National Print Museum and the Centenary of the 1916 Rising

To commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Rising, the National Print Museum was involved in many projects including: a major exhibition; Beggars Bush Barracks 1916 Walking Tour; a replica Proclamation series; craft workshops; special tours; talks; outreach; and filming.

1916 Centenary Exhibition

The National Print Museum’s 1916 exhibition was entitled “Seditious Types, Legacy of the Printers of 1916”. This special exhibition sought to engage the public in an understanding of the Rising from a fresh perspective. The exhibition explored the role of printers active in 1916 and the central role of printed media in shaping the image and meaning of the Rising. The exhibition ran from May until October 2016, and is available online as a digital exhibition

Beggars Bush Barracks 1916 Rising Walking Tour

The National Print Museum is housed in the Old Garrison Chapel of Beggars Bush Barracks in Dublin 4. To mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising, the Museum ran both public and private special guided tours of the Barracks. In conjunction with the history of the Barracks and surrounding area, the tour featured the story of the printing of the 1916 Proclamation and information on the Barracks’ involvement in the Rising. This special walking tour was made possible with the support of Dublin City Council and Ireland 2016.



Photograph 3. Entrance to Beggars Bush Barracks - view from Haddington Road


2016 Letterpress Replica of the 1916 Proclamation

The Proclamation of the Irish Republic was read aloud by Patrick Pearse on Easter Monday, 24 April 1916, outside Dublin’s General Post Office, the recently seized headquarters of the insurgents. This remarkable document proclaims independence, justifies rebellion, and offers a vision of Ireland where freedom and opportunity are the rights of all Irish citizens. It has influenced Irish people around the world ever since. The National Print Museum is fortunate to have in its collection a working Wharfedale Stop Cylinder Press, the type of machine that the Proclamation was printed on, and on loan an original copy of this historic document.

In honour of the printing of the Proclamation, retired printers and volunteers at the National Print Museum, Alfred McCormack, Frederick Snowe, and William Ryan, printed a commemorative replica series. These copies were printed in the traditional craft of letterpress on the Museum’s Wharfedale Stop Cylinder Press and are available online and from the Museum Shop at the cost of €20. A limited edition version was printed on a mould-made paper on the 23 April, the hundredth anniversary to the day and won a Special Recognition Award at the Irish Print Awards 2016. 


National Print Museum


National Youth Council of Ireland – 1916 Proclamation Youth Project

In the Spring of 2016, the National Youth Council of Ireland, with the support of the National Print Museum, worked with two Youth Groups, local to the Museum, on a project centred on the 1916 Proclamation. The project involved young people being introduced to the history of the Proclamation by the staff and volunteer printers at the National Print Museum. A member of NYCI introduced the groups to a toolkit, which engaged the young people in the idea of being a citizen and their notions about the country they would like to live in. Subsequent to this engagement, each youth group produced their own proclamations.

The Youth Groups involved in the project were from St. Andrews Resource Centre, Pearse Street and the Ringsend and Irishtown Community Centre. This project was supported by Dublin City Council’s 1916 Rising Commemoration Fund.



“Making Manifestos” A Project for Young people at dlr LexIcon & National Print Museum

 29 March – 1 April 2016
Facilitated by: Nathan O’Donnell, Clare Bell, Mary Plunkett

Manifesto writing is a way to imagine different worlds. “Making Manifestos” was a project for young people aged 16-20 years of age. Over four days during Easter 2016, participants created their own manifestos.They devised and wrote personal manifestos at the dlr LexIcon, Dun Laoghaire, and then used these texts to design and print letterpress posters at the National Print Museum, Beggars Bush, Dublin 4.

This was an active, practical and fun 4-day project incorporating creative writing, design, and print, during which participants also find out about historical manifestos, including the 1916 Proclamation.

See more at:



School Visits

In the lead up to Proclamation Day, the National Print Museum invited children from each of the Primary Schools in the locality to visit the Museum for a special guided tour centred on the printing of the 1916 Proclamation.

Aware of the importance of the Proclamation in each school’s commemorative activities, the Museum’s Education Department offered this special tour as an interactive resource for teachers to engage with as part of their preparations for Proclamation Day.

The Museum welcomed 126 pupils and their teachers over the past 2 weeks who, during this special tour, viewed an original 1916 Proclamation and heard the fascinating story of how the Proclamation was printed on the eve of the Rising. They got up close to and learned all about a Wharfedale Stop-Cylinder Printing Press (the type of printing press used to print the Proclamation) and all had the opportunity to hand-set their name in traditional metal type and print a special 2016 commemorative letterpress poster.




Filming Projects

Note that the National Print Museum will be “popping up” at the major public event in Dublin’s city centre Reflecting the Rising on Easter Monday.




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