Valuable local history knowledge
The Indiana Historical Society and the Indiana Historical Bureau established the County Historian Program in 1981 in an effort to improve the historical communication network in the state. Each county has one county historian. IHS’s Local History Services Department coordinates the program.
Who are the county historians?
County historians serve as volunteers appointed by the Indiana Historical Society and Indiana Historical Bureau to promote local history in their counties, connect individuals and groups with history resources, promote collaboration between local history organizations, and maintain connections with the Indiana Historical Society and Indiana Historical Bureau. Anyone who is well acquainted with the county and its history, able to travel in the county, available for contact and interested in local history can be a county historian. For more details, see the County Historian Job Description.
How are the county historians chosen?
Local historical organizations and libraries in each county nominate county historians to renewable three-year terms. The Indiana Historical Society and the Indiana Historical Bureau appoint the nominees as official county historians.
Find your local county historian here.
- County Historian Training Module 1: Program Overview
This module provides an overview of the county historian program as well as covering additions to the updated county historian Guidebook. Presented by Jeannette Rooney, Indiana Historical Society. Find the PowerPoint slides here.
- County Historian Training Module 2: Handling Difficult History Topics
This module discusses diversity and inclusion, implicit bias, and delves into how to handle difficult history topics. Presented by Tamara Hemmerlein and Jeannette Rooney, Indiana Historical Society. Find the PowerPoint slides here.
- County Historian Training Module 3: Primary and Secondary Source Analysis
(1 hour, 9 minutes)
This module covers how to find and evaluate primary and secondary sources and how to make your county history relevant to all Hoosiers. Presented by Dr. Michella Marino and Jill Weiss Simins, Indiana Historical Bureau. Find the PowerPoint slides here, and the resource checklist here.
- County Historian Training Module 4: Research and Writing
This module contains three presentations covering research methodologies and writing techniques, copyright and fair use, and using social media. Presented by Nicole Poletika, Justin Clark, and Lindsey Beckley, Indiana Historical Bureau. Find the PowerPoint slides here.
- Virtual Presentation Series: African American History and Research in Indiana
(1 hour, 34 minutes)
Presented by Susan Hall-Dotson, Coordinator, African American History, Indiana Historical Society. This interactive discussion covers stories of African American history in Indiana, how to make connections and tell broader stories, research techniques and where to find stories, local history, and more.
- Virtual Presentation Series: Hoosiers and the Long Struggle for Racial Justice
(1 hour, 32 minutes)
Presented by Dr. James H. Madison, Thomas and Kathryn Miller Professor Emeritus of History at Indiana University. Dr. Madison discusses the history of the African American communities in Indiana, the topic of racism, the Civil Rights movement, and continuing struggles for racial justice. Find the additional reading list here.
- Virtual Presentation Series: Local Government Records Management
(1 hour, 10 minutes)
Presented by Amy Christiansen Janicki, Records Management Liaison, Indiana Archives and Records Administration. Learn about how local government records are managed, retention schedules, and tips for local history organizations on working with county and local government agencies on historical records.
For more information about the County Historian Program or if you are interested in becoming a county historian, please contact us.
Local History Services – County Historian Program