This podcast discusses one of Indiana’s oldest libraries, the Workingman’s Institute, which is still in existence in New Harmony, Indiana.
Philanthropist William Maclure established the Institute in 1838. The Working Men’s Institute inhabited a wing in the Harmonist Church until 1894. In that year, it moved to an impressive three-story structure on Tavern Street. The Institute at one time included 144 Institutes in Indiana and additional sixteen in Illinois when it was at its height. Since then the Working Men’s Institute has dwindled to this one location. This is the oldest continuously operating library in Indiana. Their founding mission was the dissemination of useful knowledge to working men and their families. That remains their mission today. The goal of the Institute was to provide a means of education for the common people by providing libraries for them to use.
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