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Athenaeum opening

Mitchell Library, William Simpson

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 Athenaeum opening

The Glasgow Athenaeum was modelled on Manchester's. It was founded in 1847 as a literary and scientific organisation, and to provide commercial classes for young Glasgow businessmen and professional people. This is a view of the opening ceremony in the Assembly Rooms in Ingram Street, which was chaired by Charles Dickens. He probably spoke from the stage to the left of this watercolour, painted by William "Crimean" Simpson.

2,000 students enrolled for classes and lectures at the Athenaeum, paying an annual subscription of a guinea (£1.05p). The institution flourished and in 1888 it moved from the Assembly Rooms to a new building in St George's Place (now Nelson Mandela Place).

Reference: Mitchell Library 310408

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning

adult education, Assembly Rooms, commerce, continuing education, education institutions, evening classes, Glasgow Athenaeum, Manchester Athenaeum, public lectures, students, watercolours, women

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