As the premier research library for Indiana history and the Old Northwest, we know it can be overwhelming. If you’re visiting us in the William H. Smith Memorial Library, our staff can help guide researchers of all levels to the right resources. The library hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Reading Room closes for research at 4 p.m.
Access to the library is free. The Reference Room is available to walk-in visitors during regular hours. Those wishing to access collections materials not found in our Reference Room must do so by appointment. Please contact Reference to reserve a time. If you do not have an email, please call (317)234-0321 to discuss your appointment needs. When planning a research visit, please review our Using the Indiana Historical Society Library policy before your arrival.
The Indiana Historical Society provides reference assistance to researchers who visit the William Henry Smith Memorial Library. For those unable to visit who contact IHS by email, telephone: (317)234-0321, or letter. Staff members can provide limited reference and referral services free of charge.
For those needing in-depth assistance, IHS provides a research request service for a fee. Please consult with staff via email about a proposed research request. If a project is beyond the scope of usual IHS services, as a courtesy, IHS provides names of professional researchers. All arrangements between requester and a private researcher are the requester’s responsibilities.
Paper copies and/or digital reproductions can be made of most of the material in the IHS collections. IHS provides copies of items in its collections as a service to researchers, and fees reflect the cost for providing this service. For more information, download our fee schedule.
The library provides free on-site access to several online databases such as Indiana newspapers from Newspaper Archive, AncestryLibrary, and the American Civil War Database. Other Indiana records can be found online as well.
We are always collecting Indiana’s past! If you have images, documents or books that you believe would add to the Indiana Historical Society’s collection, please complete the Online Collection Donation Form. Make sure to review our Collections and Development Acquisitions Policy for the formats and subjects we collect. Please do not send the original materials you wish to donate to IHS until you have been contacted by IHS staff.