Enlivening our Present by Illuminating our Past

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LIBRARY

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Researching at The BMI


– Researchers are asked to email library@ballaratmi.org.au or visit the library desk with inquiry or research need and an appropriate time will be organised for assistance. This may not be immediate. (If anyone wishes to view a particular paper or range of papers they must provide notice one week prior to the viewing to allow the papers to be brought up for viewing.)

Note all image collection inquiries will first be referred to BMI’s Victorian Collections page.

– Fees: Research access is free for members or $10 per day for non-members (fees may vary for shorter or longer assistance requirements)

Research assistance is largely done by volunteers so this contribution helps the institute in its ongoing operations. Becoming a member allows you to enjoy the lending library and research facilities as well as discounts on venue hire and events, and the knowledge that you are supporting this historic cultural hub to continue into the future. Click here for more details about membership.

– Once on site, researchers will be asked to enter information into researcher log to capture contact details and research areas and given an outline of information and guidelines for researching within the BMI.

Some highlights of the Collection include;

  • Ballarat & district books and materials including Directories & Dickers mining guides
  • Full run of Ballarat Courier, and some Times and Star newspapers
  • Max Harris Photography Collection dating back to the 1860s and growing digital audio visual collection
  • A leading Australian example of a Mechanics’ Institute library of Heritage books spanning topics from philosophy and travel to music and mining, and rare items 
  • Journals including The Australasian, The Builder, London Illustrated News, Punch
  • BMI institutional archives including original minute and correspondence books dating from 1864