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The Palace Journal

The People's Palace began in 1886 with the purpose of providing an educational and cultural centre for the local east end community. 2012 marks 125 years from the opening of the Queen’s Hall of the People’s Palace. The Hall was used for a variety of events, including lectures, concerts and organ recitals, shows of birds and flowers, exhibitions of animals and pictures, fetes and more. The technical and trade school which formed part of the People's Palace later developed into Queen Mary College.

The Palace Journals were a weekly chronicle that ran from 1887-1895.

The journals not only provide a rich account of the early years of the People’s Palace but a valuable insight into Victorian culture and social history. They include:

  • Articles referring the Whitechapel Murders (10 October 1888).
  • Articles by writer Arthur Morrison (1863-1945), who worked as a clerk at the People’s Palace 1886-1890, and in 1896 published A Child of the Jago.
  • and Personal accounts describing the east end of the 1880s.

The journal issues include articles about the Palace, general 'public interest' articles, poetry and stories. Regular features include 'Palace Gossip', 'Men Who have Risen', The Members' Column, Society and Club Notes, Musical Notes, Class Notes, Letters to the Editor, and Competitions, Puzzles and Prizes, and advertisements.

Available online for the first time, the individual issues have been made searchable via the Adobe PDF search facility, allowing you to either browse whole issues, or look for specific topics, articles, names and events.

To view these digitised records, please use the drop down menus below.* To search over multiple issues, you will need to download issues to one location on your computer. The archive catalogue references are highlighted on the first page of each PDF.

For more information regarding the People's Palace and the History of Queen Mary College, please click here to view the collection description.

For more information regarding access, please contact us at

*Please note that due to the size of some of the PDF files, download times may take up to 30 seconds.

This volume includes: serialised novels such as 'The Holy Rose: A Novel' by Walter Besant, and 'In the Carquinez Woods' by Bret Harte; a series of articles on 'Personal and Home Hygiene' by John Goodfellow, Lecturer on Hygiene at the Bow and Bromley Institute, and on 'Big Game from "The Tropical World" by Dr. G. Hartwig'; and articles on events at the People's Palace, such as The Apprentice's Exhibition, The Dog Show, and The Flower Show.

This volume includes: articles on events at the People's Palace such as The Workmen's Exhibition, the Opening of the Swimming Bath, the Elementary Schools' Swimming Competition, and the Autumn Fete; and serialised stories including 'On the Frontier' by Bret Harte, and 'Twas in Trafalgar's Bay', by Walter Besant and James Rice.

This volume includes: articles on events at the People's Palace such as The Cage-Bird Show, The Chrysanthemum Show, and The Christmas Arctic Fete; and the serialised story 'To Call her Mine' by Walter Besant.

This volume includes articles such as an article on the Workmen's and Apprentice's Industrial Exhibition at the People's Palace (in No. 83, June 12 1889, p.51), and the serialised story 'Maiwa's Revenge, or the War of the Little Hand', by H. Rider Haggard.

This volume features: articles on events at the People's Palace, such as boxing competitions, and the Duke of Cambridge presiding over a public meeting about imperial federation; and serialised stories including 'Legends of the Province House' by Nathaniel Hawthorne and 'The Italian Banditti' by Washington Irving.

This volume also contains advertisements, and programmes for events at the People's Palace such as the Third Annual Gymnastic Display & Assault-at-Arms, 14 May 1890, and a performance by the "Black Eagle" Minstrels, 21 May 1898. Also included are serialised stories, such as 'The Murders in the Rue Morge' and 'A Descent into the Maelstrom', by Edgar Allan Poe.

This volume also includes advertisements, and programmes for events at the People's Palace such as concerts by the People's Palace Military Band, and a programme of 'Stirring Naval Yarns' to be given by Captain Charles Reader, R.N., on 'The Hero Nelson', on 1 October 1890.

This volume also features advertisements, including advertisements for People's Palace events such as a 'Science Lectures for the People' lecture by R.D. Roberts, M.A., D.Sc., on 'The Workshop of Nature', 24 November 1890. In addition, this volume includes programmes for concerts such as a performance of Handel's oratorio 'Messiah' by the People's Palace Choral Society and Orchestra, 20 December 1890.

Includes articles about the People's Palace, general articles, and stories, such as the serialised story 'A Strange Experience and its Sequel'. Regular features include Coming Events, Club, Class and General Gossip, and Programmes, Time Table of Evening Classes, 'Gleanings - Grave and Gay', and advertisements.

This volume also includes: examination results for 1891; and programmes for concerts, such as a Gilbert-Sullivan concert, 30 December 1891, and other events such as lectures and Prof. Mitchell's Illusionist and Ventriloquial Entertainment, 7 December 1891.

This volume also includes programmes for concerts and other events, such as: the First Musical Festival of the People's Palace Choir and Orchestra, 9 to 13 January 1892; and a 'Humourous and Dramatic Recital' by Mr Lambert Gore 'The Popular Story Teller' of 'Little Lord Fauntleroy', 22 June 1892.

This volume includes catalogues for the Annual Exhibition of Pictures at the People's Palace, 13 August to 10 September 1892, and programmes for the accompanying concerts featuring the African Native Choir Quintette and others. It also includes programmes for concerts and other events, such as a lecture by Frederic Villiers, Special War Correspondent of 'The Graphic' entitled 'War on a White Sheet', 2 January 1893.

This volume also includes programmes: for concerts such as a performance by the Cardiff National Welsh Choir, 28 January 1893; and for lectures, including 'The Starry Realms', a lecture on constellations by Rev. Newton Vanstone, 16 January 1893.

This volume includes programmes for concerts such as a performance by the Field-Fisher Quartette, 26 April 1893, and a Costume Recital of Scenes from Popular Italian Operas, 1 April 1893.

Copyright remains with Queen Mary University of London.

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