Hoosier occupations in the U.S. census

In the Genealogy Division of the Indiana State Library, I learn about fascinating people and their equally fascinating jobs each day by researching U.S. census records. Those who live and work in the Hoosier state are eclectic individuals with wide-ranging career choices. It seems fitting to highlight some of the quirky, adventurous and even adorable occupations that I have found over the years:

Frank Liebtag
Frank Liebtag, a 5-year-old boy living at 905 Eugene St. in Indianapolis in 1910, was probably a delightful little clog dancer. About a year earlier, he was voted prettiest baby in the baby show at the Marion County Fair. There is no mention of him dancing for the judges, but I have a suspicion that may have been what won them over.

Indianapolis Star (Indianapolis), Aug. 20, 1909. Available from ProQuest.

Hellena Thiers
Hellena Thiers, a 33-year-old woman residing with family in Fulton County in 1880, toured the country as a “celebrated lady aeronaut” during her career as a balloonist. She directed the construction of a balloon named General Grant that was taken to Woodward’s Gardens amusement park in San Francisco in 1879.

It was a dangerous profession. It is reported in the Oct. 16, 1878 Angola Herald that after a cancelled balloon race between Theirs and a Professor Harry Gilbert, he was injured in a crash when he took to the air during bad weather conditions. “Thence the air-ship veered to the top of another tree, striking with such force that it was ripped wide open, and descended like a ball of lead…”

Angola Herald (Angola, Ind.), Oct. 16, 1878. Available from Newspapers.com.

San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco), June 12, 1879. Available from Newspapers.com.

Nellie Pine
In 1870, a Mrs. Nellie Pine from South Bend was practicing as a clairvoyant physician. Her services were advertised frequently in the local papers at the time.

In the July 1, 1867 New Albany Daily Ledger, someone going by A. Citizen writes advertising her services, “Are you sick? Yes, I am sick, and sick of humbug Doctors…Go and see Mrs. Pine if you want health; I have proved her power.”

New Albany Daily Ledger (New Albany, Ind.), July 05, 1867. Available in Newspaper Archive.

Professor Zoe Zoe
Another clairvoyant going by the name of Professor Zoe Zoe got into a bit of trouble shortly after he was enumerated in the 1900 Terre Haute census.

He was arrested for stealing the ring of Laura Wright, the woman he was lodging with at the time. This tongue-in-cheek article from the Evansville Courier mentions the census by incorrectly reporting:

An enterprising census enumerator got Zoe Zoe’s real name before the fortune teller was taken back to Terre Haute, but nobody else did as none of the police officials are able to perform his feats and give names unless the person will talk – and Zoe Zoe wouldn’t. The local police do not think the Terre Haute officials have a very strong case against the clairvoyant, and expect to see him back here lifting the veil for gullible Evansvillians at a liberal price per lift.

In reality, the suspected thief’s true identity remained a secret, even to the census enumerator.

Evansville Courier (Evansville, Ind.), June 14, 1900. Available in Newspapers.com.

Naitto Sisters
Circus performers were enumerated at the Fair Grounds Hotel on April 8, 1940. Walja Yu, also known as Ala Ming or Ala Naitto, came to town with her family to perform a high wire act.

In the newspaper article below, she is shown walking the wire with her sister, Nio. “Sisters who walk a straight line, are the Naittos, who do new and startling feats on the tight wire in the middle ring of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Combined Circus…They are the only girls in the world accomplishing somersaults on the tight wire.”

Evening News (Harrisburg, Pa.), May 25, 1938. Available in Newspapers.com.

Chester and Jewell Austin

Chester and Jewell Austin, in Randolph County in 1930, listed their occupations as barnstormers, a term for those that performed airplane stunts such as wing-walking and parachuting. Based on the description in the April 27, 1930 Star Press, their act was quite the sensation. Chester would hang from a rope ladder as he picked a handkerchief up from the ground. Jewell was a parachute jumper, and she piloted the plane used in the act.

The Star Press (Muncie, Ind.), April 27, 1930. Available in Newspapers.com.

Palladium Item (Richmond, Ind.), Aug. 23, 1929. Available in Newspapers.com.

Joseph Burkholder
It’s likely whoever reported Joseph Burkholder, a 47-year-old in 1870 Whitley County, Indiana as, “too lazy for anything,” was having a little bit of fun at his expense or didn’t think much of his work ethic. Either way, the enumerator recorded the disparaging comment and now its history.

David A. Readfield
In 1850 in Marion County, a Mr. David A. Readfield has the perplexing title of pain killer listed as his occupation. What does a professional pain killer do for a living?

After a bit of research, I found out he was likely the same individual listed in the Nov. 4, 1852 Indianapolis Daily State Sentinel as a distributor of Perry Davis’ Vegetable Pain Killer. It was a mixture of opium, alcohol and other various ingredients. It was marketed at the time to both adults and children to treat pain caused by anything ranging from cuts and bruises to cholera.

According to the notice in the paper, Redfield had an injunction against him for not paying debts owed as an agent of Davis’ Pain Killer. This bit of trouble may be why he is not listed as a pain killer on later censuses.

Indianapolis Daily State Sentinel (Indianapolis), Nov. 4, 1852. Available in Newspaper Archive.

Monroeville Breeze (Monroeville, Ind.), Sept. 24, 1885. Available in Newspapers.com.

Cheerful Gardener
It’s fitting that a man with an attention-grabbing name like Cheerful Gardener would have an equally noteworthy career. Surprisingly, he wasn’t actually a cheerful gardener by profession. He, his wife Mary and a boarder named Violet Clement were elephant trainers for the circus in Miami County in 1930. He trained them to do a number of tricks, including carrying people about with their head in an elephant’s mouth. Cheerful later moved to Los Angeles to train elephants for Hollywood films. He was inducted into the International Circus Hall of Fame in Peru, Indiana where one of his uniforms is on display.

Portage Daily Register (Portage, Wis.) July 11, 1921. Available in Newspapers.com.

Here are some other interesting Indiana occupations from U.S. census records:

U.S. census records are available through these online resources:

In addition, the library has a guide to the Genealogy Division’s Census Collections by State if you prefer to see what the library has in other formats, such as print or microfilm. You never know, you may learn you have an acrobat, clairvoyant or other remarkable profession in your own family tree!

This blog post is by Dagny Villegas, Genealogy Division librarian.

Indiana Letters About Literature writing contest for grades 4-12

The Indiana Letters About Literature writing contest is now open! Students in grades four through 12 are invited to write a letter to an author, living or deceased, whose one work has made a difference in how the student sees themselves or the world. Indiana students can write about works of literature including fiction, nonfiction, short stories, poems, essays or speeches, including TED Talks.

Last year over a thousand letters were submitted to the contest. Students wrote about many books, including “Wonder” by R. J. Palacio, “The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan and “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. Students once again explored weighty issues including identity, neurodiversity, anxiety (we received a lot of letters about anxiety), racism and police violence. Letters are not actually delivered to the authors, but for the past ten years about 100 letters are selected for inclusion in an annual anthology.

First, second and third place winners are selected from amongst the top 100 letters in three levels: grades 4-6, grades 7-8, and grades 9-12. In addition, a special award is given to the top letter written to an Indiana author.

The top letters from the 2021-22 contest are as follows:

Callum Green, New Palestine, was the first-place winner from Level One. He wrote a letter to Alan Gratz, author of the bestselling novel for children, “Grenade.” This is a selection from his letter:

“I really should blame this whole thing on my great-grandfather. I mean, the reason I got interested in WWII was to know more about his past. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was captured. He is still alive today, at 98 years old. I would always listen to his stories and not fully understand them until one day I decided I would learn about this major conflict … Due to my interest in the topic, I immediately got hooked on your writing. Your style of writing and the perspectives makes me feel like I am actually in the setting of your books.”

Naomi Cohen, Indianapolis, was the first-place winner from Level Two. She wrote a letter to Sara Leicht-Weinstein, author of the novel, “The Power of Hatred, the Strength of Love.” This is a selection from her letter:

“From the very first page to the last … tears began to sting my face as I envisioned a girl my age stepping off a filthy cattle car into the gates of hell – Auschwitz. I began to question the world and people around me. What causes people to hate so deeply? Why do people find it so difficult to put their differences aside? Which is more powerful – love or hate?”

Loralee DeYoung, Dyer, was the first-place winner from Level Three. She wrote a letter to Markus Zusak, author of the novel, “The Book Thief.” This is a selection from his letter.

“As I read the first few pages … it became clear that this novel was not like the ones I had read before. Confusion grew, then shock. Not only is the strange narrator the embodiment of Death, but he unceremoniously visits Liesel’s younger brother. The character Death was desperately foreign to me; there had not even been a single warning in advance. As I journeyed farther into the story, the kind of story I was reading grew increasingly clear. There was never going to be a happy ending, and a lot of people were going to end up hurt or dead.”

BethAnn Fairchild, Madison, won the Indiana Author Letter Prize for the top letter written to an Indiana Author. She wrote a letter to Gene Stratton-Porter, Indiana author of “Laddie, Freckles, and A Girl of the Limberlost.” This is a selection from her letter:

“Gene Stratton-Porter, thank you so much for painting elaborate pictures of the creation you love. It makes me able to experience what you experienced when you were young. And I have gained so many lessons from my friendships with your characters. The world has changed a lot but because of your books, everyone can encounter the beauty of the Limberlost.”

The deadline to enter the 2022-23 contest is Jan. 9, 2023. Details, entry forms and official rules for the contest can be found on the Letters About Literature website.

Get your students excited to enter the contest by sharing this video with them:

This blog post was submitted by Indiana Young Readers Center librarian Suzanne Walker.

Indiana’s bobbed menace

The 1920s were an exhilarating and decadent era for Americans. With one devastating World War behind them, they were ready for peace, stability and fun. Businesses boomed, people prospered and modern technologies like radio and cinema exposed individuals to ideas and sensations never before experienced. All these changes had a particularly profound effect on the nation’s young women. They began to chafe against what they perceived as old-fashioned restraints on their behavior and appearance. Beginning in 1922, they could vote. They held jobs, shortened their skirts, wore make-up, smoked, drank alcohol (despite – or because of – Prohibition) and perhaps most shocking of all, they cut their hair and made the stylishly short bob the default hairstyle for women everywhere.

There is much debate over the origin of the bobbed hair fad of the 1920s. Some attribute it to a particular Parisian barber. Others to the 1910s dancer and megastar Irene Castle who shortened her tresses in 1915 for convenience prior to undergoing surgery and a long hospital stay. Another theory attributes the popularity of short hair to the prevalence of Joan of Arc imagery used in propaganda campaigns throughout the first World War, where she was often depicted as having short hair. Whatever its origins, once it took hold among the nation’s young women, it spread rapidly and thoroughly, including here in Indiana. Of course, not everyone approved and the resulting battle over female hair length played out in various newspaper columns throughout most Indiana communities in the 1920s.

Some businesses refused to hire women with short hair, considering a bob a sign of immorality. Interestingly, in this article shorn locks – a personal decision – is given equal consideration to blonde hair, a genetic condition, although dying hair was also increasingly popular during this time period.

Indiana Daily Times, July 9, 1921.

The “loose morals” trope of the bobbed hair phenomenon was underscored by accounts such as this article which gleefully highlights the offender’s hair style in the headline.

Daily Banner (Greencastle), Oct. 27, 1931.

As the bobbed hair craze took over the country, attempts were made to discourage the trend. Articles appeared encouraging women to keep their hair long thus retaining their “crowning glory.” Some articles offered “scientific” advice on how to quickly regrow hair for those regretting their bob. Underscoring many of these articles was the notion that long hair was inherently feminine and that women who deviated from this norm were an abomination of traditional womanhood.

South Bend News Times, Feb. 22, 1922.

Other articles argued that bobbed hair was somehow more expensive to upkeep than long hair. This brief article fails to make an actual argument in support of that thesis but still manages to throw out an inflammatory accusation with the almost certainly fabricated quote “…bobbing does destroy a girl’s personality… we all look like orphan asylum inmates.”

Greenfield Herald, Sept. 20, 1924.

Bobbed hair was used as a scapegoat for more serious social ills such as the dissolution of marriages and even suicide.

Evansville Courier and Press, Oct. 11, 1923. Brown County Democrat, Aug. 24, 1922.

Despite this barrage of negative media, bobbed hair did have its proponents in popular media. Some considered the hairstyle more hygienic and practical, such as the president of the Indiana State Board of Health, although he did use this opportunity to publicly scorn makeup use.

Garret Clipper, April 10, 1924.

While some businesses completely banned bobbed hair among female employees, others allowed it, albeit with some reluctance.

South Bend News Times, Aug. 14, 1921.

Still, others pointed out that women’s appearances and fashions have been constantly changing throughout recorded human history and that short hair and short skirts were not necessarily a new fad, but a return to an older social norm.

Evansville Courier and Press, Oct. 8, 1923.

But perhaps the strongest proponents of bobbed hair were the millions of young women who gleefully sliced off their long locks. For many it was a statement of personal choice and preference, a symbol of modernity and, as with voting, a chance to be citizens on their own terms.

Pictures of unidentified Hoosier women with bobbed hair circa the 1920s. From the Indiana Picture Collection, Rare Books and Manuscript Collection.

The trend became so prevalent, that by the middle of the 1920s it was very difficult to find any young women with long hair. Indeed, one occasionally finds them in the pages of local high school yearbooks. One has to wonder, how did these girls feel about their long tresses? Were they forbidden to cut their hair by their parents? Did they simply like having long hair? Or maybe they sensed that a daring and scandalous trend is no longer daring and scandalous when absolutely everyone does it and therefore by refraining, they signify themselves as unique and rebellious?

A long-haired holdout from Kokomo High School, class of 1923 (ISLI 379 K79 1923).

The social propensity to police women’s appearances did not end with the bobbed hair fad of the 1920s. While fashion dictates throughout the rest of the 20th century caused hair to lengthen again, the bob has remained a standard for millions of women everywhere. Public outrage gradually moved away from hair length to other considerations such as the wearing of pants, bikinis, crop tops, leggings, tattoos, etc. While contemporary women have a great deal more choice when it comes to how they appear and hair length is largely considered a simple personal choice and not a brazen social statement, it is helpful to remember that these have been hard-fought battles.

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.”

Difference Is You conference recap

The Indiana State Library was thrilled that the annual Difference Is You conference was finally able to be held in-person. The theme “Refresh and Recharge” was chosen for the 2022 conference because we wanted to focus on wellness topics to complement the library topics.

David Seckman, director of the Jeffersonville Township Public Library, appeared as our keynote speaker. David shared his philosophy regarding public libraries and work. The following is a description of his keynote speech:

Three Wishes for You
David has three simple, but important, wishes for you based on his years of study in positive and organizational psychology and his experience leading libraries. Have you ever wondered why some teams are highly productive, creative and innovative while other teams with similar levels of talent and experience seem to be stuck in neutral?

He answered those questions when he talked about how practicing “kind communication” can help determine the success of your interactions with co-workers and customers alike. Discover the most important ingredient to improving team dynamics, according to a large research project sponsored by Google. Gain an understanding about the three types of collaborative styles at work and which one is the most beneficial to organizational and personal success.

David Seckman, Jeffersonville Public Library Director, and keynote speaker.

After the keynote, Jacob Speer, State Librarian, revealed the winner of the Difference is You Award as Maureen Haub, cataloger and clerk, at the Milford Public Library. The people that nominated her were excited when they were notified. He also reported the names of all those who were nominated for the DIY Award and asked them to stand for recognition.

The rest of the day was spent learning about various databases or resources that libraries use. Wellness topics included yoga, mindfulness and a session from two representatives of NAMI Indiana that spoke about mental illness. Of course, we had to make sure we had a genealogy session to round out the offerings so Angela Porter, genealogy librarian at the Indiana State Library, presented free internet resources that patrons and librarians can use in their genealogy research.

Heather Barron, yoga and mindfulness teacher.

There were many comments made afterwards about how nice it was to be back in-person and one person relayed that it was “one of the best conferences she had been to in 26 years.”

This blog post was submitted by Kara Cleveland, Professional Development Office supervisor at the Indiana State Library.

New offerings from the National Library Service

The National Library Service, as part of its braille modernization initiative, has launched a braille-on-demand program which allows patrons to request copies of hard copy braille to keep indefinitely. Patrons may order up to five titles per month. Titles are limited to those that are available on BARD Braille and Audio Reading Download page, and only complete titles will be distributed. The form to request a book can be found here. Patrons may complete the form themselves or contact the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library for assistance. The books are being produced by Clovernook Braille Printing House in Cincinnati. The title requested most so far is “A Treasury of Knitting Patterns” by Barbara G. Walker. The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter series have also proved popular.

NLS’ Patron Engagement Section now offers a monthly program called The Many Faces of BARD. This program will occur on the second Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. Eastern time. It will last for one hour and cover one aspect of BARD usage. Each program will start with a brief presentation. The remainder of the time will be spent answering questions about the presentation or other questions related to BARD usage. NLS will announce the topic for the next presentation at the end of each program. These sessions are open to all patrons and can be joined upon request.

This post was written by Laura Williams, supervisor of the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library.

What to expect when you visit your Indiana State Library

Your Indiana State Library offers books for people of all ages, and much, much more. Your state library is a peaceful, beautiful place for learning and exploring. We have something for everyone to enjoy. You can walk around and look at the beautiful architecture and stained-glass windows. Or you can simply find a book and make yourself comfy for a while. We have public computers or tables where you can sit and study.

How can you get a library card?
Every Indiana resident can have an Indiana State Library card. Just stop by and see us and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Any citizen of the state of Indiana is eligible to obtain a State Library card. When a patron requests the issuance of a card, they will be required to complete the information on the Indiana State Library Card Registration Form – state form 44689 – and provide a picture ID. This ID may be a valid Indiana driver’s license; valid Indiana state identification card; valid U.S. Government issued identification (e.g., passport, military ID, permanent resident card, other employment ID with a current address or other picture ID of this type).

Hours of operation
The Indiana State Library is open from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month, with some exceptions. For a complete list of library hours, open Saturdays and holiday closures, click here.

Parking information
Many downtown garages within walking distance of the State Library offer commercial parking. Metered parking is available on most downtown streets, including Ohio St. and Senate Ave. An interactive map showing parking in downtown Indianapolis is available from Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.

Directions to the Indiana State Library
The Indiana State Library is located at 315 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis near the Canal Walk. Click here to get directions.

So, plan a trip to your Indiana State Library. We look forward to seeing you soon!

This blog post was written by Rayjeana Duty, circulation supervisor, Indiana State Library.

Using maps in genealogy research

Maps are an incredibly useful tool for genealogy and local history researchers. They can show insights into how people lived that are not readily apparent through other documentary sources. They can be used to help untangle research questions and show off your research in new ways. Maps are also fun to use in research; they are often colorful and provide a level of visual interest not often found in written documents.

Maps show how people lived in and experienced their world

Southern Indiana as surveyed in 1815. Image from the Indiana State Library Digital Collections.

Maps are a useful snapshot of how a place was at a specific point in time. Looking at modern maps can be useful in your research, but an old map can show you how an area appeared at the time your ancestor lived there. Whether you are looking at a river that has changed its course or the expansion of a city over time, contemporaneous maps illustrated the environment that people of the past would have seen on a daily basis and also give you insight into how they lived. For example, you can see the distance people traveled to reach stores, entertainment venues and places of worship or see how close they lived to their friends and neighbors.

This 1887 fire insurance map shows the Indiana State Capitol Building bounded on the east and west by Tennessee and Mississippi Streets. These streets are now called Capitol Avenue and Senate Avenue.

If your ancestors were rural dwellers, you might be interested in rural route maps. Although these often do not name the residents of each house, you may be able to identify the households using census records. Soil survey maps are also of interest, as they show the soil type and quality for an area and may provide insight into the types of crops that were grown in a region.

Weather maps are also interesting to researchers. You can use them to look at weather patterns for a region or to find the weather forecast for your ancestors’ birthdays, weddings or other major life events. From the early 20th century on, weather maps were often published in newspapers on a daily or weekly basis. You can also use newspapers to find articles on significant weather events, such as tornadoes, hurricanes or blizzards.

Average temperature and rainfall for May; Indianapolis Star, May 3, 1936, page 34.

Topographical maps primarily show geographic, rather than man-made, features. They were invented to depict three-dimensional features such as mountains, hills and valleys in a two-dimensional medium. For family history researchers, these maps show how geography may have influenced settlement patterns and how people interacted with one another. For example, families who lived just a few miles from one another may not have socialized much if they were separated by steep hills or a large river.

Topographical maps are available digitally from the United States Geological Survey. They include the most recent maps, as well as historic maps.

Boundary changes, or how to move while standing still

Virginia as it appeared prior to the creation of West Virginia. Map published by S. Taintor & Co., Rochester, NY and Philadelphia, PA, 1862.

On June 19, 1863, the people of Charleston went to bed in Virginia. The next morning, they awoke in West Virginia. Were they sleepwalking? Abducted by aliens? No, on June 20, 1863, West Virginia became a state and thousands of people were suddenly living in a new place without even moving.

Most boundary changes are not quite so dramatic and involved either the establishment of a new county or the redrawing of county or township lines as population levels grew over time. One of the best resources for tracing boundary changes in the United States is the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries hosted by the Newberry Library.

Make your own maps!
There are many mapping apps and software available online, in both free and paid versions. You can use these to make your own maps that document information relevant to your ancestors. That may include mapping migration routes, cemeteries, land ownership or other geographic information.

For example, the map above shows Indiana cities and towns that a family lived in between 1800 and 2000. The different colored pins denote different branches of the family. These pins show how the family moved and interacted over the years.

The map above shows select cemeteries between Paragon and Martinsville in Morgan County, Indiana. The family members who are buried in these cemeteries were all rural dwellers and locating their exact residences has proved difficult. However, by mapping the cemeteries used by the family, we are able to narrow down the area where they lived. If you are having trouble locating cemeteries, Find a Grave provides the geocoordinates of almost every cemetery they have indexed, which makes pinpointing the cemeteries a breeze.

Looking for maps? You’re in the right place
Do you need a plat map? Highway map? State park map? The Indiana State Library has digitized a wide variety of Indiana maps, which are available through our Digital Collections and are available to researchers everywhere.

This blog post is by Jamie Dunn, Genealogy Division supervisor.

Small claims court for copyright

In December 2020, a new law was signed into effect that established an easier way for individuals and businesses to sue for copyright infringement. The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act – the CASE Act – established a small claims court process within the U.S. Copyright office. A copyright claims board was established to hear copyright claims with damages totaling $30,000 or less. The CCB is a three-member tribunal staffed with attorneys who have significant copyright experience. The CCB began presiding over small claims copyright cases in June of this year.

It can be expensive to litigate a copyright claim in federal court. The CCB provides a lower cost alternative to resolve claims. Claims are capped at $30,000 which provides some protection from the possibility of a higher damage award if the claim is heard in federal court. Also, the process has been designed to facilitate self-representation, which saves the parties the cost of legal fees. Although parties still have the option of retaining legal counsel if they so choose. The process is designed to be quicker and more streamlined than a regular court proceeding. Much of the case could be decided based on written submissions. There may or may not be a hearing. Discovery is limited and the proceedings are virtual so no travel is required.

The CCB hears three types of small claims copyright cases. They can preside over copyright infringement claims, requests seeking a declaration of non-infringement and claims related to takedown notices and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Libraries and archives enjoy special treatment under the CASE Act. They may pre-emptively opt out from CCB jurisdiction altogether which would require any and all copyright claimants to proceed with suit in federal court. Libraries may alternatively just opt out from CCB jurisdiction on individual cases, which would mean the claimants in those particular cases would have to sue the library in federal court but other potential later claimants on other copyright claims could still sue the library under the CCB process. If a library opts out from the CCB process, the exemption would apply to all employees involved in the claim as well as the library as an entity. It is free to file the exemption at ccb.org. If a library wants to opt out of a CCB proceeding, the library must take action within 60 days of notice that the claim was filed.

There may be times when it would be beneficial for a library to opt out of suit under the CCB process. If the legal issues are complex, require expert witnesses, third parties or depositions, then it might be better for the case to be heard in federal court as the CCB does not typically allow depositions or expert witnesses. Additionally, the CCB does not have the authority to force third parties to testify or produce documents. There may also be strategic legal reasons for forcing the claimant to file in federal court. Conversely, there does not appear to be a mechanism for a defendant/respondent in a federal court case to opt to have a copyright case transferred to the CCB when they are sued in federal court.

A CCB determination is binding as to the parties involved but does not serve as precedence for any other case. If one of the parties disagrees with the CCB determination, that party may request reconsideration by the CCB. However, if reconsideration is denied, the losing party may seek review by the Register of Copyrights. A review by the Register of Copyrights will only be related to whether the CCB abused its discretion in denying reconsideration. In limited circumstances, the decision can be appealed to a federal court, but only under the following circumstances:

  • If the determination was issued as a result of fraud, corruption, misrepresentation, or other misconduct;
  • If the CCB exceeded its authority or failed to render a final decision in the matter; or
  • In the case of a default determination or determination based on failure to prosecute, if it is established that the default or failure was due to excusable neglect.

More information is available in the CCB handbook. Litigants can also email with their procedural questions.

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

State Agency Documents Collection: Indiana State Police

Our newest addition of materials to our Indiana State Agency Documents Collections is about the Indiana State Police.

The earliest item in the collection is a booklet from the Indiana Division of State Police Auxiliary Committee and the National Movement for State Police, published on Jan. 1, 1921. This booklet was published to advocate the creation of a state police force and includes articles about other state police forces and how the force would help in Indiana. This was basically an advertisement to push for the creation of legislation that would form the Indiana State Police. A few months later, on July 15, 1921, the Indiana legislature created the Indiana Motor Vehicle Police, making them the first law enforcement agency in the state to have statewide jurisdiction to enforce traffic laws. Limited to 16 officers, the force was only tasked with enforcing traffic laws.

During the late 1920s, faced with the rise in crime, prohibition and the now infamous gangsters of the time, the Indiana State Police expanded in 1927 with the creation of three bureaus – one reported and recorded crashes, one conducted criminal investigations and one was the Bureau of Criminal Identification, which included fingerprint identification. In the early 1930s, Governor Paul McNutt overhauled Indiana’s government. Through the Executive Reorganization Act of 1933, he reorganized 167 state agencies into eight new departments, as well as consolidated the law enforcement bureaus into one agency, the Indiana State Police Bureau. You can read about the work of the State Police Bureau in a booklet covering the years 1921 to 1937, which includes chapters on all the bureaus’ divisions.

Among the items in the collection is a 1936 advertisement pamphlet, “For Your Security and Protection.” This pamphlet offers general information and an overview of the vehicle traffic laws in Indiana. “Security and protection, for the people is the fundamental motive underlying the operation of any police department. And so, security and protection for the people of Indiana is the goal of Indiana’s state police department.”

During World War II, the Public Relations Division of the Indiana State Police published Service Links, “dedicated to all, I.S.P. service men, contains excerpt of letters from men now on leave of absence from the Department. As a monthly reminder that each man on leave is, despite his absence, definitely linked to the Department, this publication came into existence.”

For further reading about the history of the Indiana State Police, follow this link to their website.

This post was written by Christopher Marshall, digital collections coordinator for the Indiana Division at the Indiana State Library.

Virtual field trip now available

The Indiana State Library serves all of Indiana, including its farthest flung counties. For many counties, bringing a busload of students to visit us here at the State Library is just not feasible. Luckily, we’ve designed a virtual field trip for teachers to explore with their students at their own pace. Designed in Google Docs, the virtual field trip includes Indiana Trivia, a virtual tour with videos of several of the library’s spaces, a deep dive into the Indiana Young Readers Center and much more!

The quickest way to learn about our building is certainly the videos about each area of the library. Of note is the Stacks video that allows students to see into areas of the library not open to the public.

Teachers can extend their virtual field trip by booking a virtual visit with the Indiana Young Readers Center Librarian. The librarian is happy to chat with classes about Indiana Authors, being a librarian or architectural features in the Indiana State Library.

Feel free to reach out for more details about this opportunity. The Indiana Young Readers Center librarian can be reached here.

This blog post was submitted by Indiana Young Readers Center librarian Suzanne Walker.