Material relating to the Outlook Tower Current Events Club
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Biographical / Historical
In 1892, the Outlook Tower was acquired on a lease by Sir Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) who had become involved in the renewal of the city's Old Town. In 1896, the Tower was purchased by the Town and Gown Association, a body formed to assist with the financial challenges met in the renewal of the Old Town. The Tower was to be developed as a regional and sociological laboratory; a centre for post-graduate studies, experimental education and civic improvement. Geddes intended that the building should offer an interactive experience and that it be a civic museum and educational resource. Summer Schools and meetings were organised on such varied subjects as seaside and garden biology, the theory of evolution, philosophy and art. The social phenomena of the city were also observed. The Outlook Tower acted as a centre for teaching, reference and study around all of these activities, and became a civic and urban observatory or laboratory. Geddes believed that such a centre for 'civic and social outlook' could be 'experimented with in any city' and better still with 'the co-operative activity of a Current Events Club'.
Today, the Outlook Tower still houses a Camera Obscura and it is a popular tourist attraction.
33 boxes (2 linear metres).
Other Finding Aids
Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.
- Material relating to the Outlook Tower Current Events Club, Outlook Tower, Edinburgh
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