Easter Rising, Dublin, 1916

This research guide is a companion to the exhibition The Irish Rising: 'A terrible beauty is born' at State Library Victoria, 17 March–31 July 2016

State Library Victoria


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State Library Victoria forecourt


This guide is a companion to the exhibition The Irish Rising: 'A terrible beauty is born', at State Library Victoria, 17 March–31 July 2016.

The guide will assist you to learn more about the 1916 Easter Rising, a pivotal moment in Ireland’s long struggle for independence from British rule.

The Easter Rising lasted only six days, had little popular support, and ended in the executions of its leaders. The severity of the English response unintentionally turned the tide of public opinion towards republicanism everywhere in Ireland – except for the north.

Ultimately, the Rising’s ‘terrible beauty’ (as W.B. Yeats famously described it) fuelled the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922 and its separation from Northern Ireland, which remains part of the United Kingdom.

The Rising also had a significant impact on Australian society and politics, especially through the activism of the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Daniel Mannix, who led the successful anti-conscription faction into the 1916 and 1917 plebiscites on the issue.

A comprehensive introduction to research concerning the Irish in Australia is beyond the scope of this guide, however the Irish in Australia tab offers some suggestions for further research on political and social issues, and tips for tracing individual Irish Australians.

See also:

Irish Rising Exhibition

Exhibition at State Library Victoria

17 March 2016 to 31 July 2016