Lecture on the Faddan More Psalter in Baltimore

Discovery & Conservation of the Faddan More Psalter

Lecture by John Gillis, Senior Manuscript Conservator

April 1st, 2016

6-7pm (with reception to follow)

Johns Hopkins University – Homewood Campus

Hodson 213


In July 2006, one of the most spectacular European archaeological discoveries of the last decade was made in the small town of Faddan More, Co. Tipperary. A man working in a peat bog uncovered the first Irish manuscript to be found in over two centuries; within days the manuscript was transferred to the National Museum of Ireland, marking the beginning of a 4.5 year project to document, analyze and conserve this wholly unique artifact. This lecture will tell the story of the discovery of the Faddan More Psalter and its recovery from the bog, examine the contents of the manuscript and its binding, and describe the innovative methodologies devised by the conservation team to, among other things, dismantle and de-water the textblock.


John Gillis, M.A. is a Senior Manuscript Conservator and has worked in the Trinity College Conservation Department for over 20 years. He also established and worked as Head of Conservation in the Delmas Conservation Bindery at Marsh’s Library, Dublin. In a private capacity, he works as conservator for major manuscript collections in University College Dublin, and the Royal Irish Academy and as a consultant for a number of other institutions. He has been teaching book conservation in Italy, at schools including Spoleto and Cremona, for the past 15 years. He lectures on various aspects of his profession to a range of groups and has published in a number of journals and books. His major achievement to date has been the conservation of the Faddan More Psalter at the National Museum of Ireland Conservation Department, for which he won the Heritage Council of Ireland Conservation Award in 2010. In 2014, John spent 3 months as a guest scholar at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. He is currently writing a doctoral thesis focusing on codicological aspects of the Faddan More Psalter.


This lecture is free and open to the public: for more information and to RSVP, please direct emails to Cindy Simpson (csimpson@jhu.edu)

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