The WS Society is to hold a series of events during 2022 to mark the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Signet Library.
The grand opening of the Signet Library building, in Edinburgh’s Parliament Square, is linked to its use during King George IV’s visit to the city in August 1822. On seeing the Upper Library, which he used as a reception room prior to the great banquet held in his honour in Parliament Hall, the King reportedly declared it "the most beautiful drawing room in Europe".
To mark 200 years since the royal visit, the Society will stage a public lecture on the evening of 1 September 2022, titled "Identity, Imagination and George IV in Edinburgh, 1822".
Throughout the year, from March onwards, the library's bicentenary will be marked with an online exhibition which will build up month by month, focussing on aspects of Signet Library history and collecting and with a series of new digitisations of important manuscripts from its collections.
August 2022 also marks the 75th anniversary of the birth of the Edinburgh International Festival, and the WS Society will share in the celebrations in a joint event in the library Richard Demarco, one of the leading figures in European and Scottish art and someone long associated with the Festival.
With the lifting of COVID restrictions, the WS Society’s Annual Dinner will also return on 11 November 2022.