RCB Library Notes
Red Book of Ossory
In response to a local initiative the RCB Library has had the Red Book of Ossory digitized. A copy has been presented to the Bishop of Cashel & Ossory, the Rt Revd Michael Burrows, which will facilitate local access to the manuscript. The original register will continue to be stored in the RCB Library but access to it, in the first instance will be through the digitized copy. This should reduce wear and tear on the original manuscript and the electronic copy, with its facility to zoom in and out, will make easier detailed examination of the manuscript.
Dr Raymond Refaussé shows the Red Book of Ossory to the Bishop of Cashel & Ossory
The Red Book of Ossory is a fourteenth century register of the diocese which is associated with Richard Ledred who was Bishop of Ossory, 1317–60. The volume contains copies of documents which would have been important for the administration of the diocese – constitutions and taxations, memoranda relating to rights and privileges, deeds and royal letters. The register is however, best known for the texts of songs composed by Bishop Ledred for the vicars choral of St Canice’s Cathedral ‘so that their mouths be not defiled with theatrical, foul and secular songs’. It also contains a treatise on acqua vitae.
The digitization of the Red Book of Ossory is the first part of a programme to digitally copy all the medieval manuscripts in the RCB Library.
For further information please contact:
Dr Raymond Refaussé
Librarian and Archivist
E–mail: Librarian and Archivist