ArchivesFest 2021: USI Art Collection, Working Men’s Institute, and Historic New Harmony

*Post written by Mona Meyer, Archives and Special Collections Metadata Librarian, and James Wethington, senior library assistant at the University Archives and Special Collections.

It is the third week of #ArchivesFest2021. This week, our participating institutions are the USI Art Collection, Working Men’s Institute, and Historic New Harmony.

USI Art Collection

The University’s art collection is primarily made up of two-dimensional prints executed during the 1970s and 1980s and includes student and faculty work. As the University Art Collection expands, the goal is to acquire a better balance of photography, ceramics and sculpture. The Art Collection Committee develops the collection through its art collection management plan. Students working with the collection learn art management, gallery work and art collection management.

For more information on the USI Art Collection, please visit

Working Men's Institute Logo, n.d.

Hours: Sunday, 12-4 PM; Tuesday-Thursday, 10 AM-7 PM; Friday-Saturday, 10 AM-4:30 PM

407 Tavern Street, New Harmony, IN, 47631

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 170 years of continuous service, this goal is still at the heart of our mission. Maclure, who was a business partner with Robert Owen in the communal experiment in New Harmony from 1825-1827, was devoted to the ideal of education for the common man as a means of positive change in society. At New Harmony, The Working Men’s Institute was one manifestation of this ideal. 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. Many WMIs were absorbed by township libraries or Carnegie libraries. Yet the one in New Harmony remained. Today, the WMI is a public library, a museum and an archive. In each of these areas, the WMI tries to stay true to the original mission of William Maclure.

For more information on the Working Men’s Institute, please visit and follow their social media accounts at:

Historic New Harmony Logo, n.d.

Historic New Harmony, 401 North Arthur Street, New Harmony, IN 47631

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM

New Harmony was the source of two communal experiments in the 19th century: religious separatists from Germany who aspired to Christian perfection, and later, followers of Robert Owen who wanted to establish a model society of educational and social equality. “Historic New Harmony is a unified program of the University of Southern Indiana and the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites. By preserving its utopian legacy, Historic New Harmony inspires innovation and progressive thought through its programs & collections.”

For more information on Historic New Harmony, please visit and their social media accounts:

Be sure to stay tuned next week for the final week of #ArchivesFest2021.

This entry was posted in #ArchivesFest, Indiana history, Local history. Bookmark the permalink.

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