Search our digital collections from wherever you are. Nearly 100,000 digital images are available, with more added every week. Our premier collections on Indiana and the Old Northwest include books, photographs, early maps, letters, diaries and more.
Visit Destination Indiana for your portal to the past. Explore thousands of images organized into hundreds of topical journeys. Every Indiana county is represented in this ever-expanding site.
Currently, nearly 100,000 digital images are available for research on the IHS website, with more added every week. The Preservation Imaging Lab scans materials covering a variety of subjects and formats. These digital images constitute only a small percentage of the more than 1.7 million photographs in the IHS collection.
View Digital Collections
- Indianapolis Bicentennial Collection Browse through nearly 2,000 items specifically uploaded for this celebration. They join other collections like Larry Foster, Bretzman, Indianapolis Recorder, Indianapolis Airport Authority, and W.H. Bass Photo Company. View Collection
- The 1820s This map, made at a later date, shows the very small town of Indianapolis as it was built to fill in the plat designed by Alexander Ralston. John McCormick was one of the earliest white settlers in the Indianapolis area. The journal used by him and later his son give us an idea of what life was like for many in the early days of the capital city. View Collection
- The Central Canal Part of the Mammoth Internal Improvement Act of 1836, a few miles of the canal were completed and it remains a vital feature of the city. It hasn’t always been beautiful, though. View Collection
- Union Station Canals and rivers had been important transportation routes prior to the spread of railroads. Indianapolis was the site of the first Union Station in the country when the original structure was completed in 1853. Multiple railroads funneled their passengers through the same terminal rather than having separate depots located around the city. The current Station, completed in 1888, stands in pride of place as a landmark. View Collection
- Hotels Visitors’ impressions of a city often center on the comfort of their accommodations and the convenience they offer. The Bicentennial Collection offers views of a number of hotels and sites of hotels that have hosted guests in town for business or pleasure. View Collection
- Indianapolis Motor Speedway Known around the world for the iconic 500 Mile Race, the Speedway itself is something spectacular to behold. This aerial view shows off the immensity of the track and all that is packed in to serve auto racing and its enthusiasts. View Collection
- Downtown Skyline The city has grown over the last 200 years along with the country. The skyline began changing with the advent of innovations allowing taller structures to be built. Over the last 40 years the skyline has been reinvented again. View Collection
- Street Scene, 1906 This photograph, made less than 90 years after the city was platted, shows an area that many of us would recognize as Washington Street. The many streetcars and the chaotic movement of pedestrians and some vehicles is most unfamiliar, though. View Collection
- Working In Indianapolis A city isn’t just streets and buildings. It’s the people who live and work there that bring it to life. View Collection
- Beyond the Mile Square The city has grown far beyond the confines of the mile square plan drawn by Alexander Ralston. This 1985 image shows the city from the vantage point of East Washington Street as it crosses under the I65/I70 lanes. It is a city of contrasts, activity, and growth. View Collection