The Assembly Rooms

Today, we hand over our blog to Russell Clegg, Heritage and Outreach Assistant with Edinburgh Museums and Galleries. We’ve just had a ball working with Russell on a story about the Assembly Rooms for Our Town Stories

‘I love it when a plan comes together!’ – heard that one before?

Well, I am most grateful to have had my own A-Team to work with in the shape of the Libraries’ Digital Team when creating an Assembly Rooms story for

As Heritage Assistant for such a prestigious building I have the privilege of tracing the footsteps of many illustrious visitors from the past as well as guiding tour groups and the general public around what they see as a familiar and, for many, an evocative space.

Assembly Rooms, George StreetAs you will read, this iconic Georgian venue has graced the built landscape of the city since 1787 and trying to capture the architectural, social and civic history of the place through stories and pictures has been a fascinating experience.

Whilst working on the heritage project, following the refurbishment of the venue, I have been collecting the many memories and stories that people have donated and this was an aspect of the building’s history which I wanted to include in the story.

I sometimes wonder what the Assembly Rooms itself would say if it could speak and by including these voices, readers get to hear about some of the weird and wonderful events that the Assembly Rooms has witnessed over the years.  The personal testimonies I have received and the interviews I have conducted have revealed that this venue has a very special place in the hearts and minds of those I have spoken to.

My collaboration with Libraries is set to continue over the next few months as I continue to prepare a touring exhibition, charting the social history of the Assembly Rooms, which will be visiting selected Edinburgh Libraries in the autumn.

Please do contact me if you have a story to tell or maybe if you have an object which relates to an event you once attended at ‘The Grande Dame’ of George Street.
Russell Clegg is the Heritage and Outreach Assistant with Edinburgh Museums and Galleries.

You can read more from Russell and keep up with news and events from Museums at the Edinburgh Museums and Galleries Outreach blog.


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