Category Archives: Collections and Library

Resources to Celebrate Black History Month

In 1979, a collecting effort was formalized at the Indiana Historical Society to address the concern for the lack of records available for doing research on the history of African Americans in the state. The purpose of that effort continues to be to collect, preserve and share information related to the history of Black Hoosiers. […]

Solutions for a Sticky Problem, Part 2

As I wrote in Part 1, I recently learned about a clever conservation technique that turned out to be the solution to a complicated treatment problem I’ve been mulling over. Conservator Elsa Thyss at The Metropolitan Museum of Art developed a method for consolidating severely flaking emulsion on glass plate negatives using minimal moisture, which […]

Lost Landmarks of Indiana Avenue

It’s that time of the year when we reflect and start seeing things like new resolutions, countdowns and Top 10 lists. As an architectural historian, I keep thinking about the success of the recent Reclaim Indiana Avenue project, which launched a massive, public engagement campaign to challenge us to critically think about how community memory […]

Living the Legacy: Our Upcoming Sept. 29 Redlining Program

We’ve kicked off our new Indianapolis bicentennial exhibit, You Are There 1920: Celebrate Indianapolis with a four-part program series on the history of redlining. Redlining is the discriminatory practice in which banks, mortgage lenders, and insurance companies refused or limited loans, mortgages, and insurance within specific geographic areas, particularly in older and city center neighborhoods, to Black […]

Young Love in 1823

Butler University. Anyone who has spent any time in Indianapolis has heard about this wonderful educational establishment. Its christening name in 1850 was the North Western Christian University. Ovid Butler donated twenty acres of his own land downtown for the site of the university. Years before any of these events, around 1823, Ovid Butler was […]

New Look for Digital Collections!

Our digital collections have a new look! In early September our digital collection database, powered by OCLC’s CONTENTdm, underwent an upgrade to its user experience. Some of the improvements include enhanced viewing of images, more customization options such as maps, simplified display of information and much more. The look of our CONTENTdm site may have […]

From the Cataloger’s Desk: Indiana Chautauquas

I recently cataloged programs for Chautauqua gatherings in several cities throughout the state of Indiana: Delphi, Greensburg and Connersville. This inspired me to learn about the Chautauqua movement, which was popular in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and brought culture and entertainment to many communities. The Chautauqua Institution, originally […]

Jimmy and Marty On the Town

Though the types of characters they portrayed were different, James Dean and Martin Landau became friends almost from first sight. Both the farm kid from Fairmont, Indiana, and the political cartoonist from New York City aspired to become serious actors in the city that could either spell fame or disappointment. Dean graduated from high school […]

Bringing Old Film, Images to Life

There’s a certain amount of nostalgia that can be provoked by a still image, that’s why so many people love browsing the Indiana Historical (IHS) digital image collections. But a historic moving image or film can augment that feeling of nostalgia. The combination of movement, sound (in some cases), and a range of expressions can […]