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The Watermarks in Irish Documents project aims to create and make freely available a record of watermarks that occur in documents originating in or pertaining to Ireland from the late Medieval period (when paper first appears as a writing material in Ireland) down through succeeding centuries.

Cuid tábhachtach de stair an Leabhair in Éirinn is ea teacht an pháipéir mar ábhar graifneoireachta sna lámhscríbhinní Gaeilge. Tarlaíonn sé sin go hobann, más ea, ag tús na seachtú haoise déag, ach tá dornán lámhscríbhinní páipéir ar marthain ón dara leath den gcúigiú haois déag ar aghaidh. Soláthraíonn úsáid an pháipéir i gcomhthéacsaí eile (i gcáipéisíocht oifigiúil stáit agus cathrach, mar shampla) bonn comparáideach don staidéar seo, díreach mar a dheineann teacht an chló go hÉirinn ó lár na séú haoise déag amach. Tionscnamh taighde de chuid Roinn na Nua-Ghaeilge, Coláiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh, is ea é seo, a chuireann roimhe gabháil dhigiteach a dhéanamh ar na comharthaí uisce agus iad a léiriú maille le meiteashonraí a thagann le caighdeáin idirnáisiúnta.

A particular, though not exclusive, focus of the project is the recording of watermarks in Irish language material, manuscript and printed. 1600 A.D. is a useful cut-off date for the sudden transfer from vellum to paper which occurred at that time, but a trickle of paper manuscripts had already begun in the second half of the 15th century: the earliest surviving paper Gaelic manuscript written in Ireland dates from 1478. The earliest book printed in Ireland, the Book of Common Prayer, was produced in Dublin in 1551; the earliest Gaelic book printed in Ireland appeared in 1571 (Aibidil Gaoidheilge & Caiticiosma), followed just over thirty years later by one of the great achievements of scholarship and typography of the period, the Irish translation of the New Testament, Tiomna Nuadh ár dTighearna, printed in Dublin in 1602.

For further information on this project, please contact Professor Pádraig Ó Macháin

 

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the following for their interest and participation in this project: The Library of the Royal Irish Academy; Dublin City Library and Archive; Special Collections, NUI Galway; Special Collections, University College Cork; Waterford City and County Archives; an Dr Liam Mac Amhlaigh; Aidan O’Donoghue; Eibhlín and Harry Vaughan.