The Irish Rising: 'A terrible beauty is born'

Visit our free display about the Irish Rising, a key period in the Irish struggle for independence.

G Atkinson, cover illustration for Six days of the Irish Republic by LG Redmond-Howard, London, 1916, State Library Victoria (detail)
17 March 201631 July 2016
LocationBlue Rotunda, Cowen Gallery
Accessibility Has wheelchair access

Visit this free display about the tumultuous days of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin – a pivotal moment in the Irish struggle for independence from Great Britain.

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'
  • 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.

Irish Rising is open in the Blue Rotunda, 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.