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The Medieval Mile Museum in Kilkenny played host to a significant scholarly endeavor as it welcomed the Inks and Skins project with open arms. Led by Professor Pádraig Ó Macháin, head of the Modern Irish Department at University College Cork, and accompanied by Research Assistants Veronica Biolcati and Anna Hoffmann, this interdisciplinary project embarked on a profound exploration of Kilkenny's Liber Primus book. The Liber Primus, a medieval treasure on display within the Kilkenny Room of the Medieval Mile Museum, unveils the civic records of Kilkenny spanning from 1231 to 1537. This invaluable tome offers a remarkable glimpse into the everyday life of medieval Kilkenny,
encompassing matters such as price regulations for bread and social customs of the city. A testament to its historical significance, the book boasts text contributed by numerous scribes
over the course of centuries, offering a fascinating record of medieval script-writing techniques.
At the heart of the Inks and Skins project, funded through the Irish Research Council Advanced Laureate Award, lies the meticulous investigation of the writing supports and the composition of inks and pigments employed by secular scholars responsible for crafting
Gaelic vellum hand-written books between 1100 and 1600. Notably, the projects and experts are scrutinizing the composition of ink used in the Liber Primus, seeking to discern the
ingredients that constituted it, such as the use of oak gall—a substance derived from grinding growths cut from oak tree trunks—that was commonly employed by medieval
scribes. Further enriching their inquiry, the Inks and Skins team is subjecting the books pages, crafted from both sheep and cow skin, to an array of cutting-edge analyses, including enhanced visual examination, multi-spectral imaging, and X-Ray Fluorescence scanning.
This endeavor promises to illuminate the intricate process behind the creation of medieval books, while also enabling valuable comparisons of book-making techniques across the
entire island of Ireland. For those intrigued by this project pursuit of historical enlightenment, more information can be found on the official project website at https://inksandskins.org/about/.

 For booking, please email info@medievalmilemuseum.ie

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