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Call for Exhibition Material, 8 January 2016

To commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Rising, the National Print Museum is organising a special exhibition seeking to engage the public in an understanding of the Easter Rising from a fresh perspective. The exhibition will explore 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 committee is now calling for original material relating to these two principal print-related themes. Potential material might include: printers’ records, photographs, newspapers, posters, memorial cards, other contemporary printed ephemera or indeed 1966 printed commemorative material.

An open day will take place on Sunday 24 January from 14.00 until 16.00, where interested parties are invited to call into the Museum with their material, which they would be willing to loan to the National Print Museum for the duration of the exhibition. The committee will meet with visitors on the day and photograph potential exhibition material. Please note that artefacts will not be collected by the Museum on this date.

The National Print Museum is located in the Garrison Chapel of Beggars Bush Barracks, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.

For more information, please contact or 01 6603770. 

“What you maybe meant to keep”

“What you maybe meant to keep” – Irish Political Ephemera
25 March – 27 May 2014

The National Print Museum hosts an exhibition of Irish political ephemera covering general and local elections, referendums, as well as European and presidential elections from the 1970s onwards. The exhibition involves a number of aspects of the political experience – from the ballot paper to the final outcome. The material, dating primarily from the 1970s to the early 2010s, encompasses election leaflets, posters, and pamphlets – all of which were designed and printed in Ireland. It is chiefly drawn from a collection begun by Alan Kinsella of the online repository, Irish Election Literature, as well as including materials from the Irish Left Archive. The parties and personalities covered in this exhibition document the changes in Irish political, social and economic life spanning more than four decades. The exhibition is a testament to how seemingly insignificant ephemeral materials can achieve significant meaning and value beyond their basic use.

“What you maybe meant to keep” is to be opened by An Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny TD on Monday 24 March at 17.30. Press are invited to this event and the curators will also be available to meet with the press on Monday between 14.30 and 17.00. To arrange a curator’s tour or interview please contact

Exhibition curators
Alan Kinsella started collecting election material during the February 1982 general election and has since amassed a collection of around 8,000 political leaflets and posters. He is the founder and curator of the Irish Election Literature repository ( Graduating in 1992 from NUI Maynooth with a degree in Sociology, Anthropology, History and Greek and Roman Civilization, Alan now works in the area of new media. His collection and knowledge of elections and Irish politics has led to a number of media appearances. He is regularly invited to give talks on elections and election material in colleges across Ireland.

Dr Ciarán Swan works in the area of political design and identity in Dáil Éireann. He has lectured in NCAD since 2003 in Visual Culture. In 1998 he completed an MA in Design History specialising in the imagery of Irish political parties. In 2005 he completed a PhD in Design History on the topic of the imagery of state and semi-state organisations in Ireland from 1920. He is a member of the Curatorial Committee of the National Print Museum and is along with Aonghus Storey a co-curator of Irish Left Archive (

For more information or images, please contact

National Print Museum
Beggars Bush Barracks
Haddington Road
Dublin 4
Tel: +353 1 6603770


Design Week

Press Release

Design Week at the National Print Museum, 4-10 November

Exhibition: Vintage Values
4-24 November
Vintage Values is a collection of pamphlet covers designed and printed in Ireland between the 1920s and 1960s by the Catholic Truth Society (now Veritas). The pamphlets were principally for use in the parish to help people seeking advice in a variety of topics such as marriage, sin, dating and social graces. Some of the texts were imported from the USA but all the artwork was created and printed in Ireland, and the collection gives a visual context for an important period in Irish history. The artwork shows how forward-thinking the artists were in producing work in such a bold visual style. The collection includes work by esteemed Irish designers including George Altendorf and Karl Uhlemann. Long hidden in the Veritas archives, this will be the first time in over 50 years they have been seen by the public.

Vintage Values runs from 4 to 24 November at the Museum. The exhibition comprises of approximately 35 high-res prints of a selection of the best artworks incorporating varies styles and themes from the collection. The original pamphlets are displayed alongside the prints.

Lecture: Printing, from 2D to 3D
6 November
For the month of October, FabAllThings and the National Print Museum collaborated in a design call for lasercut artwork with the theme of ‘Typography and the City’. The design call will culminate in an event on 6 November at 18.30 in the Museum and will include: a display of the winning artworks; lecture Printing, from 2D to 3D to be delivered by Emer O’Daly; and demonstrations of 3D printing.

Emer will be speaking about the history of 3D printing, how this new technology arose and the impact it is having on design and product-making. Emer graduated from Yale University with a Masters in Architecture specialising in digital computation and fabrication. Since returning to Ireland, she has teamed up with Kate, Miguel and Aoibheann to set up FabAllThings, an interactive design platform where anyone can get involved in the creation of products.

Guided Tour
9 November
To celebrate Design Week join us for a free tour of the permanent collection and discover the history of letterpress printing on Saturday 9 November at 15.00.

Opening hours:
Mon-Fri 09.00-17.00
Sat-Sun 14.00-17.00

All events are free of charge and no booking is necessary.

For further information on any of the events, please call 01 6603770, contact carlamarrinan[@] or see

Shaping Identities Together

Press Release

Shaping Identities Together at the National Print Museum

Colin Martin – Eoin Mac Lochlainn – Hughie O’Donoghue – Geraldine O’Reilly – Robert Russell

15 August – 13 October (free admission)

Shaping Identities Together is a major celebration of the creation of Irish identity in Europe.

The idea for this exhibition originally came from the gardens of the Irish College in Leuven, now home to the Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe, where roughly carved letters from the seventeenth-century printing press were discovered under the earth. Five artists were invited to celebrate the history of the Institute, and to explore the importance of Leuven in the dissemination of ideas through words. The artists selected, Colin Martin, Eoin Mac Lochlainn, Hughie O’Donoghue, Geraldine O’Reilly and Robert Russell, have all engaged with the idea of the past in their artistic practice. The works which they have created for this exhibition, in print, paint and video, reflect the individual histories of those who lived at the college, as well as the histories and journeys of their books, and the impact which they have had on countless people throughout the centuries.

Books and manuscripts were central to the lives of the Irish Franciscans, who established colleges across Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They compiled the great history of Ireland – the famed Annals of the Four Masters – from the many manuscripts they collected, and in their European libraries, they collected books on topics as diverse as astrology and the history of China. The typeface for printing in Irish was also first developed by the friars of St. Anthony’s College in Leuven. Based on the script of medieval Irish scribes, it is instantly recognizable and completely unique. The book collections of the Franciscans were scattered across the Continent during periods of political and religious upheaval. Some were lost, while others were stored in St. Isidore’s College in Rome, until they were moved to Ireland. In 2000, a collection of rare books and manuscripts was transferred to University College Dublin in a unique partnership between the University and the Irish Franciscans, one of the most significant donations ever made to an Irish university.

Shaping Identities Together opened at the Institute for Ireland in Europe, Leuven in May 2013 and now moves to the National Print Museum, Dublin. It is a result of the collaboration between the Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe, the Franciscan Order, the Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute at UCD and the National Print Museum. It is supported by the Franciscan Order and Culture Ireland, and forms part of celebrations to mark Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

An exhibition catalogue is available for purchase from the Museum Shop.

Notes to editor

The National Print Museum collects, documents, preserves, exhibits, interprets and makes accessible the material evidence of printing craft and fosters associated skills of the craft in Ireland. Opened in 1996, the Museum is a place for printers, historians, students and the public to learn how printing developed and brought information, in all its forms, to the world. The Museum is supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht and is fully accredited under The Heritage Council’s Museum Standards Programme for Ireland. On exhibit is a representative display of the equipment from the rich centuries-old printing heritage. Museum activities include: exhibitions, tours, workshops, lectures, outreach, demonstration days and other special events.

Opening hours: Monday – Friday 09.00-17.00, Saturday – Sunday 14.00-17.00, closed bank holiday weekends.

National Print Museum

Beggars Bush Barracks

Haddington Road

Dublin 4


For more information, artists biographies or images please contact carlamarrinan[@]

Contact Us

National Print Museum,
Garrison Chapel,
Beggars Bush Barracks,
Haddington Road,
Dublin 4,

T: +353 1 660 3770