explore some of the world's oldest and most beautiful books
Our aim is to further the enjoyment and study of early Irish medieval books, through this collection of images, information, stories and resources. Manuscripts created in the "insular style" were produced by Irish monks throughout the British Isles (and beyond) in the early medieval period. Isolated from the Roman Empire and other monastic traditions, influenced by Celtic and Anglo-Saxon culture, a distinctive style of design and script emerged. Pangur's Bookshelf takes its name from a cat named Pangur Bán, who was immortalized in a poem by his owner, a 9th c. scribe. Pangur Bán worked at chasing mice as the scribe worked at his manuscript--the poem, about "White Pangur", ended up in the margin of his project. Pangur Bán is a good example of the clever and playful nature of many insular books.
Pangur's Bookshelf is still growing--please bookmark us and visit again soon!