With our this project currently in progress, our eyes and ears are particularly attuned to Patrick Geddes material elsewhere in our collections. It was a delight recently to stumble across a volume entitled Records relating to the Mechanics’ Library and University Hall, Riddle’s Court. We have been working very closely with the Education Officer at the Patrick Geddes Centre, Riddle’s Court, so this is an extra special find at this time.
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 possession of the Mechanics Library, who had been based there since the mid 1850s.
A volume in our collection contains extracts of records relating to the building’s time as the Mechanics Subscription Library, including the earlier history of the buildings, as well as records of its time as University Hall. As well as text, the volume is peppered liberally with illustrations.
The first residents moved in for the Winter Session of 1889-90. There were only three of them – William Speirs Bruce, Riccardo Stephens and William Grant Burn-Murdoch. All three had a strong connection to Geddes.