    Irish scribe and scholar of the Uí Léighin of Fermoy, whose scribal contributions include medicinal and astronomical texts.
  • Seán Ó Cléirigh [d. 1846]
    Seán (or John) Ó Cleirigh, Irish scribe who could probably claim descent from certain illustrious scholars of the Uí Chléirigh, even if his own testimony seems fuzzy and inconsistent. He appears to have had, perhaps inherited, an unknown number of Irish manuscripts written by or associated with Cú Choigcríche Ó Cléirigh, five of which he brought to Dublin in 1817.
  • Aindrias Mac Mathghamhna
    fl. second half of the 18th century
    Aindrias Mac Mathghamhna, Irish scribe
  • Muiris Ó Gormáin
    d. c.1794
    Irish scribe and schoolmaster who lived in Dublin
  • John Leland
    English antiquary and poet.
  • 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.
  • Robeartus Mac Síthigh
    fl. early 15th century
    Robeartus Mac Síthigh, 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.
  • Anonymous [LU scribe M]
  • Solamh Ó Droma
    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.
  • Ó Luinín family
    learned family of legal historians
  • 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.
  • Aodh Ó Maolmhuaidh
    fl. 18th c.
    Irish scribe.
  • Authors

    A random selecton of authors and those so described.

  • Seaán mac Ruaidhrí Mac Craith
    fl. mid–14th century
    Irish historian, member of the Meic Craith (Magraths) who appear as a hereditary family of bardic poets. He is reputed to have written the Caithréim Thoirdhealbhaigh.
  • Thomas Price [Tomos Prys]
    Welsh poet, adventurer; son of Ellis Prys of Plas Iolyn, Denbighshire.
  • Seán Ó Cearnaigh
    Irish translator
  • Anonymous [LU scribe H]
    s. xii
    Anonymous scribe, usually known simply as H or the Interpolator, who significantly annotated, revised and interpolated parts of the Lebor na hUidre (RIA MS 23 E 25) and sometimes intercalated leaves to add material. The modern name H stands for ‘Homilist’, which stems from the fact that he added two homilies, Scéla laí brátha and Scéla na hEsérgi. His identity, background and precise floruit remain uncertain.
  • Rhygyfarch ap Sulien
  • Óengus of Tallaght
    fl. early part of the 9th century
    author of Félire Óengusso
  • Hywel Dafi
    fl. c.1440 – c.1485
    Hywel ap Dafydd ab Ieuan ap Rhys, al. Hywel Dafi, Welsh poet
  • Ieuan Brydydd Hir
    fl. 15th century
    Welsh poet from Ardudwy (Mer).
  • William Reeves
    Irish antiquarian scholar; bishop of the Anglican see of Down, Connor and Dromore; keeper of the Armagh Public Library
  • Saunders Lewis
    Welsh poet and dramatist, politican and historian
  • Torna Ó Maoil Chonaire
    ob. 1468
    Irish poet, ollamh of the Uí Chonchobhair.
  • Malsachanus
    s. viii
    Hiberno-Latin grammarian
  • Seán Ó Neachtain
    Irish poet, prose writer, and teacher; was born in Co. Roscommon and settled in Dublin.
  • Ollam mac Delbaíth
    Ollam (‘chief poet’) mac Delbaíth, minor character of the Túatha Dé Danann who is given as the father of Aí (‘poetic inspiration’) and then sometimes as a son of Delbáeth.
  • Muirgheas mac Pháidín Ó Maoil Chonaire
    d. 1543
    Muirgheas mac Pháidín Uí Maoil Chonaire, of Cluain Plocáin, scribe and compiler of the Book of Fenagh (RIA MS 23 P 26).