Working Men’s Institute
Part library, part museum, part memorial to a Utopian dream, the Working Men’s Institute in New Harmony offers a unique glimpse of early nineteenth-century history.
Established by philanthropist William Maclure in 1838, the Working Men’s Institute (WMI) set as its mission the dissemination of useful knowledge to those who work with their hands. After nearly 180 years of continuous service, this goal is still at the heart of our mission. The Working Men’s Institute in New Harmony was the first of 144 WMIs in Indiana and 16 in Illinois. It is the only one remaining. Today, the WMI is a public library, museum, art gallery, and an archive. In each of these areas, the WMI tries to stay true to the original mission of William Maclure.
A visual tour is available on the WMI’s website and the WMI also has YouTube Videos. Learn more about the Museum and Gallery areas of the WMI here.
In October of each year the Friends of the Working Men’s Institute (a fundraising organization to benefit the WMI) hosts the popular annual chili cook-off on the grounds of the WMI. It also sponsors annual book sales during the Antique Festival in June and during Kunstfest, as well as the Annual Chili Cook-off held the 3rd Saturday in October at the Working Men’s Institute.
Library Hours During The Pandemic
The WMI is open on the following hours/days:
Sunday noon-4:00 p.m.
Tuesday-Thursday-10:00 a.m to 7 p.m.
Friday and Saturday-10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.