The Red Book of Ossory is a fourteenth century register of the diocese which is associated with Richard Ledred who was Bishop of Ossory, 1317-60. The volume contains copies of documents which would have been important for the administration of the diocese – constitutions and taxations, memoranda relating to rights and privileges, deeds and royal letters. The register is however, best known for the texts of songs composed by Bishop Ledred for the vicars choral of St Canice’s Cathedral ‘so that their mouths be not defiled with theatrical, foul and secular songs’. It also contains a treatise on acqua vitae.
The digitization of the Red Book of Ossory is the first part of a programme to digitally copy all the medieval manuscripts in the RCB Library.