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

Current Books For Sale

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

Wanting to renew or reserve library items?

Opening Hours

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10.00am–4.00pm
Wednesday: 10.00am–4.00pm
Thursday: 10.00am–4.00pm
Friday: 10.00am–4.00pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

Click-and-Collect By Appointment Only on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday between 9:00am – 5.00pm

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

Feb
7
Tue
PMI Book Club @ PMI Victorian History Library
Feb 7 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 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.

To attend the Book Club please book here

Midsumma Event: The Public Life of Us @ PMI Victorian History Library Inc.
Feb 7 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Midsumma Event: The Public Life of Us @ PMI Victorian History Library Inc.

Queer people making an exhibition of ourselves

“There have always been queer people in Australia. At least as far back as the First Fleet, and perhaps beyond. But with the state, the church, professional and public opinion mobilised against us, it was always safer to keep out of sight. We certainly managed to meet each other, to hook up and even to gather and socialise but it was risky and relied on discretion and a bit of luck. All that started to change when lesbians and gay men started to come out – to create organisations and draw attention to ourselves and our demands.”

Click on the orange Register button above to attend this event.

 

Feb
22
Wed
Back from the Brink: The Chequered History of the Victorian Railway History Library @ PMI Victorian History Library
Feb 22 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Back from the Brink: The Chequered History of the Victorian Railway History Library @ PMI Victorian History Library

Donald, President of the Library, will talk about the bleak future The Victorian Railway History Library (then ARHS (Vic) Library) faced when it was expelled from rooms at the Windsor Railway Station following Victorian Railways privatisation. However, many moves later the library now has a happy home at the Prahran Mechanics Institute. This talk examines that fraught period and also gives an overview of the collection and some of the gems it contains.

Please provide a gold coin donation for entry.

Click on the orange Register button above to attend this event.

 

Feb
28
Tue
Family History Social Group @ PMI Victorian History Library
Feb 28 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Family History Social Group @ PMI Victorian History Library

Do you enjoy friendly conversation and family history? Share your knowledge and skills with other group members in a friendly and supportive environment while making use of the many resources available at the PMI Victorian History Library.

Whether you are just starting out with your family history research or have many years of experience you are welcome to come along.

LAST TUESDAY OF EACH MONTH – 1:00pm-2:30pm

Please click the link to book your spot: https://www.trybooking.com/events/landing?eid=932877&

Mar
7
Tue
PMI Book Club @ PMI Victorian History Library
Mar 7 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 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.

To attend the Book Club please book here

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.