In the late 19th century, most towns in Victoria had a mechanics' Institute, dedicated to the improvement of the cultural, educational and social life of their community. With a lending library and a reading room in the mechanics’ building, they were the forerunners of public libraries. Their hall was the focal point for many community functions. Contents: Barfold p5. Chewton p37. Elphinstone p44. Lyal p59. Mia Mia p61. Redesdale p95. Sutton Grange p124. Taradale p146. Barfold Mutual Improvement Society p169. Green Hill and Metcalfe Mutual Improvement Associations p174. Appendix: Mia Mia Mechanics' Institute constitution 1907 p182. Surname index p186.