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, three MW Conferences have been held.
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. Keynote speakers included Dr Robert Anderson and Dr David McKitterick of Cambridge University, Dr Richard Wendorf of the Boston Athenauem, and Dr Keith Manley of London University. The proceedings which comprise forty seven papers plus illustrations is available in hard copy and CD ROM.
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. Proceedings are available for purchase here.
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 have yet been compiled for MW2012.
As yet, there have been no confirmed arrangements for MW #4. We will keep you posted when a place and date have been confirmed.