Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: G102007

The Gaelic Notes in the Book of Deer

Author: unknown

Background details and bibliographic information

File Description

Kenneth Jackson

Electronic edition compiled by Beatrix Färber

Funded by University College, Cork and
Professor Marianne McDonald via the CELT Project

2. Second draft

Extent of text: 3200 words


CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork
College Road, Cork, Ireland—

(2001) (2010)

Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: G102007

Availability [RESTRICTED]

Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.


This extract is reproduced online with kind permission of Cambridge University Press. Hardcopy copyright lies with Cambridge University Press.


    Manuscript sources
  1. Cambridge University Library, MS. I.i.6.32, a small octavo of 43 folios.
  1. Whitley Stokes, Godilica, or Notes on the Gaelic Manuscripts preserved at Turin, etc. Calcutta 1866, 47–63. Introduction, texts, translations, linguistic discussion and glossarial index.
  2. Cosmo Innes, Facsimiles of the National Library of Scotland, 1, Southampthon 1867, nos. 1 and 18. Discussions, texts, translations and facsimiles; some readings/translations incorrect.
  3. J. Stuart, The Book of Deer, Edinburgh, The Spalding Club, 1869, clxix =95 pp. and 22 plates. Discussion of entire MS, with edition of the entire Latin Gospel texts and Gaelic notes, with translation and facsimilies of the illuminated pages, the Gaelic texts, and some of the Gospels. Introduction. Translations taken from Stokes, with a few minor modifications.
  4. Whitley Stokes, Godelica; Old and Early Middle Irish Glosses, Prose, and Verse, London 1872, pp. 106–121, a reprint of No. 1, with small changes.
  5. Alexander MacBain, 'The Book of Deer', Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness, 11 (1885) 137–166. Introduction, texts and literal translations, historical and linguistic notes, glossary-index. A number of improvements on Stokes' texts (contractions italicised) and translations, some deteriorations and a few misprints.
  1. Saturday Review, 8 December 1860, 734f. with commentary and the Latin text of no.VII (David I's Charter) but not the Gaelic texts. Unsigned. Probably written by Whitley Stokes.
  2. A. O Anderson, Early Sources of Scottish History, A.D. 500–1286, II (Edinburgh 1922) 174–83. Fresh translations, with valuable historial notes. A few mistranslations, and the treatment of a number of names is still unsatisfactory.
    Articles and other secondary literature
  1. Cosmo Innes, Scotland in the Middle Ages (Edinburgh, 1860) pp. 321–325. This postscript to the book mentions the discovery of the MS and contains a translation of text no. 1 and of one or two other sentences. Some names are misread, some translations are inaccurate;the source of the translations is not stated.
  2. John Strachan, The Study of Scottish Gaelic, in: Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness 19 (1893), 13ff. Edition and discussion of part no. 1, pp. 15–20.
  3. Joseph Robertson, Illustrations of the Topography and Antiquities of the Shires of Aberdeen and Banff, IV, 545–550 (Aberdeen, the Spalding Club, vol. 32, 1862). Reprint of Stokes' translation, 'with a few verbal alterations', and the text of no. VII.
  4. T. O. Russell, 'The Book of Dier', in: Celtica 1 (March 1901), 43f. Texts based on Stokes, containing a number of extra errors or misprints, and inaccurate translations.
  5. R. S. Kemp, 'The Book of Deer', in: Transactions of the Scottish Ecclesiological Society 8 (1925), 164ff. Discussion, but not texts/translations.
  6. Donald Mackay, 'New Light on the Book of Deer', in: Scotish Gaelic Studies 5 (1938), 50. A brief note on an early reference to the MS.
  7. J. Fraser, 'The Gaelic Notitiae in the Book of Deer', in: Scottish Gaelic Studies 5 (1938), 51–66. Texts from photostats of the originals; translation and some valuable textual and linguistic notes. The translations are the best yet published. In the texts there are some curious misreadings or misprints, chiefly where no-one has misread the MS before.
  8. Kenneth Jackson, 'Some remarks on the Gaelic Notitiae in the Book of Deer', in: Ériu 16 (1952), 86–98. Notes on the spelling, language, and date.
  9. A. Lawrie, Early Scottish Charters prior to 1153 (Glasgow, 1905), nos. 1, 95, 97, 107, 223, and pp. 219ff., 337ff., 346ff., 424ff. Translations (sometimes incorrect, with misreadings of some names), and notes.
  10. W. J. Watson, Rosg Gà;idhlig (2nd ed., Glasgow, 1929), pp. 184–92 and 249–251; texts (including no. VII), translations into Scottish Gaelic, a few notes, and facsimiles of fos. 3a and 3b. The texts were the best so far, but include some errors.
  11. J. F. Tocher (ed), The Book of Buchan (Peterhead, The Buchan Club, 1910), pp. 106–114. Text and tranlsations from J. Stuart; facsimile of fo. 3a; some commentary.
  12. G.W. S. Barrow, in: Scottish Studies 6 131ff. Discusses land-holding units like 'dabhach'.
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. The Gaelic Notes in the Book of Deer (The Osborn Bergin Memorial Lecture 1970). Kenneth Jackson (ed), First editionCambridge University PressCambridge (1972)


Project Description

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling Declaration

The present text represents pages 30–36 of the volume.

Editorial Declaration


Text has been checked and proofread twice. All corrections and supplied text are tagged.


When a hyphenated word (hard or soft) crosses a page break, the break is marked after the completion of the hyphenated word.


div0=the charters; div1=the section, comprising Irish text and English translation; each section being subdivided into div2s comprising the individual texts; page-breaks are marked.


Personal names and place names have not been tagged.

The acute accent represents long vowels and has been added by Jackson. The acute accent has no relation to the accents written in the MS. Where expanded contractions are italicised by Jackson in the printed version, the ex tag has been used in the digital edition. Most of Jackson's expansions are not italicised, but diplomatic texts are given in his hardcopy edition. The idiosyncratic spelling has not been corrected or normalised. Where missing letters are restored, the sup tag is used.

Profile Description

Created: By one or more unknown author(s).

Use of language

Language: [GA] The text is in Middle Irish.
Language: [EN] The translation is in English.
Language: [LA] Witness formula in text III, IV and VI and entire text VII in Latin.

List of hands

A [dated after 1058] not known

B [dated contemporary with A] not known

C [dated after 1130] not known

D [dated after 1130] not known

E [dated after 1130] not known

Revision History