Skip to main content
Library Services


The People’s Palace: Past and Present reveals the role of the People’s Palace in the community from the 1880s until the 1940s and considers the legacy of the People’s Palace today.

This exhibition draws on the College Archives to explore the quest to establish a ‘Palace of Delights’ in East London in the 1880s, and highlight the entertainment, educational programmes and physical fitness facilities provided.  It also considers the activism evident in the QMUL community today, and in particular the work of the ‘People’s Palace Projects’.

The origins of Queen Mary can be traced back to 1886 when Prince of Wales laid the foundation stone of the People’s Palace Queen’s Hall, which was opened by Queen Victoria in May 1887.  In the spirit of Victorian philanthropy, the People’s Palace for East London was intended to improve the lives of the poor in the local community by providing ‘technical education and rational recreation’.

Back to top