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Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202
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IHS Names Author and Former IUPUI Professor Recipient of 2018 Eli Lilly Lifetime Achievement Award

October 26, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS—The latest recipient of the Indiana Historical Society’s (IHS’s) Eli Lilly Lifetime Achievement Award has contributed to an awareness and appreciation of Indiana’s history—locally, statewide, regionally, and even nationally—for decades.

IHS is proud to recognize Robert G. Barrows of Indianapolis with the prestigious award, given annually to an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to the field of history. Barrows will be honored during IHS’s annual Founders Day dinner, Monday, Nov. 5, at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.

In publication, teaching and service, Barrows has made outstanding contributions to the understanding of Indiana’s history. He received his undergraduate degree from Muskingum University in Ohio before earning his graduate degrees at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Barrows served as an editor at the Indiana Historical Bureau for more than a decade. He then joined the history department at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), where he taught American history, including Indiana history, for nearly three decades and served multiple terms as the department’s director of graduate studies and chair.

Author and historian James H. Madison says Barrows was a guiding authority on numerous publications and projects.

“Particularly important is his work as managing editor of The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis,” writes Madison in a letter of support for the award nomination. “That magisterial volume has a prominent place on my shelf as one of the major reference books I go to. It’s an immense achievement of enduring value.”

Additional works include a biography of Hoosier social reformer Albion Fellows Bacon published by Indiana University Press and numerous book chapters and articles for professional journals, such as Indiana Magazine of History, Journal of Urban History and Ohio Valley History.

Barrows also has been a mentor to many IUPUI history graduate students, serving on more than 60 master’s thesis committees prior to his retirement last year.

“When I took over as director of graduate studies in 2015, I set about documenting the accomplishments of our students,” writes Nancy Marie Robertson, associate professor at IUPUI. “What became strikingly evident was the vital role Barrows had played in building our graduate program.”

The author and professor is one of seven individuals who will be honored at IHS’s annual Founders Day dinner. The event, presented by Hirtle, Callaghan & Co., celebrates the accomplishments of historians, teachers, writers and businesses from around the state, as well as the work of IHS.

For more information about this event or IHS’s other programs and services, call (317) 232-1882 or visit

About the Indiana Historical Society

Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller™, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving 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 experiences called the Indiana Experience. IHS also provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups; publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; produces and hosts art exhibitions, museum theater and outside performance groups; and provides youth, adult and family programs. IHS is a Smithsonian Affiliate and a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.

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