The Legacy Of The Printers Of 1916

The growth of the print industry in Ireland from the 17th century onwards was linked to political and administrative change. Print forms spanned all social spheres including academic works, luxury accessories and administrative stationary. In 1916, printers transformed the words of artists, activists, politicians and industrialist into works of permanent ink, which survive today.

The National Print Museum’s 1916 centenary exhibition seeks to engage the public in an understanding of the Rising from a fresh perspective by exploring 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 took place in the Museum from May until October 2016 and the digital exhibition now documents this important exhibition. Seditious Types has been made possible by the generous support of the Irish design and print industry, and with support from Ireland 2016.


Seditious Types was a beautifully produced exhibition which offered a completely different angle on the 1916 Rising. While many people are aware of the history of the printing of the 1916 Proclamation, this exhibition managed to expand on this story and highlight the central role printing and printers played in the Rising. It examined how the production of the political pamphlets, posters and books in the early years of the 20th century fermented revolution and debate. It also showed how the story of the Rising has been disseminated through the printed word, both in the immediate aftermath of the event and through subsequent commemorations. Its unique and original take on the 1916 Rising made it among the most engaging of the centenary exhibitions in 2016. 

Brian Crowley • Director, Pearse Museum