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Queen Mary's roots in public engagement

In 1887, Queen Mary began life as the People’s Palace, declared by Queen Victoria at the opening of the building to be “for the benefit of the people of east London, whose lives of unceasing but honourable toil will be cheered by the various opportunities of rational and instructive entertainment and of artistic enjoyment”. Since its opening, the People’s Palace, and the College, has been a knowledge centre, an artistic centre, a concert venue, a gymnasium and a Winter Garden, sharing the knowledge it creates throughout and beyond the local area.

More than 125 years on, thanks to the legacy of the Olympic Games, the local area is transformed. But Queen Mary still retains our commitment to the local community and to sharing knowledge through public engagement, bringing our research to life and making it count.

Our track record, and the integration of public engagement into university activity reflects this commitment. We aim to build on this and continue our aim to act as a fitting tribute to the vision of the Victorian philanthropists who created the People’s Palace, enabling Queen Mary to become what it is today.

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