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Date Created[between 1864 and 1886]
Sort Date1886
DescriptionIn black ink on thin, white paper with visible chain and laid lines, an elaborate border surrounds the institution name and number.
Extent1 bookplate : relief printing ; 11.6 x 8.3 cm
Subject - GeographicVictoria (B.C.)
TypeStill Image
NotesMechanical institutes began in the 1820's in Edinburgh to promote education among workers in technical fields. Services included reading rooms, lending libraries, lectures, and even musical soirees and exhibitions, as in Montreal's Mechanics' Institute. As their institutional popularity declined, many mechanics' institutes were closed or integrated into the public library system. Formerly, they were located across Canada, and particularly throughout Ontario. Today, the Atwater Library of the Mechanics' Institute of Montreal is the last mechanical institute in Canada. The Mechanics Literary Institute of Victoria was first established through a meeting of mechanical craftsmen on November 26, 1864. The Institute opened on December 16th. It was the first library in Victoria and its collection consisted of newspapers, reference titles, and circulating books. At first the library had approximately 250 items, some of which were donated by Governor James Douglas, but within a year the collection doubled. Subscriptions cost $1/month, $10/year, or $50 for a lifelong membership. In 1886 the Mechanics Literary Institute closed and Mayor James Fell purchased the collection with his own money and stored it at City Hall until 1889 when he donated the 4, 150 volume collection to the City of Victoria. This collection formed the foundation of the Victoria Public Library.
1) 'About Us.' Atwater Library and Computer Centre. Atwater Library, 2009. Web. 25 Nov. 2011
2) Forsyth, J. 'The Library Movement in British Columbia.' The Washington Historical Quarterly 17:4 (1926). 271-279.
3) 'Greater Victoria Public Library.' Wikipedia. Wikipedia, July 2011. Web. 25 Nov. 2011
4) 'Mechanics Institutes.' Wikipedia. Wikipedia, August 2011. Web. 25 Nov. 2011
5) Taryn, Scott Murray, and Dan Baart. 'The Captain: Lieutenant Edmund Hope Verney, Royal Navy.' Craigflower Collections: The Everyday Builders of Empire. University of Victoria: History 481: Microhistory and the Internet. Web. 25 Nov. 2011
6) Verney, Edmund Hope and Allan Pritchard. Vancouver Island letters of Edmund Hope Verney 1862-65. Vancouver: UBC Press, 1996. pg. 30.
Access IdentifierBP MUR CAN I M434f
Digital IdentifierBP_MUR_CAN_I_M434f
Is Part OfRBSC Bookplates
SourceOriginal Format: University of British Columbia. Library. Rare Books and Special Collections. Thomas Murray Bookplates Collection. BP MUR CAN I M434f
Date Available2011
Publisher - DigitalVancouver : University of British Columbia Library
RightsImages provided for research and reference use only. Permission to publish, copy, or otherwise use these images must be obtained from Rare Books and Special Collections:
TranscriptMechanics Literary Institute. VICTORIA, V.I. No.
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