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Indiana Historical Society and IHS Senior Archivist Win 2016 AASLH Awards of Merit

June 20, 2016

NASHVILLE—The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces the Indiana Historical Society (IHS) and Wilma Gibbs Moore, IHS senior archivist of African-American history, are each recipients of an Award of Merit.

The AASLH Leadership in History Awards is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. The AASLH is proud to present 63 awards nationwide this year, with IHS as the sole Indiana organization honored.

The AASLH recognizes IHS for its project “Indiana History in the Secondary Classroom.” The project involved the classroom tool, made possible by a generous gift from Care Institution Group, Inc. It also involved the creation, publication and distribution of the textbook Hoosiers and the American Story by James H. Madison and Lee Ann Sandweiss and regional teacher training, each made possible by a generous gift from Lilly Endowment Inc.

“IHS has now distributed 50,000 free copies of Hoosiers and the American Story to classrooms and students and has trained 757 teachers from South Bend to Evansville at teacher workshops,” said John A. Herbst, IHS president and CEO. “The Leadership in History Award is a wonderful recognition of the great efforts of all IHS staff and supporters.”

The AASLH also recognizes one of those staff members, Wilma Gibbs Moore, with an award for individual achievement. For decades, Moore has gathered and shared the history of African Americans in Indiana. Nominated by those who call her a “trailblazer” and “the go-to source” for African-American history, it is clear her legacy will continue to benefit and instruct generations to come.

“I have spent the past 30 years doing work that I thoroughly enjoy—toiling in the Indiana history vineyard helping others find material for their story boards,” said Moore. “I am always surprised by special thank you notes from patrons or when authors acknowledge me in their books. This award is a special bonus. I am humbled and grateful.”

Presentation of the awards will take place at a special banquet during the 2016 AASLH/MMA Annual Meeting in Detroit on Friday, Sept. 16. The banquet is supported by a generous contribution from the History Channel.

The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards not only honor significant achievement in the field of state and local history, but also bring public recognition of the opportunities for small and large organizations, institutions and programs to make contributions in this arena.

For more information about the Leadership in History Awards, contact AASLH at (615) 320-3203 or go to For more information about IHS’s programs and services, call (317) 232-1882 or visit

About the American Association for State and Local History

The American Association for State and Local History is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history. From its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, AASLH provides leadership, service, and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful in American society. AASLH publishes books, technical publications, a quarterly magazine, a monthly newsletter, and maintains numerous affinity groups and committees serving a broad range of constituents across the historical community. The association also sponsors regional and national training workshops and an annual meeting.

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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