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Above: A folio from the Book of Fenagh containing an ornate, glossed passage requesting a prayer for its patron, Tadhg O’Roddy. (RIA MS 23 P 26, fol. 39r)

The Book of Fenagh (RIA MS 23 P 26 [cat. no. 479]) is a vellum manuscript which now comprises 41 folios, some having been lost at an unknown point in its history. The manuscript was carefully written in an elegant script on good-quality vellum. Though relatively modest in length, it was nonetheless a prestige manuscript, and the scribe emulated older vellum manuscripts by including some decorated initial capital letters. It remained in the hands of the O’Roddy family until the nineteenth century and was bought by the Royal Irish Academy in 1888 for £10. It was digitised and published on-line in 2003 (www.isos.dias.ie), which should facilitate new avenues of research on the manuscript itself while preserving the original for future generations of scholars.

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