Story: Libraries

Timaru Mechanics' Institute library, 1887 (2nd of 2)

Timaru Mechanics' Institute library, 1887

Mechanics' institutes were public organisations which promoted adult learning amongst working-class people. The library was at the centre of every institute. This is a rare photograph of a 19th-century library interior, in this case the Timaru Mechanics' Institute library. The man standing next to the fireplace is clearly posed, perhaps contemplating how he should spend his time in the library. Large volumes, possibly including newspapers, are spread out on the table at the left. The library looks austere, suggesting a sober place of learning. 

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South Canterbury Museum
Reference: 1057

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How to cite this page:

Julia Millen, 'Libraries - Public libraries', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 June 2024)

Story by Julia Millen, published 22 Oct 2014