Unlock The Past will be at

Unlock the Past Cruises

Prahran Mechanics' Institute Victorian History Library

Research Costs
  • Complimentary basic reference service to members.
Open Hours
  • Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri: 9.30am-4.30pm Thu 9.30am-7.00pm
Approximate Membership
  • 550
Membership Cost
  • $15 (1 year), $50 (5 years), $100 (life, over 60s only)
  • PMI Victorian History Library Newsletter (quarterly) + Recent Additions supplement (monthly)

Established in 1854, the Prahran Mechanics’ Institute is a community owned and run library specialising in the history of Victoria, Australia. It is the only collection of its kind available for loan to the general public.

With more than 30,000 books for loan and a professional information service for our members, we provide a central resource for research into the history of Victoria. Interlibrary loans are extended to libraries throughout Australia.

In addition to our extensive lending and reference library specialising in works about Victorian history, we organise educational activities including lectures, seminars, competitions and a publishing service to encourage and facilitate the study of history.

Joining is easy, affordable and open to all.


The PMI is the home of special collections of: Mechanics’ Institutes of Victoria, Cinema & Theatre Historical Society, and the Australian Railway Historical Society (Vic.)