John O'Donovan (scholar)
John O'Donovan, from Atateemore, in the parish of Kilcolumb, County Kilkenny, educated at Hunt's Academy, was an Irish language scholar from Ireland. He was Eleanor Hoberlin of Rochestown, his early career may have been inspired by his uncle Parick O'Donovan. He worked for antiquarian James Hardiman researching state papers and traditional sources at the Public Records Office, he taught Irish to Thomas Larcom for a short period in 1828 and worked for Myles John O'Reilly, a collector of Irish manuscripts. Following the death of Edward O'Reilly in August 1830, he was recruited to the Topographical Department of the first Ordnance Survey of Ireland under George Petrie in October 1830. Apart from a brief period in 1833, he worked for the Survey on place-name researches until 1842, unearthing and preserving many manuscripts. After that date, O'Donovan's work with the Survey tailed off, although he was called upon from time to time to undertake place-name research on a day-to-day basis, he researched maps and manuscripts at many libraries and archives in Ireland and England, with a view to establishing the correct origin of as many of Ireland's 63,000 townland names as possible.
His letters to Larcom are regarded as an important record of the ancient lore of Ireland for those counties he documented during his years of travel throughout much of Ireland. By 1845, O'Donovan was corresponding with the younger scholar William Reeves, much of their correspondence to 1860 survives. O'Donovan became professor of Celtic Languages at Queen's University, was called to the Bar in 1847, his work on linguistics was recognised in 1848 by the Royal Irish Academy, who awarded him their prestigious Cunningham Medal. On the recommendation of Grimm, he was elected a corresponding member of the Royal Academy of Prussia in 1856. Never in great health, he died shortly after midnight on 10 December 1861 at his residence, 36 Upper Buckingham Street, Dublin, he was buried on 13 December 1861 in Glasnevin Cemetery, where his tombstone inscription has wrong dates of both birth and death. He was father of nine children, his wife received a small state pension after his death. In a letter to Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa of 29 May 1856 John O'Donovan gave his lineage as follows: From the senior branch of Clann-Cahill, descended from the elder son Donnell II O'Donovan, married Joanna MacCarthy Reagh of Castle Donovan and who died 1638 Edmond, married Catherine de Burgo, killed 1643.
Conor, married Rose Kavanagh. William, married Mary Oberlin, a Puritan, died 1749. Edmond, married to Mary Archdeacon, died 1798. Edmond, married Mary Oberlin, died 1817. John O'Donovan, L. L. D. Married to Mary Ann Broughton, a descendant of Cromwellian settlers. Edmond 1840 d. 1842, John 1842, Edmond 1844 War Correspondent 1882, William 1846, Richard 1846, Henry dead 1850, Henry 1852, Daniel 1856, Morgan Kavanaugh O'C 1859 d.1860. See Edmund O'Donovan. *O'Donovan Road in the Tenters area of Dublin 8 is named in his honour. An interesting feature of John O'Donovan's works is that he found himself unable to resist asserting the claims of the O'Donovan family to ancient glory, in numerous footnotes and appendices. Thankfully for Irish scholarship, this small, personal failing does not affect the overall quality of O'Donovan's pioneering research. While it has not been possible to prove the great scholar's descent from the Lords of Clancahill, not from another O'Donovan sept, it was nonetheless something in which he stoutly believed.
O'Donovan was undecided and in other notes contended Edmond was a son of Donal II by his first wife Helena de Barry. A Grammar of the Irish Language for St. Columba's College, Dublin Leabhar na gCeart Translations of the Annals of the Four Masters Translation of the Fragmentary Annals of Ireland Translation of the Martyrology of Donegal: A Calendar of the Saints of Ireland by Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Peregrine Ó Duibhgeannain Lughaidh Ó Cléirigh Mícheál Ó Cléirigh James Ussher Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh Encyclopaedia of Ireland, Brian Lalor, P. 813, 2003, Gill and MacMillan ISBN 0-7171-3000-2 A Paper Landscape, the Ordnance Survey in Nineteenth-Century Ireland, J. H. Andrews, 1993, Four Courts press, ISBN 1-85182-664-5 Iris Mhuintir Uì Dhonnabháin, O'Donovan History 2000, Published by the O'Donovan Clan, Ireland. Article by Michael R. O'Donovan John O'Donovan: A Biography, Patricia Boyne, 1987, Kilkenny: Boethius, ISBN 0-86314-139-0 De hÓir É. Seán Ó Donnabháin agus Eoghan Ó Comhraí. Baile Átha Cliath, 1962 MacSweeney P.
A Group of Nation-Builders: O’Donovan — O’Curry — Petrie. Dublin, 1913 Ó Muráile N. Seán Ó Donnabháin, «An Cúigiú Máistir» // Scoláirí Gaeilge: Léchtaí Cholm Cille XXVII / Eag. R. Ó hUiginn. Maigh Nuad, 1997. Lch. 11–82. Rossa's Recollections 1838 to 1898: Memoirs of an Irish Revolutionary by O'Donovan Rossa p. 332–377 relate to John O'Donovan. Published by Globe Pequot, 2004. ISBN 1-59228-362-4 Ordnance Survey of Ireland: Letters Catholic Encyclopaedia Irish Roots John O'Donovan/William Reeves Correspondence Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "John O'Donovan". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Online booksO'Donovan, John, ed; the Banquet of Dun Na n-Gedh and The Battle of Magh Rath, An Ancient Historical Tale, Dublin: The Irish Archaeological Society, retrieved 9 August 2008 O'Donovan, John, ed. (1843
Book of Ballymote
The Book of Ballymote, was written in 1390 or 1391 in or near the town of Ballymote, now in County Sligo, but in the tuath of Corann. This book was compiled towards the end of the 14th century at the castle of Ballymote for Tonnaltagh McDonagh, in occupation of the castle; the chief compiler was Manus O'Duignan, one of a family who were ollavs and scribes to the McDonagh and the McDermots. Other scribes of the book were a member of a famous Co.. Fermanagh family, a Robert McSheedy; the book is a compilation of older works loose manuscripts and valuable documents handed down from antiquity that came into possession of McDonagh. The first page of the work contains a drawing of Noah's Ark as conceived by the scribe; the first written page is missing and the second opens with a description of the ages of the world. Patrick and his household. Part of the work is devoted to the sagas of Finn and Brian Boru, the Lebor na Cert, it contains treatises on metre and the profession of a poet, on the Ogham writing and language.
The book ends with several translations from the Greek: the destruction of Troy and the wanderings of Ulysses, followed by a resume of Virgil's'Aeneid', beginning with Nestor's speech to the Greeks. The Book of Ballymote, like many of its kind, has made history by its wanderings. For over a hundred years it was a treasured possession of the McDonaghs of Corran. About the beginning of the 16th century, it fell into the possession of the O'Donnells with whom it remained until the Flight of the Earls in 1603. From 1620 until 1767 it was in the library of Dublin, it disappeared from the library and was found in Burgundy, France. In 1785 it was returned to the Royal Irish Academy where it remained as one of the Academy's most treasured possessions; the work was photographed by the Academy in 1887 and two hundred copies of it were made. One copy is in the diocesan others in libraries; the first page of the work contains a drawing of Noah's Ark. The first written page is lost, the second page describes the ages of the world.
A life of Saint Patrick a copy of the Lebor Gabála Érenn Tecosca Cormaic "The Instructions of King Cormac" and other stories concerning king Cormac mac Airt Triads of Ireland stories of Fionn Mac Cumhail and Brian Borumh various genealogies of clans and kings Christian kings of Ulster Christian kings of Leinster Christian kings of Connaught of the Munster families Dál gCais rules of the different measures of Irish versification the only known copy of the Auraicept na n-Éces, or "scholars' primer" the Lebor na gCeart The book ends with various Greek and Latin fragments on the fall of Troy, including a fragment of the Aeneid. Robert Atkinson. NY: AMS Press. ISBN 0-404-17535-X O'Donovan, The Book of Rights, ed. and trans. 1847. The Book of Ballymote: Photographic facsimile with introduction by R. Atkinson. McDonagh, History of Ballymote and the Parish of Emlaghfad. Harrison, A.:'Leabhar Bhaile an Mhóta ag tús an 18ú aois', Éigse 23, 147-50. Ó Concheanainn, T.:'The Book of Ballymote', Celtica 14, 15-25.
Royal Irish Academy description The Book of Ballymote Genealogies from the Book of Ballymote Leabhar Bhaile an Mhóta Leabhar Bhaile an Mhóta Irish Script on Screen has digital images of the document. Family History Library provides digital images of the document
Isabel de Clare, 4th Countess of Pembroke
Isabel de Clare, suo jure 4th Countess of Pembroke and Striguil, was a Cambro-Norman-Irish noblewoman and one of the wealthiest heiresses in Wales and Ireland. She was the wife of William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, who served four successive kings as Lord Marshal of England, her marriage had been arranged by King Richard I. Isabel was born in 1172 in Pembrokeshire, the eldest child of Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, known to history as "Strongbow", Aoife of Leinster, the daughter of Diarmait Mac Murchada, the deposed King of Leinster and Mór ingen Muirchertaig; the latter was a daughter of Cacht ingen Loigsig. The marriage of Strongbow and Aoife took place in August 1170, the day after the capture of Waterford by the Cambro-Norman forces led by Strongbow. Isabel's paternal grandparents were Gilbert de Clare, 1st Earl of Pembroke, his wife Lady Isabel de Beaumont, she had a younger brother Gilbert de Striguil who, being a minor, was not formally invested with either the earldom of Pembroke or of Striguil.
It is unlikely that his father could have passed on the title to Pembroke as he himself did not possess it. When Gilbert died in 1185, Isabel became Countess of Pembroke in her own right until her death in 1220. In this way, she could be said to be the first successor to the earldom of Pembroke since her grandfather Gilbert, the first earl. By this reckoning, Isabel ought to be called the second countess, not the fourth countess of Pembroke. In any event, the title Earl was re-created for her husband, she had an illegitimate half-sister Basile de Clare, who married three times. Basile's husbands were: Robert de Quincy. Isabel was described as having been "the good, the fair, the wise, the courteous lady of high degree", she spoke French and Latin. After her brother Gilbert's death, Isabel became one of the wealthiest heiresses in the kingdom, owning besides the titles of Pembroke and Striguil, much land in Wales and Ireland, she inherited the numerous castles on the inlet of Milford Haven, guarding the South Channel, including Pembroke Castle.
She was a legal ward of King Henry II, who watched over her inheritance. The new King Richard I arranged her marriage in August 1189 to William Marshal, regarded by many as the greatest knight and soldier in the realm. Henry II had promised Marshal he would be given Isabel as his bride, his son and successor Richard upheld the promise one month after his accession to the throne. At the time of her marriage, Isabel was residing in the Tower of London in the protective custody of the Justiciar of England, Ranulf de Glanville. Following the wedding, celebrated in London "with due pomp and ceremony", they spent their honeymoon at Stoke d'Abernon in Surrey which belonged to Enguerrand d'Abernon. Marriage to Isabel elevated William Marshal from the status as a landless knight into one of the richest men in the kingdom, he would serve as Lord Marshal of England, four kings in all: Henry II, Richard I, Henry III. Although Marshal did not become the jure uxoris 1st Earl of Pembroke, Earl of Striguil until 1199, he assumed overlordship of Leinster in Ireland, Pembroke Castle, Chepstow Castle, as well as Isabel's other castles in Wales such as the keep of Haverford, Lewhaden, Stackpole.
Shortly after their marriage and Isabel arrived in Ireland, at Old Ross, a settlement located in the territory which belonged to her grandfather, Dermot MacMurrough. A motte was hastily constructed, a medieval borough grew around it, afterwards the Marshals founded the port town by the river which subsequently became known as New Ross; the Chronicles of Ross, which are housed in the British Museum, described Isabel and Marshal's arrival in Ireland and records that Isabella set about building a lovely city on the banks of the Barrow. In 1192, Isabel and her husband assumed the task of managing their vast lands, they commissioned the construction of several abbeys in the vicinity. The marriage was happy, despite the vast difference in age between them. William Marshal and Isabel produced a total of five daughters. William Marshal, 2nd Earl of Pembroke. Chief Justiciar of Ireland, he married firstly, Alice de Bethune, secondly, Eleanor Plantagenet, daughter of King John. Richard Marshal, 3rd Earl of Pembroke, married Gervase le Dinant.
He died childless. Maud Marshal, she married Hugh Bigod, 3rd Earl of Norfolk, by whom she had issue. Five queen consorts of Henry VIII: Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr were her descendants. Gilbert Marshal, 4th Earl of Pembroke, he married Marjorie of Scotland, daughter of King William I of Scotland. He died childless. Walter Marshal, 5th Earl of Pembroke, he married Margaret de Quincy, Countess of Lincoln, widow of John de Lacy, 1st Earl of Lincoln, as her second husband. The marriage was childless. Anselm Marshal, 6th Earl of Pembroke, he married Maud de Bohun. He died childless. Isabel Marshal, she married firstly, 4th Earl of Hertford. She had
Cathach of St. Columba
The Cathach of St. Columba is a late 6th century Insular psalter. An Cathach was a relic used by the Clan Ó Domhnaill, the old Gaelic royal family in Tír Chonaill, as a rallying cry and protector in battle, it is the oldest surviving manuscript in Ireland, the second oldest Latin psalter in the world. The Cathach of St. Columba is traditionally associated with St. Columba, was identified as the copy made by him of a book loaned to him by St. Finnian, which led to the Battle of Cúl Dreimhne in 561 in Cairbre Drom Cliabh. Paleographic evidence dates the manuscript to 560-600, or a little but that it was written by Columba is now doubted; the 58 folios in the damaged and incomplete vellum manuscript contain the text of Psalms 30:10 to 105:13 in Latin. The maximum folio size is 270 by 190 mm; the decoration of the Cathach is limited to the initial letter of each Psalm. Each initial is larger than the main text, they are decorated with trumpet and guilloche patterns and are outlined with orange dots.
These patterns are not appended to the letters or used to fill spaces. They instead distort the shape of the letters themselves; the letters following the enlarged initials reduce in size until they reach the same size as the main text. Although the motifs of the Cathach decoration are not similar to decorations in manuscripts, such as the Book of Durrow, the ideas of decoration which distorts the shape of the letters and the diminution of initial letters are ideas which are worked out in great detail in Insular art. An Cathach was used as a rallying protector in battle, it was said to guarantee victory in war to the Donegal leaders. Before a battle it was customary for a chosen monk/holy man to wear the Cathach in its cumdach, or book shrine, around his neck and walk three times around the troops of O'Donnell; the name derives from the Irish Gaelic word cath meaning "battle". An Cathach means "the battler"; the hereditary protectors/keepers of the were the Mag Robhartaigh/McGroarty clan from Ballintra in south Donegal.
An Cathach, the Battler, has been dated to around the period 590 to 600 AD. The decoration throughout An Cathach is limited to the initial letters of each psalm. An Cathach is now housed in the Royal Irish Academy; the manuscript was rediscovered in its cumdach in 1813, given by its last hereditary keeper to the Royal Irish Academy in 1843. The leaves were stuck together until separated at the British Museum in 1920; the specially made cumdach is in the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology. The initial work on the case was done between 1072 and 1098 at Kells, but a new main face was added in the 14th century with a large seated Christ in Majesty flanked by scenes of the Crucifixion and saints in gilt repoussé; this was done by Cathbharr Ó Domhnaill, chief of the O'Donnells and Domhnall Mag Robhartaigh, the Abbot of Kells. The shrine cover consists of a brass box measuring 8 inches wide and 2 inches thick; the top is decorated with silver, crystals and other precious stones. It shows an image of St Colm Cille.
Springmount Bog Tablets, 7th-century Irish psalter written on wooden wax tablets "Antiquities": Wallace, Patrick F. O'Floinn, Raghnall eds. Treasures of the National Museum of Ireland: Irish Antiquities, 2002, Gill & Macmillan, Dublin, ISBN 0-7171-2829-6 De Hamel, Christopher. A History of Illuminated Manuscripts. Boston: David R. Godine, 1986. Stokes, Early Christian Art in Ireland, 1887, 2004 photo-reprint, Kessinger Publishing, ISBN 0-7661-8676-8, ISBN 978-0-7661-8676-7, google books "RIA" = The Cathach at the Royal Irish Academy More information at Earlier Latin Manuscripts
University College Dublin
University College Dublin is a research university in Dublin, Ireland. It has over 1,482 faculty and 32,000 students, it is Ireland's largest university. Rooted in Roman Catholicism, UCD originates in a body founded in 1854, which opened as the Catholic University of Ireland on the Feast of Saint Malachy and with John Henry Newman as its first rector; the Universities Act, 1997 renamed the constituent university as the "National University of Ireland, Dublin", a ministerial order of 1998 renamed the institution as "University College Dublin - National University of Ireland, Dublin". In locations across Dublin city, all faculties have since relocated to a 133-hectare campus at Belfield, four kilometres to the south of the city centre; the 2019 QS World University Rankings rates UCD as the second highest ranked irish university. A report published in May 2015 showed the economic output generated by UCD and its students in Ireland amounted to €1.3 billion annually. UCD is ranked among the top universities in Europe.
Five Nobel Laureates are among current and former staff. UCD can trace its history to the institution founded in 1854 as the Catholic University of Ireland, was established as UCD in 1880 under the auspices of the Royal University of Ireland, received its charter in 1908. After the Catholic Emancipation period of Irish history, a movement led by Paul Cullen, Archbishop of Armagh attempted to provide for the first time in Ireland higher-level education both accessible to followesr of Roman Catholicism and taught by such people. In the 19th century, the question of denominational education in Ireland was a contentious one. For many years it had divided the Young Ireland Movement; the Catholic Hierarchy demanded a Catholic alternative to the University of Dublin's Trinity College, whose Anglican origins the Hierarchy refused to overlook. The Hierarchy wanted to counteract the "Godless Colleges" of the Queen's University of Ireland - established in the cities of Galway and Cork; the University of Dublin had since the 1780s admitted Catholics to study.
Thus, in 1850 at the Synod of Thurles, it was decided to open in Dublin - for Catholics - a rival institution to that city's University. As a result of these efforts, a new "Catholic University of Ireland" opened in 1854, with John Henry Newman appointed as its first rector. Newman had been an integral figure in the Oxford Movement in the 19th century; the Catholic University opened its doors on the feast of St Malachy, 3 November 1854. On that day the names of seventeen students were entered on the register and Newman gave the students an address "What are we here for" and prophesied that in years they would look back with pride on the day; the Catholic University opened with three houses: 86 St Stephen's Green, known as St Patrick's or University House, under the care of The Rev. Michael Flannery. To prepare students for entry to the new Catholic University, a feeder school under the guidance of Bartholomew Woodlock and Cardinal Newman, referred to as the Catholic University School, was established.
Among the first students enrolled were the grandson of Daniel O'Connell. Another included William O'Shea who would go on to become a Captain in the British Army and was central to the divorce crises which brought down Charles Stewart Parnell's career in trying to establish Home Rule for Ireland. O'Shea, clashed with Newman and found the Catholic University insufficiently inspiring, so departed after one year to instead attend Trinity. Of the eight original students in Newman's own home, two were Irish, two English, two Scottish and two French. Among them were a French viscount, Irish baronet Sir Reginald Barnewall, the son of a French countess, the grandson of a Scottish marquis, the son of an English lord. Were added to his care two Belgian princes and a Polish count. Many were attracted to the Catholic University on the basis of the reputation of Newman; as a private university, the Catholic University was never given a royal charter, so was unable to award recognized degrees and suffered from chronic financial difficulties.
Newman left the university in 1857. Bartholomew Woodlock was appointed Rector and served until he became Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise in 1879. In this period he attempted to secure a site of 34 acres at Clonliffe West but the scheme collapsed when expansion of the railway system on the north side of Dublin cut across the site, he turned his attention to expanding along St Stephen's Green and over these years bought from No. 82 to 87. The decline was halted in 1880 with the establishment of the Royal University of Ireland; the Royal Universities charter entitled all Irish students to sit the Universities examinations and receive its degrees. Although in many respects the Catholic University can be viewed as a failure, UCD would inherit substantial assets from it including a successful medical school and two beautiful buildings, Newman House on St Stephen's Green and the adjoining University Ch
Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
The Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies was established in 1940 by the Taoiseach, Éamon de Valera under the Institute for Advanced Studies Act, 1940 in Dublin, Ireland. As set out in its legislation,'the functions of the Institute shall be to provide facilities for the furtherance of advanced study and the conduct of research in specialised branches of knowledge and for the publication of results of advanced study and research.'The Institute consists of 3 schools: the School of Theoretical Physics, the School of Cosmic Physics and the School of Celtic studies. The directors of these schools are Professor Werner Nahm, Professor Chris Bean and Professor Ruairí Ó hUiginn; the Institute under the act is empowered to "train students in methods of advanced research" but does not itself award degrees. Following a comprehensive review of the higher education sector, its institutions, conducted by the Higher Education Authority for the Minister for Education and Skills in 2013, DIAS was approved to remain a statutory, independent research institute carrying out fundamental research.
It appointed a new CEO, Dr Eucharia Meehan Director of the Irish Research Council, in the summer of 2017. The Institute was located at 64 and 65 Merrion Square and had two schools - the School of Theoretical Physics and the School of Celtic Studies - to which the School of Cosmic Physics was added in 1947; the Institute has its schools located at three premises on the Southside of Dublin at 10 Burlington Road, 31 Fitzwilliam Place and 5 Merrion Square. It maintains a presence at Dunsink Observatory in north County Dublin. Shortly after becoming Taoiseach in 1937, Éamon de Valera investigated the possibility of setting up an institute of higher learning. Being of mathematical background, de Valera was aware of the decline of the Dunsink Observatory, where Sir William Rowan Hamilton had held the position of Royal Astronomer of Ireland. Following meetings with prominent academics in the fields of mathematics and astronomy, he came to the conclusion that astronomy at Dunsink should be revived and an institute for higher learning should be established.
The Institute is modeled on the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, founded in 1930, theoretical physics was still the research subject in 1940. Most Erwin Schrödinger was interested in coming to Ireland, this represented an opportunity not to be missed; the School of Celtic Studies owes its founding to the importance de Valera accorded to the Irish language. He considered it a vital element in the makeup of the nation, therefore important that the nation should have a place of higher learning devoted to this subject; the founding of the Institute was somewhat controversial, since at the time only a minority were completing elementary education, university education was for the privileged. By this reasoning, the creation of a high-level research institute was a waste of scarce resources. However, Éamon de Valera was aware of the great symbolic importance such a body would have on the international stage for Ireland; this thinking influenced much of de Valera's premiership. Work by the Geophysics section of the School of Cosmic Physics on the formation of the North Atlantic demonstrated that the Irish continental shelf extended much further than thought, thereby more than doubling the area of the seabed over which Ireland can claim economic exploitation rights under the international law of the sea.
In addition to geophysical research, the Geophysics Section maintains the Irish National Seismic Network. Fundamental work in statistical mechanics by the School of Theoretical Physics has found application in computer switching technology and led to the establishment of an Irish campus company to exploit this intellectual property; the Institute has in recent years been one of the main agents helping to set up a modern e-Infrastructure in support of all Irish research. In 1968 the Royal Society recognised de Valera's contribution to science in establishing the Institute by electing him to honorary fellowship. In July 2009 the report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes suggested, as part of a long list of proposals, that the Institute be amalgamated into either University College Dublin or Trinity College, Dublin; the Report noted 79 staff members being paid €6.7m by the Exchequer, an average of nearly €85,000 per person p.a. However, the audited accounts contained in the annual report for 2009 show that the exchequer pay grant included a figure of just over €1m on pensions as well as smaller sums for visitors and that the actual Salaries and Wages figure was €5.1m bringing the average down to €65k.
Subsequently, in the comprehensive review of the higher education sector, its institutions, conducted by the Higher Education Authority in 2013, it was proposed that'In the case of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies... no structural change be made to this statutory, independent research institute carrying out fundamental research in three schools, Celtic Studies, Cosmic Physics and Theoretical Physics. However, responsibility for allocation of funding to the Institute will be transferred from the Department of Education and Skills to the Higher Education Authority; the Minister for Education and Skills accepted this proposal as part of the broader reconfiguration of the higher education system
A manuscript was, any document, written by hand -- or, once practical typewriters became available, typewritten -- as opposed to being mechanically printed or reproduced in some indirect or automated way. More the term has come to be understood to further include any written, typed, or word-processed copy of an author's work, as distinguished from its rendition as a printed version of the same. Before the arrival of printing, all documents and books were manuscripts. Manuscripts are not defined by their contents, which may combine writing with mathematical calculations, explanatory figures or illustrations. Manuscripts may be in codex format. Illuminated manuscripts are enriched with pictures, border decorations, elaborately embossed initial letters or full-page illustrations. A document should be at least 75 years old to be considered a manuscript; the traditional abbreviations are MS for manuscript and MSS for manuscripts, while the forms MS. ms or ms. for singular, MSS. mss or mss. for plural are accepted.
The second s is not the plural. Before the invention of woodblock printing in China or by moveable type in a printing press in Europe, all written documents had to be both produced and reproduced by hand. Manuscripts were produced in form of scrolls or books. Manuscripts were produced on vellum and other parchment, on papyrus, on paper. In Russia birch bark documents as old as from the 11th century have survived. In India, the palm leaf manuscript, with a distinctive long rectangular shape, was used from ancient times until the 19th century. Paper spread from China via the Islamic world to Europe by the 14th century, by the late 15th century had replaced parchment for many purposes; when Greek or Latin works were published, numerous professional copies were made by scribes in a scriptorium, each making a single copy from an original, declaimed aloud. The oldest written manuscripts have been preserved by the perfect dryness of their Middle Eastern resting places, whether placed within sarcophagi in Egyptian tombs, or reused as mummy-wrappings, discarded in the middens of Oxyrhynchus or secreted for safe-keeping in jars and buried or stored in dry caves.
Manuscripts in Tocharian languages, written on palm leaves, survived in desert burials in the Tarim Basin of Central Asia. Volcanic ash preserved some of the Roman library of the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum; the manuscripts that were being most preserved in the libraries of antiquity are all lost. Papyrus has a life of at most a century or two in moist Italian or Greek conditions. All books were in manuscript form. In China, other parts of East Asia, woodblock printing was used for books from about the 7th century; the earliest dated example is the Diamond Sutra of 868. In the Islamic world and the West, all books were in manuscript until the introduction of movable type printing in about 1450. Manuscript copying of books continued for a least a century. Private or government documents remained hand-written until the invention of the typewriter in the late 19th century; because of the likelihood of errors being introduced each time a manuscript was copied, the filiation of different versions of the same text is a fundamental part of the study and criticism of all texts that have been transmitted in manuscript.
In Southeast Asia, in the first millennium, documents of sufficiently great importance were inscribed on soft metallic sheets such as copperplate, softened by refiner's fire and inscribed with a metal stylus. In the Philippines, for example, as early as 900AD, specimen documents were not inscribed by stylus, but were punched much like the style of today's dot-matrix printers; this type of document was rare compared to the usual leaves and bamboo staves. However, neither the leaves nor paper were as durable as the metal document in the hot, humid climate. In Burma, the kammavaca, Buddhist manuscripts, were inscribed on brass, copper or ivory sheets, on discarded monk robes folded and lacquered. In Italy some important Etruscan texts were inscribed on thin gold plates: similar sheets have been discovered in Bulgaria. Technically, these are all inscriptions rather than manuscripts; the study of the writing, or "hand" in surviving manuscripts is termed palaeography. In the Western world, from the classical period through the early centuries of the Christian era, manuscripts were written without spaces between the words, which makes them hard for the untrained to read.
Extant copies of these early manuscripts written in Greek or Latin and dating from the 4th century to the 8th century, are classified according to their use of either all upper case or all lower case letters. Hebrew manuscripts, such as the Dead Sea scrolls make no such differentiation. Manuscripts using all upper case letters are called majuscule, those using all lower case are called minuscule; the majuscule scripts such as uncial are written with much more care. The scribe lifted his pen between each stroke, producing an unmistakable effect of regularity and formality. On the other hand, while minuscule scripts can be written with pen-lift, they may be cursive, that is, use little or no pen-lift