Understanding where your ancestors lived and worked can contribute a lot towards your understanding of who they were and what their lives were like. One place where Victorian family historians can go for local history information is a Mechanics Institute. The Mechanics Institute was once a well known focal point in Australian towns and communities as a centre of learning and as a meeting place.There are still over 500 Institutes in Victoria, though most now just operate as halls and community meeting places. Six Mechanics Institutes, however, still operate libraries in Victoria, with the headquarters being the Prahran Mechanics Institute located at located at 140 High Street, Prahran.
The Prahran Mechanics Institute lists it's objectives as:
- To provide a lending and reference library specialising in works about the history of Victoria.
- To organise educational activities relating to the history of Victoria.
- To encourage and facilitate the study of history, particularly the history of Victoria.