When the Library opened its doors in 1856, one-third of Australia’s population were born in Ireland. One of the key-founding members of this Library was an Irishman, who sentenced another man with Irish heritage, Ned Kelly, to his death. Today, with nearly 7 million Australians claiming Irish heritage, we are deeply intertwined with Irish history.
This year marks the centenary year since Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising. The six-day rebellion on the streets of Dublin marked a pivotal moment in the Irish struggle for independence from Great Britain, and would have far-reaching repercussions here in Australia.
The Irish Rising: ‘A terrible beauty is born’ is a new display in the Library’s Blue Rotunda Gallery commemorating this centenary. Presented in partnership with the University of Melbourne, it includes rarely seen photographs, posters, letters, realia and film from the Library’s collection and several lenders.
Open now until Sunday 31 July, the display is complemented by a series of free talks, tours, screenings and an academic conference at the University of Melbourne.