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Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute (BMI Ballarat) Ballarat, Vic

The BMI’s core principles outlined in 1859 were “the diffusion of literary, scientific and other useful knowledge and the supply of rational in-door recreation to its members.” While this has evolved somewhat into the current day, the Ballarat Mechanics’ Institute is fortunate to have retained a substantial collection of 19th and 20th century material that is representative of the holdings of a large, regional Mechanics’ Institute during that period.

The Ballarat Mechanics’ Institute collection of some 16000 heritage books, periodicals and newspapers (approximately 80,000 issues) acquired progressively since 1859 is heritage listed and presents a rare example of the range of reading material available to the citizens of Ballarat and District from the mid 19th century to early part of the 20th century. In addition is the Reference Collection, featuring a large range of directories and other research material.
The collection also includes the Institute’s own Archives dating from c. 1857 including minutes, correspondence, annual reports, lithographs, artifacts and objects, and the newly acquired Max Harris historic Ballarat photography collection, part of the BMI Audio Visual Collection.

The Max Harris Photography Collection was compiled by collector and photographer Max Harris over forty years from various sources, including public, private, and his own images. Any knowledge regarding additional information about these images or pointing out double-ups can be made via the comment box and is much appreciated. The images that have been catalogued and uploaded here are from the digital files in the collection.
More information about the collection and regarding print and image usage:
https://ballaratmi.org.au/heritage/max-harris-photography-collection

Collection acquisition scope and process
An acquisition committee assesses donations to the BMI collections and requires donors to complete associated paperwork.

Key collecting areas are:

-Digital audio-visual material and paper ephemera relating to Ballarat city life
-Books for both lending library and Research Collection as per our collection criteria of relevance, condition etc.
-Ongoing collection of the Ballarat Courier

Links

Contact Information

location
117 Sturt St Ballarat Victoria 3350 (map)
phone
+61 53313042

Contact

Opening Hours

Mon-Fri 10-4 Sat 9.30-12

Entry Fee

Donation

Location

117 Sturt St Ballarat Vic

View on Google Maps

The BMI’s core principles outlined in 1859 were “the diffusion of literary, scientific and other useful knowledge and the supply of rational in-door recreation to its members.” While this has evolved somewhat into the current day, the Ballarat Mechanics’ Institute is fortunate to have retained a substantial collection of 19th and 20th century material that is representative of the holdings of a large, regional Mechanics’ Institute during that period.

The Ballarat Mechanics’ Institute collection of some 16000 heritage books, periodicals and newspapers (approximately 80,000 issues) acquired progressively since 1859 is heritage listed and presents a rare example of the range of reading material available to the citizens of Ballarat and District from the mid 19th century to early part of the 20th century. In addition is the Reference Collection, featuring a large range of directories and other research material.
The collection also includes the Institute’s own Archives dating from c. 1857 including minutes, correspondence, annual reports, lithographs, artifacts and objects, and the newly acquired Max Harris historic Ballarat photography collection, part of the BMI Audio Visual Collection.

The Max Harris Photography Collection was compiled by collector and photographer Max Harris over forty years from various sources, including public, private, and his own images. Any knowledge regarding additional information about these images or pointing out double-ups can be made via the comment box and is much appreciated. The images that have been catalogued and uploaded here are from the digital files in the collection.
More information about the collection and regarding print and image usage:
https://ballaratmi.org.au/heritage/max-harris-photography-collection

Collection acquisition scope and process
An acquisition committee assesses donations to the BMI collections and requires donors to complete associated paperwork.

Key collecting areas are:

-Digital audio-visual material and paper ephemera relating to Ballarat city life
-Books for both lending library and Research Collection as per our collection criteria of relevance, condition etc.
-Ongoing collection of the Ballarat Courier

Ron McLean 28 May 2017 8:26 PM

In your photo collection, photo MH60-119 is described as being a "Chevrolet sedan being admired". It is in fact a 1960 Cadillac Series 75 limousine. I believe it to be a car that probably belonged to Elvis Presley which was displayed in Ballarat many years ago. You will note the rear doors of the car are open to show the custom fitted shoe shine machine in the rear of the car.

Amy Tsilemanis 11 October 2018 3:05 PM

Thanks for this information Ron

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Talking Shop Stories from Ballarat women

Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute (BMI Ballarat), Ballarat

Talking Shop Stories from Ballarat women

These oral histories were collected at a Talking Shop Community Day, March 2019, where the community was invited to come and share their memories on local shops and businesses. This edited piece was created for International Womens Day and features

Audio file. Edited from oral histories collected at Talking Shop exhibition Community Day March 2019, featuring the voices of Heather Horrocks, Shirley Whitefield, and Isabel Gribble

Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute (BMI Ballarat) Talking Shop Stories from Ballarat women Audio file. Edited from oral histories collected at Talking Shop exhibition Community Day March 2019, featuring the voices of Heather Horrocks, Shirley Whitefield

Audio file. Edited from oral histories collected at Talking Shop exhibition Community Day March 2019, featuring the voices of Heather Horrocks, Shirley Whitefield, and Isabel Gribble

Historical information

These oral histories were collected at a Talking Shop Community Day, March 2019, where the community was invited to come and share their memories on local shops and businesses. This edited piece was created for International Womens Day and features the voices of Heather Horrocks (speaking about the haberdashery business Picot and Widmer and the controversial McDonald's established on Bakery Hill in the 1970s), Shirley Whitefield (speaking about Ballarat tram and shop memories and playing local football in the 1960s), and Isabel Gribble (recalling visits to local shops and hotels). These snippets capture some of the varied and spirited lives of Ballarat women.