River city maps

Town maps can certainly be beautifully done, but they are at the mercy of the grid of streets to give them visual interest. Throw in a variable, like a winding river, and they become ever more interesting. The way the water meets the land and how a town is forced to bend along the banks adds lines and color to the maps. Where waterways meet cities the grid breaks down and leaves behind some visually rich maps.

Sometimes the river makes the city, both in development and in character. Indiana’s most famous river city is probably historic Madison, along the mighty Ohio River. Kentucky is usually omitted from maps, making it look like the town is situated at the edge of a cliff. The river is impossible to ignore there.

Likewise, Huntington was built up along a river. The Wabash, Little Wabash and the canals; waterways were ever important to its development. The maps are beautiful in the way the angled streets disorient the buildings. Especially lovely with the illustrations is this detailed map from 1879.

Other times, the city seems to develop while almost ignoring the river. Columbus seems to just dip a toe into the East Fork of the White River. Indianapolis, too, seems to be shying away from the White River and looking inward toward the circle center. Both of these towns have had interesting relationships with their rivers, but now Columbus Riverfront and Indianapolis are looking for ways to embrace their beautiful waterways.

It seems Logansport’s not afraid to straddle and nestle within the arms of the Wabash and Eel rivers. And Elkhart, too, appears not to have shied away from the St. Joseph and Elkhart Rivers. The river seems to be coming and going, swirling and whirling on the page.

If you enjoyed looking at these maps, take time to explore some of the great digital map collections available online. Don’t we all need something for our minds to linger on right now?

David Rumsey Historical Map Collection
American Geographical Society Library
Osher Map Library
New York Public Library

This post was written by Indiana Collection Supervisor Monique Howell

Suffrage materials in the Indiana Digital Collections

“We are convinced that the time has arrived when the welfare of the nation would be most effectually conserved by conferring upon women the privilege of voting and holding political office.” – Ida Husted Harper from “Suffrage – A Right”

In conjunction with the 100-year anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment, the Indiana Division has digitized many of our materials about the suffrage movement of the late 19th and early 20th century.

You can find materials in the “Women in Hoosier History Digital Collection,” one of many collections at the library. Once there, you can click on “Women’s Suffrage” under “Browse these suggested topics.” The collection can be found here. Below is a sampling of some of the collection.

One of the earliest items is a pamphlet from 1888 during the presidency of Benjamin Harrison. It includes an article written by Susan B. Anthony.

The collection also includes two pamphlets by Ida Husted Harper. One pamphlet is about suffrage, in general, from 1906 and other about the international suffrage movement from 1907. Born in 1851, and raised in Indiana, Harper was a nationally-know writer, lecturer and suffragist. Her works include a three-volume biography of suffrage leader, Susan B. Anthony, and part of a six-volume “History of Woman Suffrage.” She also served as secretary of the Indiana chapter of the National Woman Suffrage Association.

Organized in 1911, The Women’s Franchise League of Indiana began when the Indianapolis Franchise Society and Legislative Council of Indiana Women merged together. The League was associated with the National American Woman Suffrage Association and was the prominent suffrage group in the state. Their membership was 1,205 across the state. Their constitutions, programs and directories provide information about the league and its members.

The Leagues’ publication, The Hoosier Suffragist, was “a monthly newspaper published in the interest of the woman suffrage cause in Indiana.” First published on Aug. 22, 1917, it provided information about the activities and people involved in the movement across the state.

The Women’s Franchise League of Indiana remained the prominent suffrage group until 1920, when it became the Indiana League of Women Voters, which remains in existence today. Their first congress was held April 6-8 in 1920 at the Claypool Hotel in Indianapolis. You can find their first program in the collection.

These are just some examples of what one may find in the “Women in Hoosier History Digital Collection.” Explore the collection to see what you can find.

For additional information:
Indiana Women’s Suffrage Centennial
League of Women Voters of Indiana

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

The Samara House in West Lafayette, Indiana

There are several buildings designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright in the state of Indiana. Possibly the best known example of a private home design is the John E. Christian home, called Samara, in West Lafayette, completed in 1956. Samara is named for the winged seeds that come from pine cones. I found a book about the Wright-designed Samara in the Indiana State Library’s Indiana Division collection titled “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Samara Winged Seeds of Indiana” by Wallace J. Rogers (ISLI 720 R731f). The forward to the book is written by John E. Christian, PhD, the home owner who worked with Wright in designing and building Samara. Christian was a professor at Purdue University, and for that reason wanted the house to be built in West Lafayette near the Purdue campus. He intended to hold gatherings of students and professors there, as well as live there with his family.

After John, his wife Kay and daughter Linda visited Taliesin, Wright’s summer home and studio, Kay decided that she wanted Wright to design a home especially for their family’s needs. However, they could not afford a house at that time. Luckily for John and Kay Christian, once Wright found out that they had more than an acre of property on which to build a house, he agreed to design their home.

Wright had begun advertising his Usonian home plans that began at $5,000. Samara was meant to be one of Wright’s Usonian designs, during the post-World War II era.  Usonian design was an idea Wright had for functional but stylish homes for middle-class customers. Several entire communities around the country were designed around the Usonian ideal.

Working with Wright was not for the faint of heart. Wright reportedly had a difficult personality and liked to dictate what types of furniture, down to the lampshades, should be included in the homes he designed. In the Rogers book, there is a glossary of furniture designed especially for Samara in the back of the book. John and Kay Christian were committed to following Wright’s directives as far as décor.

In Roger’s book, the details of the designing and building process, along with pictures of the plans and furniture are abundant. Unfortunately, though the cover is in full color, the pictures in the book are all in black and white. Samara has a website which indicates that it is in the process of being updated. However, the photographs of the house are spectacular. The furniture is colorful and also looks useful as well as comfortable. There are soaring windows and intricate woodwork for which Wright’s designs are famous. Samara is open for tours during parts of the year, even though it is a private residence.  The website indicates that the house is open for tours April through November, although by appointment.

If you are interested in other Wright-designed structures in Indiana, you may want to look at “Frank Lloyd Wright and Colleagues: Indiana Works.” The picture above is a program from the event organized by Barbara Stodola that was held July through September in 1999. The exhibition was held at the John G. Blank Center for the Arts in Michigan City.

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 via  “Ask-A-Librarian.

Do a browse! It’s fun and everyone is doing it!

Here at the Indiana State Library – and at many public libraries across the state – we make commercial newspaper databases available for research. The great thing about these databases is that they are keyword searchable. Need to find Uncle Ned’s obit? Done. Need to find articles about the 1960 election? Done. Want to pull up everything the Indy Star has ran on elephants? Done. Research has been revolutionized. I support it 100%.

However, one thing these databases take away is the joy of browsing. Will students know the stumbling dumb fun of coming across something they weren’t even looking for?

If you enjoy the hunt, we have two resources here that keep the browse tradition alive: the clippings files and the Indianapolis Newspaper Index.

The Indianapolis Newspaper Index offers some great moments of discovery. For example, do you know about George and Perry? 

Now you want to know more!

What about Mount Lawn, where folks are living in pioneer log cabins!? Mount Lawn has a sad little Wikipedia page, and not much to be found with a Google search, but here in the card file it called out to me, a lover of log homes, and I wanted to know more.

Indianapolis Star Magazine December 6, 1953, page 21

You can also come into the library to browse our clippings files on the second floor. These are literally articles “clipped” from newspapers. They aren’t just tossed in a drawer; we have subject headings – which are fun to browse and useful, too. The subject headings under “charities” points us to some other ideas:

Charities
– 1939, 1940-49, 1950-59, 1960-69, 1970-79, 1980-89, 1990-99, 2000-
– Community Centers (contains material on American Settlement, Kirshbaum Center, Boys Club, Northeast Community Center, Lawter Boys Club, Hawthorne Community Center)
See also
Indianapolis, Flower Mission
– Community Centers – Christamore
– Community Centers – Flanner House
– Community Centers – Fletcher Place
– Goodwill Industries
– Indianapolis Day Nursery
– Salvation Army
– Suemma Coleman Home
– Wheeler Mission

Did you know you can also browse our online catalog? While you can’t enter our stacks, you can browse the Evergreen Catalog by call number. Say you find a book that looks relevant to your research topic and want to “look” at the shelf around it. Select Advanced Search, then select the Numeric Search tab, then utilize the “Call number (shelf browse)” option and plug in the call number of the book you found.

Happy hunting!

This post was written by Indiana Collection Supervisor Monique Howell

“Fall & Winter along the South Shore Line” on display at Indiana State Library

Out of the vault and on display, “Fall & Winter along the South Shore Line” is now ready to be viewed at the Indiana State Library. The exhibition includes ten of the library’s collection of colorful large-scale Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad posters. The South Shore Line commissioned artists in the late 1920s and early 1930s to design their eye-catching advertising posters. The posters on display were designed by artists Ivan V. Beard, Emil Biorn, Otto Brenneman, Oscar Rabe Hanson and Leslie Ragan.

Featured with the poster exhibit is a display of Hoosier artists’ holiday cards depicting vibrant and festive scenes. The cards, designed by such notable artists as Wayman Adams, Gustave Bauman and Floyd D. Hopper, were given to their friends and family for Christmas and New Year’s during the 1920s and 1930s.

The South Shore posters, and many others in the library’s collection, are being digitized for online access through the Indiana State Library Broadsides Collection.

The “Fall & Winter along the South Shore Line” exhibit is free and open to the public during regular business hours and will remain on display in the Exhibition Hall through January 2020. The Indiana State Library is located at 315 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis. For hours of operation, directions and parking information, click here.

The South Shore Line continues providing service as an electrically powered interurban commuter rail line under the authority of the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District between Millennium Station in downtown Chicago and the South Bend International Airport in South Bend.

This blog post was written by Indiana Division Librarian Andrea Glenn. For more information, contact the Indiana Division at 317-232-3670 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”

A city with a heart: Charitable organizations and philanthropy

Due to such a large collection of historical materials and resources relating to philanthropy and charitable organizations in the Indiana State Library’s collections, I was stumped on where to start my search. By browsing the stacks, I could see many materials on various organizations that focused on the betterment of people, society and communities. Annual reports, brochures and newsletters from various societies and organizations fill our shelves. Ultimately, by pure serendipitous discovery, my starting point found me.

With the impending bicentennial of Indianapolis, I had been focusing on adding materials to our digital collections from, or about, Indianapolis. So, while browsing our vertical files, I stumbled across a hefty file with lots of pamphlets, brochures, reports and so on. I pulled the file, and one particular item caught my eye: one about a Red Feather campaign.

I recognized the name from my work digitizing company employee newsletters. The campaign was a way of gathering up monetary donations to give to the Indianapolis Community Chest. From there, I found myself searching our collections and unearthed a range of materials about the Community Chest from its beginnings in the 1920s up to the 1950s. This became the starting point for our newest digital collection, “Charitable Organizations and Philanthropy.” The collection’s focus will be on the various organizations across the state.

Currently, I’ve only added materials about the Indianapolis Community Chest.

The Community Chest began in the early 1920s as a unified way to raise money for various social agencies around the city. It eventually became the Community Fund, and by the 1950s, was renamed the Indianapolis Community Chest.

The Community Fund was the financial arm of the Indianapolis Council of Social Agencies. Eventually, the organization morphed into what is currently called the United Way of Central Indiana. Its goal was to provide funds for various social agencies and groups such as the YMCA, YWCA, Salvation Army and the Girls and Boys Scouts, to name a few. After their fundraising, the Community Fund would give the money to the Indianapolis Council of Social Agencies for distribution.

The Red Feather campaigns, popular in the ’40s and ’50s, were being promoted in many company employee newsletters, such as Ayrograms and the Serval Inklings.

In the future, I will be adding more materials about other similar organizations across the state, as well as information about the Indianapolis Council of Social Agencies.

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

Ethnic South Bend newspapers

Diverse ethnicities were represented in St. Joseph County, Indiana near the turn of the 20th century. According to “Indiana Newspaper Bibliography,” by John W. Miller, there were several Hungarian newspapers, among other ethnic-language papers, published in South Bend in the first quarter to half of the century. I wondered why and how there came to be a prominent Hungarian community in South Bend.

According to “Peopling Indiana: the Ethnic Experience,” edited by Robert M. Taylor, Jr. and Taylor McBirney (ISLI 305.8 P419i), the Studebaker Wagon Company and the Oliver Plow Plant in South Bend needed laborers. In 1882, they welcomed 32 citizens from a Hungarian Village, Hegykő, to South Bend to work in the factories. Churches and other community groups helped to host the newest South Bend citizens. Another wave of Hungarian migration came in the early 1900s, and toward the end of World War I, a group of professional and highly-trained Hungarian workers immigrated to South Bend and the Calumet Region. Apparently, the professional group did not mix well with the group of laborers. The laborers for the most part lived in boarding houses, where the close quarters caused disagreements and drama. There was even a radio show broadcast from South Bend called the “Sunday Hungarian Family Hour,” which fictionalized life in the boardinghouses for entertainment. Although the Hungarian-Americans tried to spotlight their ethnic identity with festivals and costume displays, they remained a largely close-knit group. In fact, their neighborhood area was nicknamed “Little Budapest” where there were Catholic churches that conducted masses in Hungarian, among other social organizations.

According to the Miller book, no library or institution in Indiana has holdings of Igazság, translated as Truth in English, a politically-independent Hungarian newspaper which ran from about 1906-10. Another Hungarian newspaper was called simply, The News, which ran for a short, unknown time period. Es Videke, or I’m in the Middle, was published from 1925-26, although the State Library does not have holdings. Yet another, Magyar Tudosito, or Hungarian Bulletin, was published from 1911-19, and concentrated on helping to Americanize the Hungarian immigrants. Miller’s book does not indicate any Indiana holdings for Magyar Tudosito.

Városi Élet, translated to City Life, is the Hungarian newspaper for which we have the longest run on microfilm, from January 1934 to January 1953. From the description in our Evergreen catalog, in which it was listed as a Hungarian/English newspaper, I had hoped that the Városi Élet might have side-by-side Hungarian and English articles. I assumed that the purpose of having such a newspaper would be to assist adjustments in relocating to the United States. Instead, I found that the few English words that did appear in the Városi Élet newspaper were in advertisements and comic strips.

Here is a page from Városi Élet from 1934:

Here is a page from the same newspaper in 1953. There were very few format changes over the years:

This newspaper ceased publication before the next major migration of Hungarians to St. Joseph County, which was after the Hungarian uprising in 1956. At that time, around 300 Hungarians immigrated to the area.

South Bend, and St. Joseph County in general, still has a substantial number of its population with Hungarian heritage, as well as those with Polish, German, English and Irish heritage. This county in Indiana is rich with ethnic history and traditions. For more information on the Hungarian migration to Indiana, see “Hungarian-Americans in St. Joseph County, Indiana: Implications of Ethnicity for Social Policy” by Wim Wiewel (ISLM F 532 .S2 W548 1979).

The Indiana State Library is always looking for newspapers that we are missing in our collection. If you find any of the above newspapers listed in the Miller book in Hungarian, we would love to receive your donations, either temporary – while microfilming – or permanent, to add to our collection.

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.”

Researching in ISL Digital Collections: Indianapolis Bicentennial

The city of Indianapolis is about to turn 200 years old and the Indianapolis Bicentennial Commission is planning a celebration which will begin in June 2020 and last through May 2021. Those planning to celebrate can check the commission’s website for announcements, contests, events and a list of commission members. Since the Indiana State Library is continually adding materials to its online collections, now seems like a great time to check the collections for information about Indianapolis in order to gear up for the forthcoming festivities.

The Indiana Historical Legislative Documents collection contains the earliest volumes of the Indiana Acts. The volumes have an index to help locate specific laws passed in a year by the General Assembly. In this case, browsing the index and noticing “Seat of Government” points toward Indiana Acts 1820, Chapter 10, “An Act appointing Commissioners to select, and locate a site for the permanent seat of government of Indiana,” which was approved Jan. 11, 1820, and would move the state capitol from Corydon to a new location to be determined.

Indiana Acts 1821, Chapter 18, “An Act appointing commissioners to lay off a town on the site selected for the permanent seat of government,” was approved Jan. 6, 1821, and stated “the said town laid out as the permanent seat of government for the state of Indiana shall be called and known by the name of Indianapolis.” It was then necessary to plat it out on a map.

Indiana State Library Map Collection contains a digital copy of Plats of the town of Indianapolis, which shows maps of the downtown Indianapolis mile-square donation lands with the names of the first patentees. It includes a comprehensive list of Indiana laws from 1821 to 1913 related to the lots and out-lots. The Indiana Archives and Records Administration has additional details about the Indianapolis Donation and the official state land records held there.

The Indiana Documentary Editions collection contains the Messages and papers of Jonathan Jennings, Ratliff Boon, William Hendricks, 1816-1825. Jonathan Jennings was the governor at the time and issued a proclamation calling for the commissioners to meet in 1820 to select a site for the new capitol. John Tipton was one of those commissioners. The book “John Tipton papers. Volume I: 1809-1827” includes the transcript of the journal Tipton kept during the May 17-June 11, 1820 expedition. Here’s a bonus: the Rare Books and Manuscripts online John Tipton Collection contains digital copies of Tipton’s 1820 journal in his own handwriting.

There is a wealth of information not only in the Indiana State Library’s physical collections, but also in the ever-growing online digital collections. As the Indianapolis Bicentennial approaches, more online materials about the history of the city could show up. Keep searching!

This blog post was written by Indiana Division Librarian Andrea Glenn. For more information, contact the Indiana Division at 317-232-3670 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”

‘Ladies Speak Up!’ – Film discovered and shared

We found an uncatalogued film in our vault! Without a working reel-to-reel player, we were left just staring at the reel, which is probably why it was stored away at the time.  Happily, our amazing film volunteer, Brian Wells, was able to digitize the film. Turns out it’s a television program from 1960 called, “Ladies Speak Up” – an Indiana Republican booster program for women voters which aired in the months leading up to the election in November of 1960. The hosts asks the women to vote, bring their neighbors to vote and reminds them to vote for Richard Nixon and Crawford Parker.

Parker was the Indiana Republican candidate for Governor in 1960. He was Lt. Gov. at the time, and former Indiana Secretary of State. He went on to lose this election to Matthew Welsh. Nixon also lost.

Parker seems stiff and this is definitely scripted to fit the paid programming slot, which was paid for by the Republican State Central Committee. The women in the audience chant on cue and have signs to hold up at the end of the program. There is a panel of six Hoosier women onstage, dressed in pearls, with handbags and hats. Of course, their questions are softballs lobbed at Parker. The issues? Flood control, tax reform, highway safety, education, mental health facilities and reapportionment of the General Assembly.

I think the women in the film are the real highlight here. Not for what they say, but their poise and presence is striking. Do you know these women? They are introduced as Helen Cox, the mayor’s wife from Peru; Julia Tindall, a doctor’s wife from Shelbyville; Peg Crowder, a PTA member with four children from Indianapolis; Betty Marr, former school teacher from Columbus; Fannie Posey-Jewell, bookkeeper and housewife; and Virginia Barst, from Ridgefield, Indiana.

Enjoy this bit of moving film and keep your eye out for more films as they are added to our Digitized Archives playlist on the library’s YouTube channel.

This post was written by Indiana Collection Supervisor Monique Howell

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.