Garden Island Mechanical Institute

Post Date:
Jan 22, 2024

Mechanics’ Institutes, in some ways a precursor to the modern public library, were common across Ontario municipalities through the mid to late nineteenth century. First appearing in Scotland in the 1820s, mechanics’ institutes began as voluntary associations of working men with an interest in pursuing adult education. Members of mechanics’ institutes would typically pay a regular fee to access a lending library and educational programming like evening classes or lectures. 

In 1937, the library’s holdings were donated to Queen’s University Library, the Kingston Public Library, and Kingston area schools. Many items in the collection bear bookplates from either the Garden Island Mechanics’ Institute or Garden Island Public Library. 

Please see our collection highlights for more information on this exciting collection. 

Ask Us

Ask Us

For help locating resources, using the library, or to request a research consultation, try our Ask Us service.

ask us more