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European Manuscript Trip

Our 2011 European Museum Trip began in Paris, with a busy but fun schedule. We stayed in the Latin Quarter (fifth arrondisse-ment) which was an easy walk to most of the places we wanted to visit while in Paris. There is so much to see and do in just this one section of Paris – Notre Dame, walking (or cruising) the Seine, Luxembourg Gardens, La Sainte Chapelle, Musée de Cluny, shopping, restaurants – just to name a few. One of the highlights for our group was Musée de Cluny, also known as Musée de Moyen Age (the Museum of the Middle Ages) which is shown in the photo left. It has lovely manuscripts with illuminated pages, as well as many fascinating artifacts of the era the manuscripts were created, including an incredible set of Lady and the Unicorn tapestries.

After a few days in Paris, we headed to Mont Saint Michel and Avranches. Mont Saint Michel (below) is the monastery that is built on a rock that becomes an island with the changing of the tides. It’s an incredible place and hundreds of manuscripts were created in the scriptorium at Mont Saint Michel. Two hundred of those manuscripts are now housed in a new museum in the town of Avranches. Our accommodations were at a charming hotel in Avranches within walking distance of the museum. Mont Saint Michel can be seen in the distance from many points around Avranches.

Musée de Cluny
Mont Saint Michel

No manuscript trip to Europe can be complete without a visit to the British Library, so our next stop was London – via Eurostar through the chunnel. And if seeing incredible manuscripts such as the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Sherborne Missal isn’t reason enough to visit London, certainly shopping for supplies for the book arts is. With Cornelissen and  Shepherds within a few blocks of our hotel and the British Library, no one in our group ran out of things to do in London.

Our final destination was a visit to Dublin to see the Book of Kells. Although it is true that there are only four leaves of the Book of Kells available for viewing at any given time, the extensive exhibit devoted entirely to the Book of Kells and enlarged graphic images from the book give visitors the opportunity to become intimately knowledgeable about the book and how it was produced.

The next scheduled trip for this itinerary is May/June 2015. For additional information about the upcoming trip, or to be added to the email list for future trips, please contact

Detail of manuscript from the British Library