Book of Kells to stay at Trinity College

Major rebranding underway at historic Dublin college

Dublin's Trinity College has abandoned plans to move the ninth-century Book of Kells to the basement of a nearby campus building following protests from staff, according to the Sunday Independent newspaper.

The college had proposed moving the priceless tome to the Berkeley Library basement over concerns that the book could be damaged in its present location at the Old Library. However authorities backed down after senior staff described the proposed new venue, built adjacent to the Old Library in 1967, as "unsafe" and "liable to serious flooding".

The Book of Kells, containing the four gospels of the new testament, is an illuminated manuscript believed to have been created by Columban monks in about 800. One of Ireland's most precious manuscripts, it is considered the finest example of the Insular style produced from the sixth to the ninth centuries in monasteries in the British Isles.

The book was viewed by Britain's Queen Elizabeth during her successful visit to Ireland in 2011, and it can be viewed on the library's Digital Collections portal.

The plans to move the book were part of a number of major changes being proposed at Ireland's oldest university, which was founded in 1592. The controversial modernisation plans in recent months include changing the college's name from Trinity College Dublin to "Trinity College, the University of Dublin."

Under the €100,000 identity initiative TCD will change its crest, which its rebranding consultants have decribed as "not digital friendly." The logo's colours will be reduced from five to two: blue and white. The design team believe the existing blue and gold colours are commonly associated with “value or convenience”, citing the logos of companies such as Ryanair, IKEA and Walmart.

The new crest will retain its four original images (lion, castle, harp and bible) but all will be simplified in particular the bible which is being replaced by an open book. The rebranding results are due to be unveiled in September as part of the college's strategic plan for 2015-2019.