Festive crowdfunding for Irish-language manuscript reaches target within a day

De Cathach van Sint-Columba (Dublin, Royal Irish Academy) is een vroeg-zevende-eeuws Iers psalmboek. Bron: Wikimedia
The Cathach of St Columba (Dublin, Royal Irish Academy) is an early seventh-century Irish psalm book. Source: Wikimedia

To celebrate the upcoming centenary of Celtic Studies at Utrecht University (2023), a festive crowdfunding was organised to make the only fully Irish-language manuscript kept in the Netherlands available as open access. Researcher at Celtic Studies Nike Stam announces that after the official launch on 1 October, the target was reached within a few hours, which means that the manuscript will soon be accessible to anyone who would like to take a closer look at it.

Manuscript VLQ 7

The manuscript, named VLQ 7, is kept at Leiden University. It is known for its prose version of Echtra Finn (Finn's Journey) and for its almost complete version of Fled Bricrenn (Bricriu's Feast). The manuscript has been used by Ernst Windisch, Whitley Stokes, Ludwig Stern and Maartje Draak and is one of the few Irish-language manuscripts that is not yet available as open acces.

Open access Irish cultural heritage

At Celtic Studies, the primary concern is the analysis of such medieval sources, not just those from Ireland, but also from Wales, Scotland, and Brittany. For their research, researchers of Celtic Studies are often dependent on the digital availability of medieval manuscripts, something which has only grown more important during the COVID pandemic. They are very happy that this crowdfunding has enabled them to support the movement towards open access Irish cultural heritage, such as championed by the Irish Script on Screen Project.

About the Friends of Humanities Utrecht University Fund

The crowdfunding campaign was set up with the help of the Friends of Humanities Utrecht University Fund. This fund raises money for the Humanities to finance extra scholarships and realise various research and education projects. Each year, new projects are highlighted in the fundraising. The fund is one of thirty funds that fall under the Utrecht University Fund. The Utrecht University Fund is our university's charity platform, which raises and manages philanthropic donations for the Utrecht University from alumni, (former) staff and many other stakeholders.