The College of Arts and Sciences, Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute, and Ireland's Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University, in collaboration with the Arnold Bernhard Library, will host several special events in the coming months as part of Quinnipiac’s remembrance of the 1916 Easter Rising.
The centerpiece will be the institute’s exhibit, “The Seed of the People: 1916 Remembered,” which will run from March 23 until September 30 in the Lender Family Special Collection Room, located in the library on the Mount Carmel campus, 275 Mount Carmel Avenue.
The exhibit will feature both a full Proclamation of the Irish Republic, which is being loaned to the institute by Jim Callery of Strokestown House in County Roscommon, and a rare half copy of the Proclamation, considered to be one of the most important documents in Irish history.
Christine Kinealy, professor of history and director of Ireland's Great Hunger Institute, said private collector Todd Allen of New Jersey lent the authentic half proclamation to the institute.
“Todd has a great passion for Irish history and great interest in 1916,” Kinealy said.
Kinealy added that original copies of the proclamation had to be printed in halves because of typesetting issues. She said that when the British troops raided Liberty Hall, where the documents were printed, they found the typeset copy in the printer for the lower half, and many printed off half pages for souvenirs.
“They are quite rare,” Kinealy said. “It might be the only copy in America, and this is possibly the only time that a full and a half Proclamation will be exhibited together.”
The exhibit will also feature a medal of honor, original postcards and newspapers from the period, and items signed by leading figures in Irish history such as James Connolly and Patrick Pearse, who read the Irish Proclamation at the General Post Office in Dublin to mark the beginning of the Easter Rising.
The hours for the exhibit, which is free and open to the public, are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.
In addition to “The Seed of the People: 1916 Remembered,” the other events at Quinnipiac will include poetry readings, film screenings, displays of first edition books, dramatic readings, a production of Sean O'Casey's play The Shadow of a Gunman, and public lectures.
On March 28 at noon, Irish poet Desmond Egan will read the authentic proclamation aloud on the steps in front of the Arnold Bernard Library. Egan will also read some of his poems during an evening of Irish poetry from 4-6 p.m. at the Carl Hansen Student Center piazza.
On April 4, Quinnipiac will host the lecture, “Twinsome Minds: Recovering 1916 in Images and Stories,” from 5-6:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Center for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences on the North Haven campus.
Twinsome minds, a phrase from Finnegan’s Wake, is a multimedia performed talk with text by Richard Kearney and images by Sheila Gallagher. The performance re-imagines a series of micro-narratives surrounding 1916 in Dublin and the World War I battlefields of Belgium.
Quinnipiac’s Theater for Community Group will perform, for the first time, The Shadow of a Gunman, April 14-16 at 7:30 p.m. and April 17 at 2 p.m. in the Clarice L. Buckman Theater on the Mount Carmel Campus. Crystal Bain, professor of theater, will direct the play. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for students and senior citizens.
In addition, Quinnipiac will screen the documentary film, "1916: Irish Rebellion," on September 29 from 4-7 p.m. in the Mount Carmel Auditorium in the Center for Communications and Engineering. A panel discussion will follow with faculty from Quinnipiac and the University of Notre Dame.
All events are open to the public. For more information about institute events, call 203-582-7809. To find out more about museum events, call 203-582-6500.