Indianapolis—The Indiana Historical Society will present its 2010 Dorothy Riker Hoosier Historian Award to Dr. James L. Cooper of Greencastle, Ind., at its annual Founders Day Dinner on Dec. 6. The presentation will take place at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.
The Dorothy Riker Hoosier Historian Award is made annually to a historian who has made distinguished contributions to the field of historical scholarship, including presentation, use of materials and preservation, and/or the affairs and activities of the IHS.
A professor of history for most of his adult life, Dr. Cooper has been the president of the Historic Bridge Foundation’s board of directors, advisory panel member for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Historic Bridge Program, chair of Indiana Landmarks’ Indiana Historic Bridge Committee and director of the HAER-Indiana Bridge Inventory. In addition to his scholarly work, Dr. Cooper also served as DePauw University’s vice president for academic affairs.
Dr. Cooper has dedicated many years to the study and preservation of historic bridges, particularly in the state of Indiana. His main publications—Iron Monuments to a Distant Posterity: Indiana’s Metal Bridges, 1870-1930, and Artistry and Engineering in Artificial Stone: Indiana’s Concrete Bridges, 1900-1942—have served as the leading resources in evaluating the significance of Indiana’s historic bridges. One result of his work is the programmatic agreement between the Federal Highway Administration, the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archeology, and the Indiana Department of Transportation to provide a scholarship-based, proactive approach to preserving the most significant of Indiana’s bridges.
Dr. Cooper’s dedication and expertise has been recognized with several awards over the years, including the Sandi Servaas Memorial Award from Indiana Landmarks and the Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH).
For more information on Founders Day, as well as other programs and events of the Indiana Historical Society, call (317) 232-1882. Information is also available at www.indianahistory.org.
Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving, interpreting and sharing the state’s history. A private, nonprofit membership organization, IHS maintains the nation’s premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest and presents a unique set of visitor exhibitions called the Indiana Experience. IHS also provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups, publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; and provides youth, adult and family programming.