Reflections on 2017

As the year draws to a close and thoughts turn to summer, Boxing Day cricket and days at the beach, it is timely to reflect on what has been a very busy and exciting year at PMI Victorian History Library.

Firstly what we have managed to achieve this year would not have been possible without the dedication, hard work and enthusiasm of the team – Chris Moysey (Communications and Marketing), Ellen Coates (Collections) and Ursula Zamecnik (Memberships and Volunteers). Thank you all.

Secondly our volunteers have done a sterling job supporting the activities of the PMI whether it be running our successful booksales, to indexing and book covering.

Finally the PMI Committee led by Cr Steve Stefanopoulos (President) and supported by Dr Judith Buckrich (Vice President) and Ben Quin who keeps a steady eye over our finances as our Treasurer. The Committee is also comprised of Cr John Chandler and Peter Wolfenden (who make up our Building Sub-Committee) and Chris Michalopoulos and Cr Melina Sehr. Thank you everyone for your support and encouragement throughout 2017.

The PMI also hosts a number of long standing historical organisations dedicated to the preservation of our history including:

Image of ARHS Members

Australian Railway Historical Society Victorian Division library

Image of CATHS members

Cinema and Theatre Historical Society Archive

Image of MIV staff at work

Mechanics Institutes of Victoria Archive

Recently the Australian Timetable Association has entered into an agreement to utilise some space in the James Mason Room to work on a collaborative project with the State Library of Victoria.

This underpins the flexibility of using a shared space in a collaborative way which benefits the organisations and the promotion of history.

In 2017 we ran or hosted an unprecedented number of events throughout the year including book launches and author talks such as:

  • Dr Judith Buckrich’s book on Ripponlea
  • Scott Whitakers’s books on railway hotels in Australia
  • Shirley Xanthos’s book on blacksmiths published by PMI Press

A range of interesting talks were held throughout the year on:

  • Drive-in theatres
  • Neon signs of Melbourne
  • Collecting hotel crockery
  • Cato Street archaeological dig
  • Famous book collectors of Melbourne
  • Department stores of Chapel Street hosted by our President Cr Steve Stefanopoulos

In terms of events we ran a diverse program including:

  • Introduction to eBay and Gmail
  • Researching family history and using Trove

Our facilities specifically the William Moss Room was utilised by many groups including:

  • Australian Labor Party Victorian Branch
  • Victorian Friendly Societies
  • North West Dispensaries
  • Chapel Street Precinct for their Provocare events
  • Australian Library and Information Association
  • Theatre Heritage Society

Our collection of resources which helps to underpin the success of the PMI continues to expand through acquisition by purchase or donations. This has been reflected in an increase in loans and inter-library loans to other libraries. Our social media presence continues to expand through our Facebook and blog sites.

On behalf of the PMI staff and Committee and Volunteers, have a safe and merry Christmas and New Year and we look forward to seeing you in 2018.

– Steven Haby, Secretary Librarian