Photograph family record of Henry Curtis and family

Chart after repairs and cleaning

This remarkably complete “Photograph Family Chart” shows the parents and children of Henry Curtis and Elizabeth Bever. The chart was created by J. Boller Sexington and is not dated. Although many examples of charts similar to this exist in libraries and private collections, this chart is unique in that every photograph slot is filled. The decorative elements on the chart are a mix of watercolors and ink.

This chart recently underwent minor repairs in the library’s conservation lab to clean the chart itself as well as straighten the photographs. As seen in this before photo, many of the images had moved with time and been reattached with tape. Also, the top edge of the chart had sustained several tears.

Back of chart before repairs

In order to repair the chart, all the photographs had to be removed. Once removed, the photographer’s marks as well as background details in the images were revealed.  These details provided more information about the family, but sadly, most people were not identified. The photographs are a mix of tintypes and albumen prints, primarily from photographers in Illinois. Some were cut down to better fit in the chart.

Selected images from the chart

Once the chart was cleaned and repaired, the photographs were remounted – without tape! – and realigned. The chart is now available to researchers in the Genealogy Division of the Indiana State Library.

Curtis family in the 1860 Census.  Illinois.  Tazewell County. 1860 U.S. Census, population schedule. NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 232. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Record Administration, n.d.

Further research on the Curtis family revealed that Henry was born in New York, while Elizabeth was born in Ohio. They married in 1838 in Fountain County, Indiana, and lived in Indiana until about 1850, when they moved to Illinois. They eventually settled in Tazewell County, Illinois, where most of the photographs were taken. Since many of the photographs are unlabeled, they images may be of Henry and Elizabeth’s children, or they may be of later members of the Curtis family.

As named on the photographic chart, Henry and Elizabeth’s children were: Henry, Martha, Michael, Hiram, Margaret, Phebe, Mary, Thomas and Emily. Henry was the son of Joseph Curtis and Martha Mattison and Elizabeth was the daughter of Michael Bever and Margaret Zumwalt.

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

Treatment of a water-damaged 1943 U.S. Cadet Nursing Corps poster

As a follow-up to a recent post regarding material from the Indiana State Library’s Government Documents Division, this post will summarize the repair of a 1943 U.S. Cadet Nursing Corps poster that was damaged during an air handler water leak on April 15, 2019.

The poster is a 1943 lithographic poster for the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps, drawn by artist Carolyn Edmundson. On that morning, a leak was discovered in the public documents room in the library. By the time it was discovered, the water had caused damage to a variety of pieces that had been left on a table under the leak spot. One of these pieces was the nursing poster. It was apparent, that while the poster had suffered water damage, there was also damage to the poster that predated the leak. The poster suffered from severe creasing, tears and areas of loss. A small amount of old pressure sensitive cellophane tape was found on the back and the paper was very dirty and brittle. Staining had occurred from the water damage. Additionally, the paper was cockled.

The treatment of the poster began with documentation. Both sides of the poster were photographed, and a report was written documenting its condition and proposing treatment options to address the damage. The first step was to dry clean both sides of the poster to remove the dirt and grime. The cellophane was then removed with the use of a hot air pencil.

The entire poster was washed in alkalized water and dried between wool felt blankets.

The area of loss was filled with re-pulped paper and the entire poster was lined onto a sheet of Japanese tissue with wheat starch paste.

The poster was photographed again and a final report was written documenting the treatment.

The poster is now safely back in the flat file cabinet with the library’s other broadsides.

This blog post was written by Seth Irwin, conservator, Indiana State Library.

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch to chair Indiana 2020 Census Complete Count Committee

Here at the Indiana State Library, our Indiana State Data Center Program has had an official partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau since 1978. We share statistical information and talk about the importance of access to good public data on a daily basis. Each decade, however, our efforts with the Census Bureau ramp up and we help “count everyone once, only once, in the right place” as of Census Day, April 1. The State of Indiana includes multiple stakeholders who take part in this effort.

On Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, Gov. Eric J. Holcomb announced that Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch will lead Indiana’s statewide Complete Count Committee for the 2020 Census. The goal of the committee is to encourage all Hoosiers to answer the census. Indiana’s CCC kick-off meeting will be Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, at 1 p.m. Eastern in the Indiana Government Center South Auditorium. You are invited. Register for the meeting here

The 2020 Census will be the very first census that provides online response. People can answer via their smartphones, use their home computers and laptops or go to their local library and use a public computer terminal. Because of this, libraries will see increased traffic next year during March and April. Indiana librarians will receive questions about what the census does and why the Census Bureau counts people. We will need to provide help with how it’s done.

This May, the American Library Association released its Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census. It explains the importance of the 2020 Census and also addresses the risks that we face if groups of people are undercounted in 2020. This is the reason that CCCs and promotional campaigns carry weight. Our efforts will impact the accuracy and completeness of next year’s count. Libraries are trusted voices, and librarians can make efforts to prepare ourselves to inform our communities.

Start learning about the census with Census Bureau’s Shape Your Future. Start Here website. Get details about promoting the census locally on the 2020 Census in Indiana website. Register and attend the CCC kick-off on Monday, Aug. 19 to learn more!

This blog post by Katie Springer, reference librarian. For more information, contact the Reference and Government Services Division at 317-232-3678 or submit an Ask-A-Librarian request.

Elizabeth “Betty” Wason, pioneering journalist and Hoosier cook book author

“I was young and wanted to see the world. I had no money, so I decided I would become a journalist.” – Betty Wason

Elizabeth “Betty” Wason was an American author and broadcast journalist. Born on March 6, 1912 in Delphi, Indiana, she grew up studying classical violin and painting. After high school, she enrolled in Purdue University, hoping to pursue a career as a dress designer.

After graduating from Purdue on June 13, 1933, Wason went to work selling yard goods in the basement of the L.S. Ayres Department Store in Indianapolis. It wasn’t until her first broadcasting experience, working on a radio program for a cooking school in Lexington, Kentucky, that she would move toward a career in journalism. This would eventually lead her to New York.

Wason wrote, “I went around to New York editors announcing I was going to Europe and would like to be their correspondent.” She was once asked by Herbert Moore, president of Transradio Press, a wire service for radio newscasters, where she expected to go. Wason said boldly, ‘Wherever things are happening!”

During World War II, Wason traveled Europe as a war correspondent, but remained unrecognized as being one by her employer, CBS. During this time, she worked for, and with, Edward R. Murrow. Despite her significant contributions she, and a handful of other journalists working with Murrow, were barely recognized for their work in the famed group of war correspondents known as the “Murrow Boys.” After several months of traveling, she ended up in Greece for six months during the Axis invasion.

After her time in Europe, Wason returned to the United States where she had become one of the women pioneers in war-time correspondence. Wason was inundated with interview requests, lecture requests and press attention. “Everyone made a fuss over me, but CBS,” Wason wrote. “When I went to see [news director] Paul White, he dismissed me with, ‘You were never one of our regular news staff.’ Then what, I wondered, had I been doing for CBS all that time in Greece?”

After a disappointing career with CBS, Wason lived in Washington, D.C., New York and Portugal while working in public relations and as a freelance writer. She authored 24 books, with her most successful book being her 1942 story of the Axis invasion of Greece, “Miracle in Hellas: The Greeks Fight On.”

However, Wason’s other books were about one of her longtime favorite hobbies, cooking. Her personal and professional travels gave her firsthand knowledge of food history and traditions.

Her bibliography of cookbooks includes:
“Cooking Without Cans” (1943)
“Dinners That Wait” (1954)
“Cooks, Gluttons & Gourmets: A History of Cookery” (1962)
“The Art of Spanish Cooking” (1963)
“Bride in the Kitchen” (1964)
“The Art of Vegetarian Cookery” (1965)
“A Salute to Chinese” (1966)
“The Art of German Cooking” (1967)
“A Salute to Cheese” (1968)
“Cooking to Please Finicky Kids” (1968)
“The Language of Cookery” (1968)
“Betty Wason’s Greek Cookbook” (1969)
“The Everything Cookbook” (1970)

Wason settled near her daughter and grandchildren in Seattle in 1985, where she died on Feb. 3, 2001.

For more information on Wason, please visit the following resources: Betty Wason, Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame, Wikipedia and “Gender Discrimination in the 1940s: Why a Correspondent Turned from War to Cookbooks.” Additionally, the Indiana State Library currently has a display of Wason’s works on the second floor.

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

Homeschool fair at Indianapolis Public Library

On Sept. 14, 2019, the Indiana State Library and the Indianapolis Public Library are joining together, along with other partners, to present “Homeschoolers and Libraries: Partners in Learning.” This homeschool fair will run from 10 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. at the Indianapolis Public Library’s Central Library building located at 40 E. St. Clair Street. The event is free and open to the public.

Homeschooling families and all those interested in learning more about homeschooling are invited to attend this fair, the first of its kind presented by the Indianapolis Public Library. Registration is required. Interested families can click here to register. The first 250 families to register will receive a reusable shopping bag and a free book! Walk-in registration will also be available the day of the event.

The fair will include panel discussions, presentations on a variety of topics including technology as well as hand-on STEM activities. Kicking off the day will be Lilly scientist, Guy Hansen with his entertaining and informative science demonstration. Partners for the event also include WFYI, the Indiana Association of Home Educators and Kids Ink.

The Indiana State Library is excited to be a part of this event and will be involved in several presentations covering topics like digital collections, early literacy and library services for homeschoolers.

The program is made possible by Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.

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

Summer lecture series wrapping up

There is one summer lecture remaining! Join us on Aug. 10, 2019 at 11 a.m. for the final session of our summer lecture series, as Nicole Poletika presents “Unigov: The Creation of Modern Indianapolis and Its Suburbs.” Nicole is a historian with the Indiana Historical Bureau. Her research focuses on minority history and issues of social justice. Her presentation on Unigov will explore the legislation that merged the governments of Indianapolis and Marion County, and the resulting socioeconomic disparities.

This is our first year offering these free summer lectures, and we hope to continue them in the future. If you haven’t been able to join us yet, the series began in June with “How Did We Get Here?: Why History Matters and How to Start Researching It” where  Dr. Michella Marino and Jill Weiss Simins discussed the importance of taking a look at the past, as well as why and how to research history. Our July session included lectures that entailed digging deep into land records, deciphering clues those records provide and how it all fits into your genealogical research, as professional genealogists John Barr and Amber Oldenburg presented “Map Reading for Genealogists: When North isn’t…” and “Land Records: A Family Historian’s ‘Bread and Butter.’”

“Unigov: The Creation of Modern Indianapolis and Its Suburbs” is worth one LEU.  Registration is required. You may register here, or see our events page for more information.

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

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something… red?

This Olde English rhyme traditionally signifies a bride is preparing for her wedding day, but I’m not a bride. However, like a new marriage, I am in my first month at the Indiana State Library. As a mother of two young children, I am in love with the space where I spend my days. The Indiana Young Readers Center is a quiet, child-friendly room elegantly adorned with chandeliers juxtaposed against Clifford’s doghouse. It’s a space to explore books written by Indiana authors for children and teens, but there is much more to engage children. Allow me to make suggestions for your visit.

When you arrive you can meander through the Indiana Statehouse Education Center toward the grand staircase. Take a moment before walking to the second floor to appreciate the craftsmanship in this 1934 structure. After an elevator ride with a stroller, or a jaunt up the steps to the second floor, look for Garfield sitting on a bench. This bench draws you into the space. Now that you’ve found it, what is the Indiana Young Readers Center?

This man found something old in the IYRC. His eyes visibly widened and he proclaimed his excitement out loud when he found the collection of Garfield books he avidly read as a child. While we do have a collection of older books behind glass cases, young parents can also find stories reminiscent of when they fell in love with reading. You can sit to read a favorite book while your children wander the space.

These two toddlers found something new in the IYRC. There are many books, but there are also developmental toys and interactive exhibits. These two new friends were practicing their sharing skills. They crawled around the space and squealed with delight at the books on the shelves. They might not know yet that all of the books are written by Indiana authors, but they did enjoy the onomatopoeia usage in April Pulley Sayre’s books.

When visiting the Indiana Young Readers Center, many children want to take a book or two home. The Indiana State Library is not only home to the Evergreen system, but serves as an Evergreen library as well. The IYRC purchases two copies of each book, so one copy can be checked out. All residents of Indiana can get an Evergreen card from the Indiana State Library, which allows them to borrow materials from the IYRC.

The Indiana State Library is a beautiful home to valuable tools and materials for scholars and the general public alike. Nestled on the second floor, the Indiana Young Readers Center is a unique space encouraging Indiana’s children to appreciate something old, discover something new, joyfully borrow something and to find something… red.

The post was written by Indiana Young Readers Center Program Coordinator Tara Stewart.

Indiana Library Leadership Academy participants put skills to use

The 2018-19 Indiana Library Leadership Academy has wrapped up and class members are doing some pretty amazing things in libraries throughout Indiana.

Alisa Burch, Harrison County Public Library director, set up the library’s first ever pop-up library at the Friends of the Harrison County’s “Youth Chicken BBQ Fundraiser.” The pop-up library included a canopy, sign, tables, hot spot, laptop and card scanner so they could issue library cards and register children and adults for the 2019 Summer Reading Program. As teams played exhibition games and got their pictures taken, the library issued 15 new library cards and renewed five others. While registering children and adults for the upcoming summer reading program, they also gave away donated books and promoted programs and services with people of all ages.

Nathan Watson, director of operations at the Bedford Public Library, created Elevate, a program that teaches employability soft skills to all sophomores at Bedford North Lawrence High School in an effort to help fulfill part of the Graduation Pathways requirement. Elevate is a six-session program that uses project-based learning to define, explore and master soft skills through the art of interviewing applicants for a local job. The interviews happened during the sixth session and the Hoosier Hills Credit Union sent a representative who explained that the credit union wanted to hire a teller and that the class was going to “hire” that person.

Watson also partnered with the Jobs for America’s Graduates program. The JAG students were tasked with acting like real job applicants and exhibiting certain soft skills during the interview. The Elevate student had to submit who they hired, what soft skills were displayed and the importance of the skills.

Watson’s program will continue and become a part of a new class titled Preparation for College and Careers which will fulfill a graduation requirement under the new Indiana Department of Education Graduation Pathways.

The Indiana Library Leadership Academy teaches librarians the leadership skills they need to thrive and flourish in their library careers. Planning for the next Indiana Library Leadership Academy to be held in summer 2020 is now underway.

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

Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award nominations needed

Did you find a great new picture book over the summer? Send it our way! The Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award is an initiative of the Indiana Center for the Book. This state award, administered by the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Committee, highlights picture books for young children. Picture books serve an important role in the first years of the life of a child. The purpose of this award is to encourage parents, caregivers and very young children to interact together with exceptional picture books.

Indiana library workers may nominate pictures book for the award from June through October 1 each year. What does that mean? That means that we need your nominations! Have you read a fun picture book in your storytime? Have a book that makes you laugh every time you read it? Noticed a popular picture book the kids are loving this summer?

If you work with youth in a library, either in a school or in a public library, you are eligible to nominate as many titles as you wish. Nominating is easy. Just send an email to the Indiana Center for the Book. Include in your email: title, author, illustrator and publication date.

Criteria for book nominations are as follows:

• Must be published by July 1st of the current year, or any time in the previous year and still be in print. currently, this ranges from Jan. 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019.
• Possess strong child appeal.
• Demonstrate three or more of the five practices of Every Child Ready to Read®: talking, singing, reading, writing and playing.
• Have artistic quality with text that supports the illustrations or a compelling narrative provided by illustrations.
• Diversity and inclusion are encouraged.

The nomination pool will be narrowed down to five titles by the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Committee by January 2020. Ballots will be released and votes will be accepted until early May. More information on ballots and how to vote will be available in early 2020.

For more information about the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award, visit our website.

This blog post was submitted by the Indiana Young Readers Center.

 

Vision Expo returns September 14

Please join the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library as it hosts the Indiana Vision Expo on Saturday, Sept, 14, 2019  from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Indiana State Library.

The Indiana Vision Expo provides an opportunity for people with vision loss – and their friends, families and service providers – to learn about the resources available that help promote independent living. It’s also a great opportunity to meet the Talking Book staff as well as fellow Talking Book patrons.

The Vision Expo will feature our usual wide variety of vendors and nonprofit agencies who provide the latest in adaptive technology, independent living aids and other resources for all ages. New vendors this year include the Indianapolis Bowling League for the Blind and Simplified Insurance Solutions.

Our program will include presentations by Bosma Enterprises and Easterseals Crossroads at 10:30 a.m. and 11:45 p.m.,respectively.

Please check our website as the event approaches for more details, including information about parking and a complete list of participating vendors.

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