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Edinburgh’s International Inventions Exhibitions

Did you know we had International Inventions Exhibitions in Edinburgh in 1886 and 1890? The most famous international exhibition was held in London in 1851 at the Crystal Palace, but there were many others in the major European Capitals. The first one in Edinburgh was held on the Meadows, about where Jawbone Walk is now. The second was out west at Shandon, between the colonies and the canal. Music was important in both, with brass bands, organ recitals and piping contests. In 1890, you could stand in a phone booth in Edinburgh and listed to orchestras playing in Galashiels. Phones were exciting new technologies then, and their modern equivalents still are!


Reading Music

The new exhibition in the Binks Trust display wall on the 6th floor of the Main University Library shows some of the fabulous items relating to music in our rare book, archive and musical instrument collections. Come and see some of the most important early modern books about musical instruments alongside volumes relating to musical life in 19th-century Edinburgh. Also on display are two company ledgers which help us to understand how musical instrument making firms operated.







23 May – 2 Aug 2017, University of Edinburgh Main Library (6th floor). Mon-Fri 9am-5pm.