For this week’s episode of Campus Voices, host Richard Gordon and intern Kayla Baptiste headed over to the Special Collections Gallery, located on the second floor of Morris Library, for the opening of the spring 2016 exhibition “A terrible beauty is born: The Easter Rising at 100.”
Maureen Cech, curator of the exhibition, and Anne Boylan, Professor Emerita of History, were our tour guides. Their enthusiasm was infectious–about the items on display, the history and ideas that we can learn from the exhibition, and the University Library’s collection of Irish literature and letters.
On Easter Monday 1916, Patrick Pearse and the Irish Republican Brotherhood orchestrated an uprising against British occupation and control over Ireland. The rising lasted for a week before it was quickly and violently ended by British forces. Although unsuccessful, 100 years later, the Easter Rising still affects Irish culture in Ireland and wherever the Irish have emigrated.
During our tour, Ms. Cech and Professor Boylan introduced us to a lot of Irish history and culture, putting the Easter 1916 uprising into perspective. We really enjoyed how different items in the exhibition served as starting places for us to learn about a wide range of topics: literature and drama in response to the uprising by figures such as W.B. Yeats and Sean O’Casey, Irish nationalism, the complexity of the relationships between Irish Catholics and Protestants, the Gaelic revival, and the role of arts and letters in spreading Irish culture around the world.
The exhibition is open until June 12, 2016, in the Special Collections Gallery on the second floor of Morris Library.
Professor Boylan will give a related lecture in the Library’s reading room on March 15, 2016, at 4:30 p.m.: 20th-Century Ireland: A Family Odyssey.
Listen to the Interview
Maureen Cech, Library, and Anne Boylan, History
Recorded Feb. 16, 2016. Aired March 10, 2016
Photos by Kayla Baptiste