Turnverein Clubs of Indianapolis

While exploring the Bates-Hendricks neighborhood district on the Southside of Indianapolis recently, I noticed a beautiful old building at 306 Prospect Street. I wanted to find out about its history. After conducting an internet search for the address, I found out that the structure was built in around 1900 for the Southside Turnverein Club. I then looked in the Indiana State Library catalog to see what types of materials were available about Turnverein Clubs.

From the mid-19th to the beginning of the 20th century, German-American Turnverein Clubs were spreading across North America. Indianapolis had several of these Turnverein, or Turners, clubs, which were athletic clubs for German-American immigrants.

According to the “Indianapolis Turnverein 1851-1926 Seventy-Fifth Anniversary” pamphlet (ISLO 977.201 M341 no. 40), the Indianapolis Turnverein was started in 1851 by August Hoffmeister, a “zealous agitator for the founding…” of the club. Below is a rendering from the program of some of the “turnhalls” in Indianapolis included in the pamphlet.

These Turner Clubs were social clubs as well as for physical fitness and gymnastics. The best known Turnverein Club in Indianapolis is the Athenaeum, which was built from 1893-1898 and was originally called Das Deutsche Haus.

The Turnverein Clubs helped German-Americans preserve their German culture and philosophies, while also honoring their new homeland, the United States. The Turners’ philosophy was that mind and body wellness and fitness were of great importance and integral to a healthy life.

Among several German-language titles in the Indiana State Library’s newspaper microfilm collection, we have one geared specifically to Turnverein Clubs. This newspaper was called Die Zukunft. Organ des Nord-Amerikanischen Turner-Bundes, which roughly translates to The Future. Organ of the North American Turner Foundation. This Indianapolis newspaper was printed using the Indianapolis Telegraph’s press on a weekly basis from about 1867-82. If you read German, you may be interested in seeing this title on microfilm. Here is the front page of the Oct. 29, 1868 edition of the newspaper:

Turnverein Clubs flourished in the United States until after the start of World War I, when growing anti-German sentiment caused the clubs’ membership and funding to dwindle. Despite efforts to revitalize Turners Clubs during the second half of the 20th century, most of the buildings here in Indianapolis were sold or used for other purposes. Fortunately, the Southside Turnverein building is in the process of being remodeled and reopened as a corporate headquarters later this spring.

This blog post was written by Leigh Anne Johnson, Indiana Division newspaper librarian, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana Division at (317) 232-3670 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”

Horne family collection

Edwin Fletcher Horne Sr. (1859-1939) was an African-American journalist who helmed the newspaper Chattanooga Justice and was politically active throughout the late 19th century. Prior to his time in Chattanooga, he resided and taught school in Indiana, living in both Evansville and Indianapolis. While in Indiana, he became a supporter of then Senator Benjamin Harrison. In 1887 he married Cora Calhoun (1865-1932), a college-educated and civically-minded woman from a prominent Atlanta family.

Faced with segregation and increasing racial violence in the South, the couple and their family eventually relocated to Brooklyn, New York where they thrived in the upper echelons of New York’s Black social elite. Cora was a distinguished community leader who was heavily involved in numerous clubs and charities. Edwin eventually finished his career as a fire inspector for the New York Fire Department.

Edwin and Cora Horne around the time of their marriage.

Together they had four children. Through their son Edwin “Teddy” Fletcher Horne Jr. (1893-1970), Edwin and Cora were the grandparents of legendary jazz singer and civil rights activist Lena Horne (1917-2010).

From inscription on back of photo: “Easter 1928, Uncle ‘Bye’ and Little Lena.”

The Indiana State Library’s Horne Family Collection (L327) contains numerous photographs of the family, newspaper clippings concerning Edwin’s career and various correspondence including a letter from Benjamin Harrison dated 1884 which indicates that Harrison was considering a run for the presidency of the United States. Harrison eventually would be elected in 1888. Also among the documents are Cora’s passport, souvenir travel mementos and letters she wrote home while on a lengthy trip to Europe in the late 1920s.

The entire collection provides extraordinary insight into a remarkable and influential African-American family.

Lena Horne on the cover of The Crisis, the official magazine of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

To view the collection or for more information, please contact the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division.

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.”

Collecting hole or research hole? Where are the minority voices?

It becomes evident pretty quickly that black and minority Hoosier voices are hard to hear within the collections at the Indiana State Library. Historically, the seminal works on Indiana’s history are heavy with the prominent voices of the day: legislators, lawyers and wealthy white men. The county histories published in the late 19th and early 20th centuries almost completely leave out people of color who were living in the towns in our counties.

That’s not to say we don’t have a lot of neat resources where black lives rise from the pages; we do. For a sample see the black history research guide here. However, most of what we have was published more than 20 years ago. A search in our catalog for Julia Carson or Boniface Hardin retrieves zero results.

We collect published printed material for the Indiana Collection. It’s not until historians seek out and publish about these lives and events that they intersect with the well-trodden histories in the collection.

The Afro-American Journal was edited by Father Boniface Hardin and Sister Jane Schilling, both of whom were founders of the Martin Center and Martin University. The Journal gave voice to policy ideas and issues facing black Americans, as well as historical research on black communities and leaders. Hear Father Boniface Hardin in his own words discussing the aim of the Journal here. The Indiana State Library has scattered holdings from 1973-1976.

I want to put a call out for donations or suggestions to enrich our print collections specifically capturing the voice of black Hoosiers and other minorities. I encourage you to contact me or comment here with title suggestions. Are you researching and writing articles? Self-publishing? I’d like to know. Does your organization have a publication that we lack in our holdings?

Do you have a collection of photos, a diary, a collection of letters, recipe cards? These might make wonderful additions to our manuscripts collections. Don’t toss them or hide them in your attic; consider making a donation to the Indiana State Library. Learn more about donating manuscripts here.

Once added to our collection these publications and documents will be processed, findable and researchable! It starts with you, then the librarians and archivists, then the historians, then the publishers and then comes the Netflix docuseries… oh, wait, I got ahead of myself.

Contact us for more information.

This post was written by Indiana Collection Supervisor Monique Howell

INLLA participant Erin Cataldi strives to improve teen engagement

Every two years, the Indiana State Library hosts the Indiana Library Leadership Academy program for up-and-coming librarians in the field. Librarians across the state, and from a variety of library backgrounds, apply to attend INLLA. Each librarian is chosen based on the responses and project proposals submitted with their application. The participants selected, along with their coaches, spend four days learning about the qualities of leadership and, specifically, how those leadership qualities translate to the library profession. During the most recent INLLA, facilitator and author Cathy Hakala-Ausperk, of Libraries Thrive Consulting, contributed her expertise by sharing aspects of her library experience and talking about what it takes to be a leader.

Beginning with the four-day retreat, INLLA is a two-year commitment culminating in the completion of the projects that the participants designed to improve, enhance or strengthen some aspect of their library or community.

Pictured are Erin Cataldi, Stacey Kern and Raenell Smith at the Kwame Alexander author event held at Clark Pleasant Middle School.

INLLA participant Erin Cataldi, teen and adult reference librarian at the Clark Pleasant branch of the Johnson County Public Library, wanted to increase teen engagement in her library. She realized that reaching teenagers in a mostly residential community can be hard and that there aren’t a lot of spaces for them to congregate and hang out. She wanted to improve the teen “space” in the library to become more inviting and to be used by its intended audience – teens.

One of Erin’s innovative programs: a Harry Potter escape room at Clark Pleasant branch.

Erin wanted to begin this process by offering more innovative programming to get the teens used to coming in to the library. She also wanted to revamp the teen space to make it more appealing to teens. Her approach was to work with local businesses and organizations to offer ongoing passive programs at all times in the teen space. She also decided that working more closely with the local schools to promote the library would be a good way to let teens know that the library is a safe place to meet up, hang out, study and create.

Currently, Erin doesn’t have control over the teen space due to the size of the existing building, but a recent announcement conveyed that by 2020 the library should be breaking ground to build a bigger branch. The proposed plan includes a generous teen area for materials and activities. So, the future is bright!

Erin Cataldi and Annie Sullivan at the Whiteland Community High School author event.

By volunteering to help out at school events, such as an author visit by Annie Sullivan, Erin continued to solidify her already established relationships with the local middle and high schools, which gives the students a closer connection to the library.

Monthly makerspace at Clark Pleasant Middle School.

Additionally, Erin operates a monthly makerspace at Clark Pleasant Middle School and regularly drops off program brochures, library card applications and posters to the schools around the county. She is also launching a teen advisory board this month in order to gather input into programming ideas for teens. She also attended a young adult round table to talk about best practices for teen programming and to get ideas to supplement what she is doing at their branch.

Erin is an example of a library leader who is having an impact on her library and on her community. This process began with INLLA and the project that she created to increase teen engagement in her area. With the idea of increasing teen engagement, Erin has developed a closer relationship with the schools by volunteering at their events and making more school visits. Teens at the Clark Pleasant Branch of the Johnson County Public Library are lucky to have Erin on their side and I can’t wait to see what she does next!

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

February Talking Book and Braille Library book club selection

The next meeting of the Talking Book and Braille Library’s book club will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 at 2 p.m. Eastern/1 p.m. Central. We will be reading “Ginny Moon” by Benjamin Ludwig, which is available in audio (DB 88585) and braille (BR 22202). Ginny is an autistic 14-year-old who has been adopted after years in foster care. Her fragile new life is threatened, however, when her obsessive need to get her baby doll back brings her dangerous birth mother into her life again.

Participants can join the discussion by calling our dial in number, 1-240-454-0887, and entering the conference code, 736 597 563#. Participants may also request that the library call them at the appointed time.

Please let us know if you are interested in participating so that we can contact you about any unexpected changes to either the schedule or call in information. You can request a copy of “Ginny Moon” and let us know you are interested in participating by contacting Laura Williams at 1-800-622-4970 or via email.

This blog post was written by Maggie Ansty of the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library. 

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.