Welcome to the PMI Victorian History Library Inc.

The PMI Victorian History Library Inc. is a community owned and run library specialising in the history of Victoria, Australia.

The library collection is the only lending collection of its kind in Australia – with over 30,000 books for loan and over 40,000 items on site, including titles that are unavailable elsewhere. You can find information about all aspects of the history of Victoria including:

  • Company Histories
  • Design & Architecture
  • Family History/Genealogy
  • First Nations Australians
  • Theatre & Cinema
  • Town History
  • Transport
  • Visual & Performing Arts

We also provide a professional information service for our members, access to a number of indexes, directories and online resources, as well as organise and present educational activities and events.

The PMI is also the home of:

Latest News

Support our Winter Appeal

Here at the PMI Victorian History Library Inc. we are entirely independent and not for profit. This means that we receive no regular...

Meet Our Newest Board Member Carmel O’Keeffe

Carmel O’Keeffe joined the PMI Victorian History Library board in May, following her nomination by Museums Victoria (MV), - where she is...

A New Patron for the PMI Victorian History Library

It is a pleasure to announce that Professor Clare Wright OAM has agreed to be our new Library Patron. Some of you may know Clare as an...

Current Books For Sale

Prahran Mechanics' Institute Press publications: Valuable steps: a history of physical education in Victoria / Garry Powell, 312p, $35...

Library Staff

Lauren Joffe (Chief Librarian) Ellen Coates (Collections Librarian and Volunteer Coordinator) Evangelia Praresti (Administration...

Wanting to renew or reserve library items?

Opening Hours

Tues to Fri: 10.00am–4.00pm
Sat to Mon: Closed

Contact Us

Join the Library

You will be supporting a not-for-profit, community organisation and one of the oldest libraries in Victoria.

PMI Newsletter

Our regular newsletter features information about what is happening at the library, upcoming events and articles about Victorian history.

Upcoming Events

PMI Book Club @ PMI Victorian History Library
Oct 3 @ 11:15 am – 12:15 pm
PMI Book Club @ PMI Victorian History Library

Join us on the first Tuesday of every month for PMI Book Club. Keep an eye on your email and the PMI’s social media for details about each month’s book. It’s an informal chat, and then the group will pick the next book.

February Book: The Science of Appearances by Jacinta Halloran
March Book: Death of a River Guide by Richard Flanagan
April Book: The Women In Black by Madeleine St John
May Book: My Brother Jack by George Johnston
June Book: Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
July Book: Eucalyptus by Murray Bail
August Book: Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
September Book: Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta


Click here to register: https://www.trybooking.com/CFBIM

The life and art of Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri, The master from Marnpi
Oct 3 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
The life and art of Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri, The master from Marnpi

🖌️ The life and art of Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri, The master from Marnpi

How did a non-Indigenous man write the authorised biography of a Western Desert artist he never met?

Author Dr Alec O’Halloran talks about Namarari’s life and art to reveal the 19-year journey of reconciliation, challenges and the rewards he experienced. What happened in my first meeting with his widow, Elizabeth Marks Nakamarra, at the remote Pintupi settlement, Kintore, deep in the south-west of the Northern Territory? How was I able to visit isolated Aboriginal sites that appear in Namarari’s paintings? How did Namarari’s voice convince me to study his life and art more closely? I could never have predicted how this project would unfold or how grateful I would be to the many Pintupi people who became my teachers.

Bookings are essential with a gold coin donation for entry.

Click here to register: https://www.trybooking.com/CKASL



My Grandfather’s Clock
Oct 10 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
My Grandfather's Clock

🕰️ My Grandfather’s Clock

This is a joint Family History Connections and PMI Victorian History Library event.

Join us for a story of an ordinary family’s journey from frontier warfare and dispossession through economic turmoil and emigration to modest prosperity. At each step, we are led to reflect on the puzzles of personal identity and the mystery of time. Based on a lifetime of creative scholarship, My Grandfather’s Clock is a moving testament to the power of family history to illuminate the present.

Graeme Davison is Emeritus Sir John Monash Professor of History at Monash University. He has written widely on Australian history. His previous family history, Lost Relations: Fortunes of My Family in Australia’s Golden Age, won a Judges’ Special Prize in the Victorian Community History Awards.

Bookings are essential with a gold coin donation for entry.

Click here to register: https://www.trybooking.com/CLFUC



Chapel Street Walks
Oct 11 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Chapel Street Walks

🏛️ Meet at the PMI Victorian History Library then step into a charming adventure. Discover the tales of yesteryear’s department stores on Chapel Street, Prahran. An all-inclusive experience, perfect for everyone – families, individuals, and even your beloved pets!

The tour will be led by Steve Stefanopoulos OAM, architectural historian, former Mayor of the City of Stonnington and President of the PMI Victorian History Library.

Image: https://stonnington.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/FULL/WPAC/ARCENQ/59432044/22945613,1?FMT=IMG

Bookings are essential.

Available dates 11th and 25th: https://www.trybooking.com/CKQBO



Bushrangers, Bushfires and Possum Pies
Oct 24 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Bushrangers, Bushfires and Possum Pies

🥧 Bushrangers, bushfires and possum pies: the archaeology of the Old Bridge Inn, Mernda

In 2015, the Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) commissioned Dr Vincent Clark & Associates to carry out cultural heritage investigations for the Mernda Rail Extension Project. In the course of excavations the team came across the Old Bridge Inn. This is one of the earliest commercial structures outside of Melbourne. It was granted a hotel license in 1841, and this business is still in operation today as The Bridge Inn Hotel. Dr Michelle Negus Cleary will share with us the trials and joys discovered along the way with this cultural investigation.

Michelle is an Archaeologist with specialist expertise in ancient and historical archaeological survey and excavation, remote sensing, photogrammetry and more. She has also been a member of the library board since 2018.

Bookings are essential with a gold coin donation for entry.

Click here to register: https://www.trybooking.com/CKQCP



Recent Additions

Catch up on the latest additions to our collections.

Research Guides

Our staff can help with catalogue search, reference lookups & referrals.

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PMI Blog

Instituting the Past, a blog from the staff and members of the PMI library.