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The Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute (BMI) is Ballarat's independently run cultural hub, established 1859, and home to stunning heritage architecture and cultural treasures. Explore an institute built on gold for the education and entertainment of the community, right in the centre of Ballarat. Explore the lending library, be taken back in time in the Heritage Reading Room housing a unique collection of books and artefacts, and enjoy the Max Harris Photography Collection in the BMI library featuring curated displays of historic Ballarat images spanning the 1860s to 1960s.All BMI spaces are available for hire and membership to the institute is welcomed. Check the website for special events and news. Entry by donation.Book in for a Saturday morning tour (10:30am to 11:30am) to hear about the colourful history of the institute and its people, from J.B. Humffray (fresh from Eureka) to the grand Minerva space and its history as a cinema. Also get special local tips on the best things to see, do and taste in town.Group tours available by appointment.