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Updates about the new Digital Archives and more will now be available on Twitter and Facebook!

Friends of the Archives Annual Meeting! April 15,2014

Chris Jensen will be the featured speaker at the twenty-forth Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Indiana State Archives on Tuesday, April 15, at the Indiana State Library, 315 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis.

Chris Jensen serves as Executive Director of Indiana’s 2016 Bicentennial Commission where he oversees the day to day operations of the upcoming celebration including fundraising, programming, outreach and government relations. More...



SHRAB Report on the State Archives

The State Historic Records Advisory Board Report on the current conditions of the State Archives is now available here on the Friends of the Indiana State Archives website in PDF format. The report is very informative and details the needs for a new secure Archival facility. With our upcoming state bicentennial in 2016, now is the time for all Hoosiers to embrace the relevance of our state's historic records to the needs of not only their future, but that of their children and grandchildren. Everyday the State Archives is contacted for records that effect the future of Indiana families.

“… in what he had collected and what he knew and noted down regarding the old families and the old haunts and the old ways. And not for himself alone had he gathered it, but for an indefinite somebody in the future. Doesn’t it give you a sensation of warmth such as you may get when you think of the grandchildren of your grandchildren whom you will never see and yet who are the you of 2021 and 2121?”

William J. Hamilton, Secretary of the Indiana Public Library Commission, December 10, 1921.


INDIANAPOLIS (September 30, 2013) – The Indiana State Archives will celebrate its centennial on October 1, 2013.

The State Archives first began operating on a part-time basis in 1906 under a reorganization plan. In 1913, House Enrolled Act 254 provided funding that allowed the State Archives to operate full time beginning on October 1. Through this Act, the Indiana General Assembly sought to preserve and protect the most valuable records of Indiana Government through the creation of a State Archives.

A century later, More...




Indianapolis Business JournalDemands "Save the Archives"

The Indianapolis Business Journal has published an article calling on the State Legislature to save the Indiana State Archives. “The dilapidated building on the east side of Indianapolis where the state’s archives are stored needs to be replaced—and the sooner, the better. The risk of tornado or other calamity destroying priceless documents in a structure originally used by RCA to warehouse 8-track tapes is simply too great. “

“In the unthinkable event of a disaster, many of the documents could not be recovered.”

The Journal rightfully points to the disasters that could befall the many treasures held at the Archives, including the most relevant records to Indiana residents such as Military discharge records, often the only copies left since the unfortunate fire in Saint Louis in 1973. These documents help thousands of veterans and their families gain home loans, education, medical, and burial benefits. Additionally, the Archives houses transcripts for closed nursing schools, as well as the Indiana School for the Blind and Deaf, and the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Children’s Home, and Naturalization records.

The writer discusses the Archives’ move to its current location at 6440 E. 30th Street, which was originally only to be temporary, but any plans for a new building had to be put on hold during the recession. Though there were occasional environmental issues in the old location at the State Library, the Archives in its “temporary” location, are constantly at the mercy of the elements. “The ancient ventilation system spews soot-like crumbs of deteriorated insulation. And, partly because of air leaks in the building shell, humidity levels swing between 15 percent and 60 percent.”

“Name a state that treats its treasured documents worse,” challenges the Journal.

“Since the move, two tornados have passed menacingly close the building, in effect dodging bullets like the law-men who survived run-ins with John Dillinger, “states the Journal. The Archives holds Dillinger’s records as well as thousands of other prisoners, state hospital patients, and foster care files from the late 1800’s. Many of the indexes to these treasured collections may be searched on the Indiana Digital Archives.

The Journal reminds us that the Archives celebrates its Centennial anniversary this year. What a perfect time for the legislature to tap into its surplus to ensure the safety of all records of enduring value for all Hoosiers as well as their historic legacy. The writer suggests that new Governor Mike Pence, “a history major in college, could cut the ribbon for a new facility in time for the state’s bicentennial in 2016.”

It would certainly seem the perfect time for a new Archives:

A new administration with an understanding for the value of history.

Centennial Anniversary of the State Archives

Budget Surplus

1816-2016 Statehood Bicentennial approaching


Women's History Month Exhibit Returns to the State House

INDIANAPOLIS (March 5, 2013) – The Indiana Statehouse is featuring a unique display celebrating Women’s History Month in March. Women in Indiana Who Broke Barriers was designed by the Indiana State Archives and celebrates the life and work of four women who broke gender barriers in the Hoosier State. Those featured include:

Dr. Sarah Stockton (1842-1924), the first female physician at Central State Hospital in Indianapolis;

Emma Christy Baker (1865-1955), the first African-American woman to be an officer with the Indianapolis Police Department;

Antionette Dakin Leach (1859-1922), the first woman to challenge denial of admission to the Bar based on gender; and

Lovina Streight (1830-1910), who earned her title “Mother of the Fifty-first” by accompanying the Fifty-first Indiana Volunteer Infantry at battle and nursed the sick and dying.

The Women in Indiana Who Broke Barriers will be located in the fourth-floor South Atrium of the Statehouse and may be viewed during regular public hours.

The included image, on loan from the State Museum, is of a newly-installed portrait of Lovina Streight at the Statehouse. The portrait, alongside Indiana Civil War Governor Oliver Perry Morton, can be found on fourth-floor South Atrium wall.


NAGARA Comes to Indianapolis, July 10-13, 2013

The NAGARA Annual Meeting will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana on July 10-13, 2013. The session topics will include: a judicial records in the digital age track; electronic records preservation track, including an electronic records research forum; a records management track, including updates on the NARA presidential directive; poster sessions; and more! More details coming soon at NAGARA.

Friends of the Archives Annual Meeting

The Twenty-third Annual Meeting of the Friends of the State Archives will be held at noon at the Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, on Tuesday, April 9th, 2013. The luncheon speaker will be Curt Witcher. More...


Digital Archives has been named a Best State Website by Family Tree Magazine for Third Year in a Row!

December 18, 2012- America's #1 family history publication has named the Indiana Digital Archives one of the Seventy Five best State websites for the third year in a row! More...


Digital Archives has been named a 2011 Best State Website by Family Tree Magazine.

Fall 2011- For the second year in a row the Indiana State Digital Archives has been named to Family Tree Magazine's 101 Best Websites The list of honorees in its December 2011 issue..... More...


Digital Archives has been named a 2010 Best State Website by Family Tree Magazine.

October 13, 2010- America's #1 family history publication released the list of honorees in its December 2010 issue..... More...

The Friends of the Archives has added yet another way to keep keep up to date! We are now using a new Constant Contact Calendar. To receive reminders about the new Digital Archives as well as other Indiana digital initiatives send your email address to Connie Rendfeld at carendfeld@aol.com. The service is free, but members of the Friends of the Indiana State Archives will receive an additional bonus, as they will now have the option to receive a digital copy of the Archives Current newsletter.
Volunteers are Needed
to work on a variety of projects. Some of which are:
Processing of Court Records
Data entry and processing of Parole records,
Verification of Land Office Entries
Indexing and proofing of naturalization records
Click here to learn more

The Index to Historical National Guard Records is Now Available Online!

Researchers are now able to search historic records of thousands of Indiana National Guardsmen through the Indiana Digital Archives. The Indiana National Guard Collection indexes records of Hoosiers who served our nation from 1898 through 1940. The database includes the soldier's name, .... More...


Civil War Records Added to the Digital Archives

Jun 08, 2010 --

INDIANAPOLIS - Historians, researchers and others interested in Indiana's Civil War history can now search for specific individuals who served during the conflict through the new Indiana Civil War Soldiers Database available at the Indiana Digital Archives. The database contains over 213,000 individual records compiled by volunteers and staff from the Indiana State Archives and the Friends of the Indiana State Archives.... More...


Indiana Digital Archives

The Indiana State Archives is thrilled to announce our new online Digital Archive! This invaluable new resource is the result of a cooperative partnership made possible by... . More...


Volunteers Receive Concurrent Resolution!

For the second year in a row our volunteers have received a special concurrent House and Senate Resolution acknowledging their tremendous efforts on behalf of the Indiana State Archives. More...

New Eugenics Website

The Friends of the Indiana State Archives would like to announce the new website "Fit to Breed", created by IUPUI and using numerous Eugenics related documents and photos from the Indiana State Archives and the Indiana State Library. Please visit this wonderful resource on the history of Indiana Eugenics.



Welcome Friends

The Friends of the Indiana State Archives, Inc., established in 1990, is a not-for-profit organization of citizens concerned with helping the Indiana State Archives fulfill its role as the permanent repository for official records of state and local government in Indiana. The Friends supports the management, preservation, and responsible use of Indiana’s public records and serves as an advocate for the Indiana State Archives and the pursuit of suitable new building.

Through enlistment of volunteers and fundraising for special projects, the Friends is helping the Archives reduce processing backlogs and rescue historical papers at risk from the spoilage of time and the environment.

Click here to download the membership form.

copyright 2003 Friends of the Indiana State Archives, Inc.
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