The eighth-century Book of Kells, the most extravagant and complex of the Insular Gospel books, was released as an iPad app on November 16. With its high quality screen and physical size akin to that of the manuscript, the iPad is the perfect platform to showcase the decorative skills of the scribes and the rich and varied colors used to illuminate the text.
Renowned for its lavish decoration, the Book of Kells is housed in the Trinity College Library in Dublin and attracts more than 500,000 visitors every year. The app contains all 680 surviving pages of the manuscript, allowing the user to scroll through the manuscript page by page, as well as other special features and content. It is intended to replace previous electronic reproductions of the manuscript which had been released on DVD-ROM and CD-ROM.
The app features the entire manuscript in high resolution, with 21 of the most highly decorated pages viewable at up to 6 times their actual size, as well as categories of decorative themes that users can peruse, including initial letters, animals, and other symbols.
It also can be projected from the iPad for use in classrooms and presentations. For more information, view the Book of Kells website.