Welcome to the PMI Victorian History Library Inc.
The Prahran Mechanics’ Institute (PMI) was established in 1854. It is a community owned and run library, specialising in the history of Victoria, Australia. We are a central resource for research into the history of Victoria.
The library has over 40,000 books for loan, many of which are not available for loan elsewhere.
In addition to our extensive lending and reference library specialising in works about Victorian history, we also provide a professional information service for our members and organise educational activities including lectures, seminars and competitions to encourage and facilitate the study of history.
Become a member and discover a wealth of information about the history of Victoria. Joining the library is easy, affordable and open to all.
Want to learn more about the history of the PMI? Download a copy of the Prahran Mechanics’ Institute timeline (PDF).
The PMI is also home to a number of special collections including:
- The Mechanics’ Institutes of Victoria
- The Cinema & Theatre Historical Society; and
- Victorian Railway History Library
Our Home for the PMI
The PMI Victorian History Library is located at 39 St Edmonds Road, Prahran.
The building provides:
- shelf space for the collection
- seating for reading and research
- a public tea room with a kitchen, urn and microwave
- a dedicated volunteer work room (the Furneaux Room)
- a large multipurpose meeting room (the Moss Room) which can be partitioned off to provide another smaller space for meetings, reading and research
- disabled access
- some on-site parking (inside the ground floor garage door)
The PMI is incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Reform Act (2012). Members are provided with copies of the PMI Constitution and Library Policy on request.
The PMI is administered by a board of seven people.
Want to know more about the PMI Board? Visit Meet the Board.
Lauren Joffe (Chief Librarian)
Ellen Coates (Collections Librarian and Volunteer Coordinator)
Evangelia Praresti (Administration Assistant)
The library staff are supported by casual staff and volunteers
Wanting to renew or reserve library items?
Join the Library
You will be supporting a not-for-profit, community organisation and one of the oldest libraries in Victoria.