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Records relating to the Mechanics' Library and University Hall, Riddle's Court

 Item — Volume: Dk.1.4
Identifier: Coll-1841

Scope and Contents

A single volume in two parts. The first part relates to the buildings use as the Mechanics Library, the second relates to its period as University Hall. In the front is bound an architectural plan and two engravings of the buildings.

Section I begins with a Preface based on extracts from Daniel Wilson, 'Edinburgh in Olden Time'. Bound in before the Preface is a two-sided illustration, one side titled "M'Morran Superintends his bigging". Thererafter follows a table of contents and then extracts from minutes (assumed to be those of the Mechanics Institute, a forerunner of what is now Heriot-Watt University).

Section II relates to University Hall, from 1889-, including background, activities and lists of residents. There are some enclosures and some pages bear illustrations of activities within University Hall. Amongst the illustrations on the final pages of this section is one which includes Geddes himself.

Residents included William Speirs Bruce, William Gordon Burn-Murdoch, Ricardo Stephens and Louis G. Irvine. Most of the illustrations are initialed as to suggest that they were by Irvine. One appears to be by Burn Murdoch.

After a block of blank pages, there are seven further pages continuing Section I.


  • Creation: 1850s, 1890s


Biographical / Historical

In the late 1880s, Patrick Geddes acquired Riddle's Court for the purpose of creating University Hall.  Prior to this, it had been in the posession of the Mechanics' Subscription Library, who had been based there since the mid 1850s.


1 volume