New year, new genealogy resolutions

If your New Year’s resolutions for 2019 include genealogy research, the Indiana State Library Genealogy Division can help! Whether you are starting your research for the first time or are a seasoned researcher, we have many resources and ideas for you. Here are just a few ways you can get started in 2019:

Read a genealogy book

Besides family histories and ethnic and geographic-based genealogy resources, the Indiana State Library also holds many books that cover the various practical aspects of genealogy research, such as genetic genealogy, organizing your research and research techniques. Check out our catalog for a selection of holdings.

Watch a webinar

The Indiana State Library offers free prerecorded webinars on genealogy topics such as Genealogy 101, vital records and wills and probates. Taught by Genealogy Division librarians, these webinars provide an overview of research techniques and resources with an emphasis on the materials and databases available at the state library.

Check out a new-to-you digital resource

Cited by Family Tree Magazine as being among “…the best state-focused websites for genealogy,”[1] our many digital resources can help with your research. As an added bonus, many of these resources are accessible from home.

  • The Indiana State Library Digital Collections contain full scans of materials from our collection, including manuscripts, family bible records, maps, Indiana government documents and more.
  • Hoosier State Chronicles contains nearly a million fully-searchable digitized Indiana newspaper pages covering a wide time period and geographic area.
  • Indiana Legacy collates many of our databases in one convenient search interface, including the Indiana Biography Index, the Indiana Marriages 1958-2017 database and the Indiana Newspapers on Microfilm holdings guide.
  • Indiana County Research Guides provide an overview to genealogical research in each of Indiana’s 92 counties, including a summary of our print materials and links to free online resources for each county.

Ask a librarian

The librarians at the Indiana State Library are available to answer your research questions even if you can’t visit the library in person. We offer an Ask a Librarian service where you may email or live chat with a librarian. We love to hear from our patrons and would be more than happy to consult our resources or provide research tips regarding your genealogy, whether you are just starting out or are working on a long-term brick wall.

[1] Rick Crume, “Cyber States,” Family Tree Magazine, December 2018, 18-21.

This blog post is by Jamie Dunn, genealogy librarian. For more information, contact the Genealogy Division at (317) 232-3689 or send us a question through Ask-a-Librarian.

Indiana State Library’s Oversize Photograph Collection now available online and in-person

The Indiana State Library’s Oversize Photograph Collection is now arranged, digitized and described, making it accessible both physically and online via ISL’s Digital Collections. The project began in early 2017 with a survey of all existing oversize photographs and a plan to arrange them all in one location and then describe, digitize and encapsulate the photographs. Previously, the photographs were stored in three separate locations according to size, but this organization was both inconsistent and unsustainable. The collection was also treated as a catch-all location for other graphic materials, including clippings, maps, artwork and lithographs. To rectify the situation, the project also involved separating out all materials which could not be classified as photographs.

Divers in Steuben County.

Over the next two years, the photographs were meticulously arranged by subject to correspond with the new organization in the General Photograph Collection, which was undergoing its own cleanup and reorganization project. The smaller photographs were captured using a flatbed scanner, while very large photographs, such as panoramic photographs, were photographed using a DLSR camera before they were encapsulated in Melinex, archival-grade polyester film, for long-term preservation. The main challenge in working with oversize photographs is, naturally, their size. The large photographs are physically difficult to handle and are stored in even larger folders. Due to their size, the photographs were often rolled or folded in the past, which can pose new conservation challenges. The final stage in the project entailed describing the images individually and uploading them to the library’s online photograph collection. The themes of images in the collection vary, but some of the most prevalent subjects include portraits of notable people, groups and organizations, and aerial photographs of Indiana and images of state parks.

Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, 1883.

Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus portrait, 1921.

With the completion of the Oversize Photograph Collection project, nearly 600 photographs are now more accessible and usable than ever before, with 582 available digitally. The project has made physical control of the collection a reality, supported the collection’s longevity by reducing handling of the original photographs, and most importantly, profoundly increased access to the collection for users around the world.

This blog post was written by Lauren Patton, Rare Books and Manuscripts librarian, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at 317-232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”

Better pay those library fines if you want your full tax refund check!

We’re heading into tax time and many of us are looking forward to our tax refunds. However, did you know that if you have outstanding fines and fees at your public library, the library can have a portion of your refund intercepted and diverted to the library to pay off what you owe? The process is called Set off of Refunds in state law. SooR is a process where public libraries, among other entities who are owed money, can claim and receive that money out of a state tax refund owed to the person who owes money to the library. This is not something the library is required to do, but rather is just another debt collection option available to libraries and other entities. For example, Sally owes the library $150 for ten DVDs she checked out and never returned. The library went through its usual process of attempting to notify Sally and collect the money owed to the library. All the normal collection attempts employed by the library failed. The library then decided to attempt to collect the money from Sally’s next state tax refund through the SooR process.

How does the process work?
First, the library must enter into an agreement with a Department of Revenue-approved clearinghouse. The approved clearinghouse for libraries is the Association of Indiana Counties. When the library has a debt it wants paid from a person’s tax refund, the library must direct the clearinghouse to file an application for the set off on behalf of the library. After receipt of the application, the DOR will determine whether or not the person who owes the debt, known as the the debtor, is due for a tax refund. The DOR will notify the library if the debtor is entitled to a tax refund.

Within 15 days of receiving notice that the debtor is entitled to a tax refund, the library or the clearinghouse must send written notice to the debtor and the DOR of the library’s intent to have the tax refund set off. The debtor is entitled to a hearing to contest the set off if the debtor mails written notice to the library of the debtor’s intent to contest the library’s right to the debt. The debtor must mail this written notice within 30 days after the date the library’s notice of intent to have the tax refund set off was mailed to the debtor.

The total amount of the set off of the debtor’s tax refund may include the actual amount owed to the library, a 15% collection fee payable to the DOR and a local collection assistance fee payable to the clearinghouse, the amount of which is set by the clearinghouse and is not to exceed $20.

After final determination of the validity of the debt, the library must certify to DOR the amount owed by the debtor to the library that is subject to set off. Upon receipt of certification of a debt, the DOR shall set off the appropriate amount and pay it to the library or the clearinghouse. The DOR notifies the debtor of the tax refund set off.

Is the library guaranteed to get the money owed to them through this process?
No, there are a number of variables that could affect whether or not the library can recoup money through the SooR process. It is possible the taxpayer is not due a refund, in which case, the library would not receive any money through this process. Additionally, among the 10 types of entities who can use the SooR process, political subdivisions, which include public libraries, are at the end of the priority list which means other entities will get money owed to them first and there may not be enough left for the library after other creditors have been paid. If the person has the fees owed discharged in bankruptcy, then the library could not recoup the fees.

Is there a time limit by which collection for a specific debt through the SooR process must take place?
The law does not state a time limit after which a debt is not eligible for collection using this process. Additionally, the law does not specify how long a debt must be owed to a political subdivision before the political subdivision can use this process to collect the debt.

Is there a minimum dollar threshold that must be owed to the library before the library can use this process to collect on a debt?
The law does not state a minimum dollar threshold that must be owed before the library can use this process to collect a debt.

How does this work on a joint tax return if only one person is responsible for the debt?
On a joint return, the entire refund is subject to set off unless there is a timely defense raised by a co-refundee who is not a debtor. If a timely defense is raised that the refund is based on a combined tax return of a debtor and a non-debtor, then the set off can only be effected against the debtor’s share of the refund.

This blog post was written by Sylvia Watson, library law consultant and legal counsel, Indiana State Library. For more information, email Sylvia.

Pearl Harbor: The day and its place in our history

Dec. 7, 1941 is the day the Japanese military bombed Pearl Harbor. The event and America’s subsequent entry into World War II are a part of our history, but it is a history many only know from a high school class or from movies. The materials in our collection could be used to add depth to your knowledge of the day “that will live in infamy” or even change your understanding of it.

The Indiana State Library has over 200 items on Pearl Harbor in various formats throughout our collections. The Federal Government Documents Collection includes hearings and reports on, and by, the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, as well as materials such as “Pearl Harbor revisited: United States Navy Communications Intelligence, 1924-1941” by Frederick D. Parker and the United States National Security Agency/Central Security Service Center for Cryptologic History, which is part of the United States Cryptologic History series. Of particular interest is the book “From Pearl Harbor Into Tokyo: the Story as told by War Correspondents on the Air.” Published in 1945, it is best described by the following information, which is on the title page:

“The documented broadcasts of the war in the Pacific as they were transmitted by CBS throughout America and the world, are taken verbatim from the records of the Columbia Broadcasting System.”

The library’s general collection has a wide variety of materials on Pearl Harbor written from different angles and viewpoints. These include the book “Remember Pearl Harbor” by Blake Clarke, published in 1942. This book has accounts of the attack in snippet style, firsthand viewpoints of military and civilians, that give the feel of what happened that day. There is also “Pearl Harbor,” a 2001 National Geographic Collector’s Edition book that along with quotes from survivors, has photographs of a time leading up to that day, the attack itself and its aftermath.

So, if you’re interested in “the date that will live in infamy,” according to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, or simply want to impress your teacher or professor with your next history project, come to the Indiana State Library and we’ll help get you the resources you need.

This blog post was written by Daina Bohr, Reference and Government Services librarian. For more information, contact the Reference and Government Services Division at (317) 232-3678 or via email.

Lego Soldiers and Sailors Monument is installed at the Indiana State Library

The staff of the Indiana Young Readers Center are extremely excited to welcome Jeffrey Smythe’s Lego rendition of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument to the Indiana Young Readers Center just in time for the holidays. The monument will be on display at the Indiana State Library and free to see during regular business hours from now until Valentine’s Day.

From the diary of Suzanne Walker, director of the Indiana Center for the Book and Indiana Young Readers Center Librarian:

11/21/2018

Dear Diary:

After weeks of emails and planning and measuring, the day finally arrived! Jeffrey brought the Lego Monument to the ISL today! It was going to be a bustling day anyway, as the whole State Library was topsy turvy with holiday decorating. Every division came out to decorate the evergreen trees found in many corners of our building. I love the trees with glass cardinals and owls gracing their branches, and our Giving Tree near the front door is a nice addition for this year.

But no tree took longer to assemble than our Lego monument “tree.” Jeffrey showed up around 9 a.m. with the first panels and sections of the monument. He knew right away that he would not be able to get it in one car load, so we unloaded and he headed back to Greenwood for more.

Here’s Caitlyn – IYRC staff, and Joe and Jeffrey unloading the monument. Jeffrey even has Lady Victory in his arm! We made good use of the library’s many flatbed carts, although we had to jockey all day with other library staff who kept using them for the Christmas trees. I love this picture because you can see that inside the monument are Legos of many colors! Not only that… there are Duplos in there!

It took three trips in the car to get the monument to the library. It did not arrive all in one piece; rather it came in several carefully-packed sections.

We knew right away that we would definitely need the three 8-foot tables that we had allocated for the monument. Jeffrey was delighted with the space we had chosen – right in front of a window on the east side of the building. Black tablecloths were scrounged up and the real assembly began.

There is so much detail on the monument! The actual monument is full of statue groupings and bronze and limestone features. I loved reading this article about the artist for the actual monument. I’m sure Jeffrey read it too, as he researched for three months before even putting two bricks together. Jeffrey did his best, scaling down the monument to a 1:48 scale to accommodate Lego minifigures. That’s one inch of Legos for every 4 feet in real life.

There was a tricky moment when it was time to slide the steps in and attach them to the main center piece. We discovered that our tables are not exactly the same height! Thank goodness Jeffrey brought some extra bricks – actually some flat platform pieces of uniform color – to prop up the panels so everything could hook in correctly.

Here’s the water in one of the two pools. Jeffrey said he tried three different versions of the water before he was satisfied with how it looked. It looks good enough to swim in!

Caitlyn and I made the mistake of going to lunch and when we got back, the lights were on and everything! It was glorious! There were still hours of work ahead, as Jeffrey had to install all the corner sections and Joe went to work snapping in hundreds of flowers. There are about 50 minifigures that had to be installed as well, including Mickey, Minnie, E.T. and the Powerpuff Girls. We are writing up a seek-and-find for visitors who want a challenge.

Colleague Stephanie Smith looks on as Jeffrey puts the finishing touches on the monument. She literally gasped when she walked into the room. It is that breathtaking!

Around 3 p.m. we had the final bricks snapped in. By 4 p.m. we finished adjusting the stanchions and putting up our “Do Not Touch” signs and a little bit of information about Jeffrey. It’s just amazing. I hope lots of people can come and see the Lego Monument. It’s certainly been a great way to start the holiday season for me!

Submitted by Suzanne Walker, Indiana Young Readers Center librarian at the Indiana State Library and director of the Indiana Center for the Book.

From the desk of the children’s consultant

If you stopped by my cubicle in the Professional Development Office of the Indiana State Library, you might notice a number of items on my desk related to upcoming trainings and projects relevant to youth services. You’d see:

  • Materials for my Collaborative Summer Library Program trainings and roundtables, which began on Dec. 3, 2018 and will continue through Feb. 1, 2019. By the way, for those of you who cannot attend an in-person workshop, don’t forget the webinar on Jan. 9, 2019. See the full list of dates and locations, along with the description, on ISL’s calendar of events

 
  • The outline for two-day long YALSA “Teen Services with Impact” training sessions for teen librarians. These sessions are slated to take place on March 26, 2019 at the Brown County Public Library and March 27, 2019 at Kokomo Public Library.  While the locations may require travel time for many librarians, these otherwise free workshops will be an amazing opportunity for teen librarians in Indiana to gather and discuss the future of teen services while gaining valuable training from an instructor who works for the Young Adult Library Services Association. These trainings are still in the process of being finalized; more details should be announced in early 2019. Until then, be sure to mark your calendars.

  • A press release announcing the Indiana State Library’s acceptance into the NASA @ My Library program’s Cohort 2. Along with 13 other state library agencies, ISL will receive resources, training and support, which we will use to assist public libraries in increasing and enhancing their STEM learning opportunities. We will also be given kits for circulation among public libraries; details on these kits and how to borrow them will be forthcoming. Read more about the NASA @ My Library program here.
  • A travel request to attend the National Learning Institute in Philadelphia in February. The Indiana State Library, along with the Indiana State Museum, Terre Haute Children’s Museum and Early Learning Indiana, was accepted to be a State Leader for the Franklin Institute’s Leap into Science program Cohort 2. Together, representatives from those four organizations, with me representing ISL, will be trained at the institute to offer train-the-trainer sessions to Indiana librarians, museum workers, early childhood programmers and other out-of-school time educators periodically over the next three years. These sessions will discuss how to integrate open-ended science activities with children’s books during programs designed for children ages three to 10 and their families. More details on how this will roll out in Indiana will be announced in spring or summer 2019. Read more about Leap into Science here.  
  • A map of the seven 2019 Every Child Ready to Read training locations – these locations were announced last month. The trainings will take place in March, April, May, August and October and are great for those new to doing story time, and for those looking for a refresher. You can register for them via ISL’s calendar of events.   

There is definitely a lot going on, and I look forward to sharing these trainings and projects with you in 2019!

This blog post was written by Beth Yates, children’s consultant for the Indiana State Library.

 

New manuscripts catalog available to the public

Genealogy and Rare Books and Manuscripts have successfully transitioned from Archivists’ Toolkit to ArchivesSpace, a content management system provided by LYRASIS for archival collections. Staff participated in several trainings, updated finding aids, migrated data and developed a new public user interface, here.

The catalog provides a snapshot of the Genealogy and Rare Books and Manuscripts collection areas, important resources, the opportunity to interact with social media and over 5,300 records to search. Tips are provided to help guide the user through the catalog. Patrons have the ability to receive generated citations, print PDF versions of finding aids and request materials using a generated form.

For more information, contact Bethany Fiechter, Rare Books and Manuscripts supervisor at (317) 234-8621.

The Tabard Inn Library

Over the course of its long history, many book donations have come to the Indiana State Library and have been incorporated into the collection. These books often contain personal inscriptions, decorative bookplates or other ephemera from previous owners.  A first edition of the novel “The Cost,” authored by Hoosier David Graham Phillips and published by Bobbs-Merrill in 1904, bears the following handwritten note on the inside cover:

“This book traveled all over Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and Holland, 1913.”

It also has a colorful bookplate for something called The Tabard Inn Library. The Tabard Inn Library was a membership library founded in 1902. For a fee, people could obtain a membership which would allow them to borrow books from designated book stations throughout the country, many of which were located in public places such as stores. Members could exchange an old book for a new one by depositing five cents into the book station. The books were encased in black cardboard bearing distinctive red bands on the spines, hence the company’s motto: “With all the RED TAPE on the BOX.”

A magazine advertisement for the Tabard Inn Library program from 1905.

It is tempting to imagine the original owner of this book selecting it from dozens of other titles at a Tabard Inn book station located in a hotel lobby prior to embarking on their European adventure.

For more information on the Tabard Inn Library venture, including pictures of the book stations, visit here.

The Library of Congress has an entire special collection of books that, like ISL’s copy, were once part of the Tabard Inn program.

This blog post was written by Jocelyn Lewis, Catalog Division supervisor, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at 317-232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”

A sad death

This November, as we remember those who served in our military forces, as well as the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, the Genealogy Division has made some new materials available through our Indiana Digital Collections about an Indiana soldier, Fred C. Hurt, who served in the Spanish-American War. These materials are a part of the G034 Nancy H. Diener Collection which was recently processed by staff.

Fred Carlton Hurt was born in Waynetown, Indiana on July 28, 1876 to Dr. William J. and Susan C. Hurt. Fred followed his father’s career path and entered the Indiana School of Medicine. While he was in his second year of medical school he decided to enlist in the U.S. Army Hospital Corps. Fred joined the U.S. Army as a private on June 14, 1898 in Indianapolis and was sent to Camp Thomas in Chickamauga, Georgia.

During his time there he wrote home to family and his fiancé Gertrude Jachman, telling them about camp life, and his work tending to the sick, which he really seemed to enjoy. Fred also wrote about how he was expecting to be shipped out either to Puerto Rico or Cuba and was anxious to go.

Fred wrote that the camp was rife with disease and understaffed. In late July, he wrote “At present we have 150 men men (sic) who are bad sick. There are only 10 men who go on duty at one time to take care of 150.” Fred himself would succumb to typhoid fever at Fort Monroe in Virginia on Aug. 18, 1898.

Inside of medical tent with personnel at Fort Monroe.

Fred’s family in Waynetown were unaware that anything was wrong until the received a telegram sent collect that Fred was dead, his body was later shipped home collect and the family was billed $117. His father William sends letters to various government official trying to rectify that matter and get reimbursed for the funeral expenses and transport of his son’s body home as well as back pay owed to his son. On May 1,1899 he sends a letter to Charles B. Landis a representative from Indiana’s 9th District asking him to look into the matter.

On March 21, 1900, a letter from the Treasury department states that they have approved payment to William J. Hurt to amount of $112.17 for back pay and reimbursement of expenses involved with the transport and burial of Fred C. Hurt.

Receipt from treasury department.

Blog written by Sarah Pfundstein, genealogy librarian, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317) 232-3689 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”

2018 Genealogy and Local History Fair recap

On Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, the Indiana State Library was abuzz with genealogists and representatives from historical organizations, genealogical societies and libraries, who were all in attendance for the 2018 edition of the Genealogy and Local History Fair. The theme this year was “Digging Up the Dead,” as we learned how to examine, decipher, and interpret death records, death research and other interesting facets of mortality in history.

Lisa Alzo during one of her three presentations.

Internationally-known speaker Lisa Alzo presented “Murder, Mayhem and Town Tragedy,” “Cause of Death: Using Coroner’s Records for Genealogy” and “Diseases, Disasters & Distress: Bad for Your Ancestors, Good for Genealogy.” Sarah Halter, executive director of the Indiana Medical History Museum, presented “What Killed Your Ancestors?,” which examined 19th century medicine, the accuracy of information and names of certain diseases and what they mean.

Sarah Halter presenting “What killed your ancestors?”

In between sessions, attendees were able to mingle with fellow genealogists, vendors and exhibitors, as well as explore the beautiful Indiana State Library building and view the library’s most recently-installed exhibits. “The Practice of Medicine” and “The Business of Death” are both currently on display in the first floor Exhibit Hall and in the second floor Great Hall of the state library. In addition to items from the library’s collections, “The Practice of Medicine” showcases items on loan from the Indiana Medical History Museum. If you happened to have missed the Genealogy and Local History Fair this year, there is still time to catch these great exhibits, which will be on display through the end of January 2019.

Attendees browsing vendors in the Great Hall.

We hope to see you at the next Genealogy and Local History Fair on Oct. 24, 2020, as we focus on “The Women in Your Family Tree,” while commemorating the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage and examining the sometimes hard-to-research half of your family tree.

This blog post was written by Stephanie Asberry, deputy director of public services, Indiana State Library.