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The People's Story gives an unique insight in to Edinburgh's working class people from the 18th century to the late 20th century. The displays include tableaux, original objects, images and personal stories to reveal their fascinating history of the city.

The collection focuses on the history, culture, crafts and trades, and the people of Edinburgh but also as a place to explore more contemporary issues, events and opinions.

What makes the museum stand out is that all of the displays are based around the words of Edinburgh’s people, taken from oral history reminiscences and written sources to tell real stories. The collections reflect this with objects ranging from Friendly Society regalia, banners and material relating to Edinburgh’s diverse communities.




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Collection highlights include:

Banners for street protests, social, political reform movements and trade unions. There are a number of significant objects relating to Edinburgh trades including a Lockit Buik and documents from the guilds. Collections relating to crime and punishment in the 18th and 19th century are also well represented.

The museum displays have a vintage feel, re-creating scenes of daily life, from work, home and leisure. You can see displays including a bookbinder’s workshop, wartime kitchen, tea room and jail cell.The People’s Story explores the lives of Edinburgh’s people from the late 18th century to present times. Housed in the Canongate Tollbooth, a Royal Mile landmark built in 1591, the building itself had numerous incarnations including conducting burgh affairs, collecting taxes and as a jail.

The People's Story Museum Access Guide

Click on the link below to download our comprehensive access guide and find out how you can get to and around the People's Story Museum.

People's Story

People's Story Museum BSL Tour

The People's Story

For all accessibility enquiries please contact the venue on: 

+44 (0) 131 529 4057

This is not a museum about the great and good of Edinburgh, but about the lives of ordinary working people and the poverty they endured. Taxidevil, Glasgow

The People's Story Museum is a 3 star museum

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