Virtual Tour of the Mechanics' Institute | Mechanics' Institute

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Virtual Tour of the Mechanics' Institute
with Librarian and Historian Taryn Edwards

Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

This event will be conducted virtually via Zoom. Please register (button to the right) to receive the Zoom credentials.

The Mechanics' Institute of San Francisco was founded at the end of 1854 with four books and a mission to start an organization to serve the vocational and social needs of the city’s mechanics, artisans, and industrialists. Within a few years the Institute was offering classes in mechanical drawing, industrial design, electrical science, and applied mathematics; had started a chess club and had acquired a magnificent library that slaked San Francisco’s voracious appetite for technical and pleasurable reading material.

Today the Mechanics’ Institute continues as a membership organization boasting a fantastic general-interest library, active cultural event calendar, and world renowned chess club. It is a favorite of avid readers, writers, downtown employees, students, film lovers, chess players, and the 21st century nomadic worker in search of a place for literary pursuits, thinking, research and study.

If you are a new, long-time, or prospective member the Virtual Tour of the Institute will orient you to our building, include an overview of our history and mission, and outline our current services and the benefits of membership. Tours typically take 45 to 60 minutes. We hope this will whet your appetite to see the Institute in person once the shelter-in-place order lifts.

Please email Taryn Edwards if you have any questions - [email protected]

Taryn Edwards is a librarian for the Mechanics’ Institute of San Francisco. In addition to her professional duties she spends a lot of private time digging up history of the place and people associated with it. In addition, her research interests include San Francisco’s early libraries (there were lots!), industrial exhibitions and fairs, mechanics’ institutes worldwide, and the technological innovations that were born in the Bay Area.



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