Easter Rising artefacts at SLV; Panel Discussion and Documentary Film

Cover of a book published in London in 1916, Six Days of the Irish Republic by G. Atkinson

Cover of a book published in London in 1916, Six Days of the Irish Republic by G. Atkinson

Nature of Event: The Irish Rising: ‘A Terrible Beauty  is Born’

When: From 17th March 2016 – 31st July 2016

  • The Exhibition: Daily from Thursday 17th March. Tours at 12.30 pm to 1.00 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Curator talks on highlights from the exhibition on Thurs 17th March at 11 – 11.45 am;  Sat 9th April at 1-145 pm; Tues 3rd May, at 1-1.45 am and 6 – 6.45 pm. Bookings required.
  • Panel : Six Days that Shook an Empire, chaired by Maxine McKew, Saturday 9th April, at 2 – 3.15 pm
  • Documentary Film: The Irish Rising that Shaped Australia, by Eoin Hahessy, Saturday 9th April, 3.30 -4.10 p.m. Bookings required.

Where: Exhibition will be held in the Cowen Gallery, Blue Rotunda at State Library of Victoria, Swanston and La Trobe Streets, Melbourne. The Panel and Film will be held in the Theatrette at the SLV.

Bookings required: the Curator Talks, the Panel and the Film.

Further information: SLV: The Irish Rising: A Terrible Beauty is Born

The tumultuous days of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin – a pivotal moment in the Irish struggle for independence from Great Britain – is commemorated in this display

The display includes rare artefacts and materials from the Library’s collection, including:

  • a copy of the Irish War News, the newspaper containing Pádraig Pearse’s first communiqué from the GPO
  • a first edition of WB Yeats’ influential poem ‘Easter 1916’ (see also: Bloomsday in Melbourne)
  • a 1917 reprint of the proclamation of Irish independence, the only known one in Australia
  • footage of Melbourne’s 1920 St Patrick’s Day parade where 100,000 Australians demonstrated their support for Irish independence.
The far reaching repercussions of Ireland’s historic 1916 Easter Rising and specifically its effect in Australia during World War I, will be explored under a partnership  between the State Library Victoria and the University of Melbourne. 
The State Library Victoria and the University of Melbourne will play a prominent role for Australia in the global commemoration programme of Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising with events including a free public exhibition, academic conference, panel discussion and documentary screening, all to provide a unique and fascinating insight into the impact the Rising had in Ireland and Australia. 
 ‘With nearly 7 million Australians from Irish heritage our histories are intertwined. We will exhibit unique collections that reveal how keenly the Irish Easter Rising was felt in Australia and the effect those events aboard had on our own history.’
Kate Torney, CEO State Library Victoria.
The exhibition at the State Library has been curated to illustrate the impact that the Easter Rising had in Ireland, but also the significant impact it had 17,000km away in Australia.

Irish Rising is open in the Cowen Gallery from Monday to Thursday 10am–9pm, and Friday to Sunday 10am–6pm.

The display is complemented by guided tours, illuminating discussions and curator presentations, listed below.

The Library’s Irish Rising display and programs are presented in partnership with University of Melbourne. The University will host an international academic conference on 7–8 April to explore the impact of the Easter Rising.