Meet the intern: Julia Deros

Meet one of the newest Indiana State Library interns, Julia Deros. Julia is originally from Cockeysville, Maryland and went to Gettysburg College, where she graduated with a bachelor’s in environmental studies and history.

Which school are you currently attending?
IUPUI.

What is your major?
Dual degree in library and information science and public history.

What is your job here at the Indiana State Library?
I am an intern with the Rare Books & Manuscripts Division.

Favorite part of the library or favorite thing about working at the library?
I really enjoy getting to work with documents from different time periods and helping visitors access history for their research.

How will this internship further your career?
I hope to one day work as an archivist, so this internship is a great experience for learning new skills and ways of thinking I’ll need as I start my career.

What is your favorite band?
Panic at the Disco.

Favorite movie?
The “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

Finally, the best place to eat in Indy?
Nine Irish Brothers.

Thanks!

This blog post was written by John Wekluk, communications director, Indiana State Library. For more information, email the communications director.

Rare Books and Manuscripts Division: Recent Civil War-Era Acquisition

The Indiana State Library Rare Books and Manuscripts Division recently acquired two Civil War-era handwritten letters by Henry B. and Sarah Ann Wilson Conn Looker. During March 1893, the couple wrote to L. T. Hewens, a medical doctor located in Oakalla, Illinois, regarding the use of an abortifacient.

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Henry was born in Fountain County, Indiana to George L. Conn and Nancy Bishop Conn in 1831. He enlisted in the 113th Illinois Infantry, Company D, and was stationed at Camp Butler near Springfield, Illinois. Conn died on July 4, 1863 due to an inflammatory disease while serving.

Sarah was born on July 23, 1831 and married Henry, having two children: Charles Henry (1857-1933) and Ella Gertrude (1860-1928). After his death, she married Robert O. Looker and had two children: Cora May (1870-1952) and Edwin Otis (1872-1952). Sarah died on January 4, 1911.

This blog post was written by Bethany Fiechter, Rare Books and Manuscripts Supervisor. For more information, contact the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division at (317) 232-3671 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at http://www.in.gov/library/ask.htm

Rare Books in Indiana

We’re so lucky, Indiana. Did you know we have one of the first Indiana-printed books in our collection? Henry, William E State Librarian 1897-1906

After a little research, a fascinating story emerged about an item in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division titled, “The life of Bonaparte: late Emperor of the French, from his birth until his departure to the Island of St. Helena.” The book was discovered by William E. Henry, State Librarian (1897-1906), on a visit to Salem, Indiana in 1897. Henry knew right away it “was doubtless the first literary work published in the State.” The book was published by a small print shop called, Patrick & Booth, in 1818. If you’re from Washington County, Indiana, you’ve probably heard about the successful duo. Continue reading

When a Book is not Just a Book

Upon first glance of the spine, this little book appears fairly nondescript and boring. The book in question, “Discipline of the Yearly Meeting of Friends, Held in New York […] 1810”, printed by Samuel Wood & Sons, New York, 1826, has been digitized and is freely available on Google Books (though it is the 1836 edition). “So why bother with conservation treatment?” one might ask.

Continue reading

A One-on-One Conversation with Brittany Kropf

I recently had a conversation with our new Rare Books & Manuscripts Librarian Brittany Kropf. Brittany recently started working at the Indiana State Library full-time and was an intern here while she studied at IUPUI in the Master of Library Science program. The following is an excerpt from our interview.
BrittanyKropf_pic_croppedRB: Please give a brief description of what your job is at the library…

BK: I work a lot with the Rare Books and Manuscripts collection, processing and getting them ready for patrons to access. Eventually we will be getting more collections, so I will be working with donors and any events that we need to do. Also, I’ll be helping digitize a lot of our collections. Part of my job is going to be working with the state-wide services side – Indiana Memory – and be the liaison between them and the public services. We will put together work flows and standardized procedures so that we can get materials digitized for the future. Continue reading

Preserving Family History

My name is Crystal Ward, and I am a librarian in the Genealogy Division. I have been asked “what does a genealogy librarian do; what is your job like”? As a genealogy librarian, I work to preserve the family history of the citizens of Indiana, and to ensure that the items we collect are preserved and protected for use by future generations.

One often overlooked factor in librarianship: preservation and conservation, environmental control; or more specifically, dusting, is one way that I help conserve the materials that we have in the collection. Yes, like housework, librarians dust the books in the collection to keep them in good shape. By cleaning books and book shelves of dust, dirt, and debris, we are creating a happy and healthy environment for the books.
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This is not a simple task, and comes with certain tools. For example, when I clean my assigned section of shelves, I wear an apron, rubber gloves, and a dust mask, as in the glamorous photos above. I use a special brush with horse hair bristles, a HEPA vacuum cleaner, and I always have my iTunes playing.

I will spend up to an hour cleaning and dusting one section of books, and this task is made more enjoyable by my iTunes playlist. While cleaning a section today, I played several songs by the Beastie Boys, “Float On” by Modest Mouse, and Will Smith’s “Summertime.” I also run across some really amazing books and often keep my eye open for unusual titles. I was not disappointed in the titles I found while dusting today: “Magician Among the Spirits” by Harry Houdini, ISLM 134 H836N; “Alcohol Education for the layman” by Monroe and Stewart, ISLM 16.178 M753A; “Sorry but you’re wrong about it” by Albert Wiggam, ISLM 133.7 W655s; and “Frustration: the study of behavior without a goal” by Norman Maier, ISLM 132M217F.

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This blog post was written by Crystal Ward, Genealogy Librarian, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317)232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at
http://www.in.gov/library/ask.htm

Have you visited the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division lately?

Have you visited the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division lately? If not, you’ll want to see our beautiful, new reading room located on the 2nd floor. When you arrive, check in with the Circulation, Reference, or Indiana Desk to call for staff from the Division. We’ll be sure to help you navigate our research tools and answer any specific questions.
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While you’re here, be sure to utilize our new DaVinci HD Desktop Magnifier, too. This document camera has the ability to zoom in/out and create contrast to analog material, digitally. The Indiana State Library is the only reading room in Indiana to have this equipment available to patrons.
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Don’t worry; the card catalogs are still available for your perusal. In fact, we continue to update them on a daily basis. We’ve also added a set of the library’s original benches by our printed finding aids. We hope you love them as much as we do!
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If you can’t make it in, we have detailed instructions available at your fingertips. Please visit our “Research Tools” page, here: http://www.in.gov/library/5100.htm.

This blog post was written by Bethany Fiechter, Rare Books and Manuscripts Supervisor, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division at (317) 232-3671 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at http://www.in.gov/library/ask.htm.