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Mechanics' Institutes Worldwide Conferences


MIV first held an international conference for Mechanics' Institutes, Athenaeums, Literary Institutes, Lyceums, Mercantile Libraries, Schools of Arts and Working Men's Institutes in 2004. These conferences are held every 3-5 years in different parts of the world. They are aimed at bringing together representatives from Mechanics' Institutes and their ilk from all across the world to exchange ideas, hear histories and discuss their present situation and their aims for the future. Thus far, four MW Conferences have been held, the fifth is to be held in Scotland in 2021.

Mechanics’ Institutes Worldwide 2021 - Edinburgh is being hosted by Heriot-Watt University on 15 October 2021.  CLICK HERE for more info!

Proceedings of MW2004 are available for purchase! Contact Prahran Mechanics' Institute

Buildings, Books and Beyond: Mechanics' Worldwide 2004


The first Mechanics' Institutes Worldwide Conference was hosted by MIV in September 2004 at Swinburne University, Prahran, and the Prahran Mechanics' Institute.


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The proceedings which comprise forty seven papers plus illustrations is available in hard copy and CD ROM. Contact Prahran Mechanics' Institute.



Self Help: Mechanics' Worldwide 2009


The Second Mechanics' Institutes Worldwide Conference was hosted by the Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution in Bath, England in September 2009.


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Buildings, Books and Blackboards - Intersecting Narratives: Mechanics' Worldwide 2012


The Third Mechanics' Worldwide Conference, was held in combination with two other groups with an interest in history, libraries and education. This conference was held at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia in late November/early December 2012. The keynote speaker on Mechanics' Institutes was Dr Martyn Walker of the University of Huddersfield, England.


No proceedings will be published for MW2012.




Reinvention: Thriving in the 21st Century - Mechanics' Worldwide 2016


The Fourth Mechanics' Institutes Worldwide Conference was hosted by the Mechanics' Institute of San Francisco, USA  in November 2016.


More information here.






Mechanics’ Institutes: Past, Present and Future - Mechanics’ Institutes Worldwide 2021


The Fifth Mechanics’ Institutes Worldwide Conference is being hosted by Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh on 15 October 2021 in person and online.


Registration, Call for Papers, Poetry and Photograph Competition Submissions.


More information here.





Proceedings of MW2009 are available for purchase! Contact Lowden Publishing Co.



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