The Iona Psalter is a highly decorated devotional text dating from between 1180 and 1220. It contains sacred songs known as psalms.
Clues in the psalter suggest it was made for Bethóc, the first Prioress of Iona. It is believed to have been compiled in Oxford, an established centre for manuscript production during the Middle Ages. However, it is uncertain whether the volume ever arrived in Iona.
Iona is considered to be the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland. St Columba (521 to 597) travelled from Ireland to establish a monastic community with his followers on the small Hebridean island of Iona in 563.
The Iona Psalter was bought in 1960 with assistance from the Friends of the National Libraries and the Pilgrim Trust.
[Library reference: MS.10000]