On 2 February 2016 the National Library of Ireland‘s National Photographic Archive launched Rising, a major photographic exhibition which showcases the NLI’s collection of rich imagery documenting the events and locations of 1916. The exhibition is part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, and was made possible through funding awarded under this initiative. Rising draws on some of the most important collections of photographs at the National Library. It includes images from the Keogh Collection, the Independent Newspapers (Ireland) Collection, newly digitised photographs from the De Valera Collection, and various 1916 albums. It consists of 60 photographs, including a number of large scale photographs which emphasise the Rising’s impact on Dublin’s city centre. In addition to showing the physical damage to the city centre, the exhibition features photographs relating to the arrests, courts martials and internments following the Rising, and the subsequent amnesty for prisoners as the British Government saw the tide turning for those involved in the insurrection. These images are enhanced by audio recordings of actors reading from selected letters and diaries detailing first-hand accounts of the Rising.
Commenting at the launch, exhibition curator Sara Smyth from the NLI, said ‘Rising‘ paints a very vivid picture of the events and locations of 1916 and brings visitors into the world of those who experienced the Rising first hand. When we selected the content for the exhibition, we were keen to address certain questions: How did Dublin look during Easter Week 1916, as fighting raged and buildings fell? What kind of landscape, physical and political, was left after the surrender?
Sandra Collins, Director of the NLI, added:’photographs are such an evocative, intimate contribution to the stories of 1916, they draw the viewer directly into the experience of the Easter Rising. We are delighted to offer this beautifully curated exhibition, which is free and open for everyone to visit and enjoy. All the photographs in this exhibition are original material drawn form the rich and diverse 1916 collections in the National Library, and we are proud to add the digitised versions to the NLI’s online catalogue so they can be enjoyed across the world by anyone who wants to engage with the Easter Rising and is not able to visit the National Photographic Archive. Rising is the NLI’s flagship exhibition for 2016 and I invite everyone to visit the National Photographic Archive and explore the exhibition which is running until the end of October 2016′.
Rising is free to visit, and is open seven days weekly: Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm and 12noon to 5pm on Sundays. The exhibition runs until the end of October 2016.
From Century Ireland: the Easter Rising