Welcome to the Prahran Mechanics' Institute (est. 1854), a community owned and run library specialising in the history of Victoria, Australia. We have over 25,000 books for loan and offer a professional information service to members. Joining is easy, affordable and open to all.

Latest news:

We are pleased to announce that we have some firm plans for moving the library to our new building at 39 St Edmonds Road, Prahran.

The PMI Library will be closed for the WHOLE OF DECEMBER while the move takes place.

The final day of opening at High Street will be SATURDAY 29 NOVEMBER 9.30am-1.00pm so we encourage all members to borrow items for the Christmas period on or before this date.

For items borrowed on or after 10 November, we will be extending the loan period until 2 February 2015.

We intend to reopen the library at the new building in early-mid January, depending on the progress of the move, and we will notify members as soon as we have determined the reopen date.

2014 Short History Prize: WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT

Ancestry Library Edition - Call 9510 3393 to reserve a computer, or bring your laptop and we'll show you how to log in.

Click here for the Recent Additions List (October 2014)

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The library is located at 140 High Street, Prahran (Melway reference 2L H12 and 58 D6).
It is close to: Prahran Station (Sandringham line) Chapel Street trams (Nos. 78, 79) High Street tram (No. 6)
There is 1 hour parking on High Street, and 3 hour parking on Thomas Street.
During university semesters it can be difficult to find parking, but on weekends the carpark on the corner of High and Thomas Streets (next door to the west of the library) is free to the public.

Opening Hours

Monday-Friday: 9.30am-4.30pm
Saturday: 9.30am-1.00pm
except for Victorian public holidays and the Christmas-New Year period.


The objectives of the PMI are as follows:
  • To provide a lending and reference library specialising in works about the history of Victoria.
  • To organise educational activities relating to the history of Victoria.
  • To encourage and facilitate the study of history, particularly the history of Victoria.

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