Take a tour of the Indiana State Library

Did you know that you could take a guided tour of the beautiful Indiana State Library and Historical Building? We offer three different tours: an architectural tour, where you can learn more about the many architectural features of the building; a researcher’s tour that will take you behind the scenes to point out facets of our various collections; and a tour for family historians. This is not a “how-to-research” session; instead, this is your opportunity to have an in-depth tour of the facility’s genealogical holdings.

The library was originally established in 1825 and housed in various locations until 1934. The library was one of first six state libraries established in the nation. Originally intended to meet the needs of the General Assembly and other state offices, the volume of materials and expanded public services has made it a premier research facility. Housed in the various statehouses, by the late 1920s the collection had grown so large that materials were being stored in hallways of the capitol. In 1929, the General Assembly raised a special tax to fund construction of a separate building and construction began in 1932. The building opened in 1934 at a final construction cost of $982,119.87. The building is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Designed by the architectural firm Pierre & Wright, the Indiana limestone façade of the building is Neoclassical Revival in style, but with strong Art Deco influences. The exterior includes bas-relief panels with carvings by Leon Hermant of Chicago. The panels tell the story of the settlement and development of Indiana with different types of citizens: an explorer, soldier, pioneer, farmer, legislator, miner, builder, constructor, manufacturer, educator and student.
The interior walls are Monte Cassino sandstone, quarried from St. Meinrad in Southern Indiana, and Indiana walnut, giving the library warm colors. The stairs lead up to the Great Hall with a 42-foot barrel vaulted coffered ceiling.

The Great Hall has five stained glass windows containing 3500 pieces of glass designed by artist J. Scott Williams. The center window depicts Indiana becoming a state with images of William Henry Harrison, Anthony Wayne, a Native America and the Indiana State flag.
The other four windows depict the transmission of knowledge throughout history, oral traditions, picture writing, illuminated manuscripts and Gutenberg reading a printed page.

There are four murals in the building also by J. Scott Williams, Song of the Indian Land, Indiana Gift of Corn, Winning of the State and Building of the State
The Great Hall has elaborate Art Deco lighting with a marble floor with small brass squares representing coins of many foreign nations.

The owl, a symbol of wisdom, is at the Senate Ave. entrance to the library and Art Deco owl heads are on display throughout main rooms.
The History Reference Room and browsing rooms feature walnut veneer paneling and stenciled concrete beam ceilings with printers’ marks used as a trademark by printers and publishers.
In 1976, a $4,985,072 addition was built and in 2000 this part of the building was renovated to accommodate modern technology. The main public entrance was changed to Ohio St.
To meet the educational needs of young Hoosiers, the library added a Statehouse Education Center and an Indiana Young Readers Center as bicentennial projects.
So, plan a tour of the Indiana State Library, have your picture taken next to Garfield and maybe your tour guide will show you the normally-closed 18-foot wooden pocket doors!

Both the building and the collections of the Indiana State Library are well worth seeing. To arrange for your class, organization, department or group to tour the Indiana State Library, please call the library at 317-232-3675 or 1-866-683-0008. Tours may take place Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and must be arranged at least two weeks in advance.

This blog post was written by Marcia Caudell, supervisor of the Reference and Government Services Division at the Indiana State Library. Contact the reference desk at 317-232-3678 for more information. 

Dr. Eliza Atkins Gleason: Librarian and scholar

Dr. Eliza Atkins Gleason, librarian, dean and professor of library science, was the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in library science.

Gleason was born in 1909 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and received her undergraduate degree from Fisk University in 1930. Gleason furthered her education by earning a Bachelor of Library Science from the University of Illinois in 1931 and a Master of Library Science  from the University of California – Berkley in 1935.

Gleason began her library career as a librarian at Fisk University. She later worked in Louisville, Kentucky as a librarian at the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes, currently known as Simmons College of Kentucky. She also worked at Talladega College in Alabama.

In 1940, Gleason received her doctorate degree in library science from the University of Chicago. Her dissertation was “The Southern Negro and the Public Library.” She later published her dissertation in 1941 as a book, which the Indiana State Library is fortunate to have in its collection.

“The Southern Negro and the Public Library” by Eliza Atkins Gleason ISLM 027.6 G554

She served as the dean of the Atlanta University Library Science Program from 1941-46. After that, she worked at the Chicago Public Library, Chicago Teachers College, Woodrow Wilson Junior College, Illinois Teachers College and the Illinois Institute of Technology. She also taught library science courses at Northern Illinois University.

Gleason passed away on Dec. 15, 2009 at the age of 100.

The ALA Library History Round Table has a research award named in her honor, The Eliza Atkins Gleason Book Award. This award is given every three years for the best books written about library history:

Gleason was inducted into the University of Louisville’s College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Honor in 2010. A video of the ceremony is available on YouTube.

This blog post was written by Michele Fenton, monographs and federal documents catalog librarian.

Which book will win the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award?

The race is on! There are five picture books nominated to win the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award. Voting is happening now until May 15, 2019. Libraries all over Indiana are having storytimes, collecting votes from voting stations and making special visits to preschools and child centers to help determine which of the five titles will take home the prize.

The five books were chosen from a list of titles nominated in 2018 by librarians all over Indiana who work with children. A committee of librarians chose these five books from over 30 nominated titles, primarily because the books are really good at getting children to talk, sing, read, write and play.

  • “A Hippy Hoppy Toad” by Indiana author Peggy Archer is written completely in rhyme and gets children to bop along to the beat, while they wait to see where the hippy-hoppy toad will land next.
  • “Jabari Jumps” by Gaia Cornwall is perfect for reading aloud to a loved one, particularly someone who might be afraid of taking that giant leap off the tall, scary diving board.
  • “There’s a Monster in Your Book” by Tom Fletcher is ridiculously fun, and encourages play and interaction with the silly monster at every turn of the page.
  • “Hello Hello” by Brendan Wenzel introduces children to dozens of animals and encourages conversations about animals, unfamiliar words, and saying hello to new friends.
  • “Play This Book” by Jessica Young turns the reader into a one person band, and uses illustrations of instruments to boost fine motor skills in the hands of the children who reach out to play that enticing printed piano in the middle of the book.

Ruth Fraser, the branch manager at the Klondike Branch of the Tippecanoe County Public Library loves the Firefly Award. “I love that it encourages caregivers to engage with the youngest learners, and gives kids the opportunity to have a say in their favorite books. It teaches parents how to nurture the important voices of their children.” The ballot for the award can be found here. Votes can be turned into the Indiana Center for the Book until May 15.

The Indiana Center for the Book is hoping for a record number of votes for 2019, as this is the fifth year of the award. “Five is an important milestone for children, and an important one for us,” said Suzanne Walker, director of the Indiana Center for the Book. “At five children can do somersaults. They can use a fork and a spoon and they can even rattle off their name and address. Now that the award is five, I’m hoping that every children’s librarian in Indiana knows about it and will turn in votes from their community.”

The award will be announced on May 17, 2019. For more information, visit the Firefly website here.

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

Dr. E. J. Josey: A library leader

Dr. E.J. Josey was a librarian, activist, professor and the founder of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

Born in 1924, Josey grew up in Portsmouth, Virginia. He received his undergraduate education at Howard University in Washington, D.C. He then went on to earn a master’s degree in history from Columbia University. Josey later earned his master’s in library science at the State University of New York in Albany, New York.

Josey held several librarian positions in New York, Delaware, and Georgia. He was very active in the civil rights movement and was a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He authored a resolution during the 1964 American Library Association Conference forbidding the organization’s staff and officials from participating in state library associations that discriminated against African-American librarians. This action led to the desegregation of library associations across the Southern United States. In addition, Josey became the Georgia Library Association’s first African-American member.

In 1970, Josey founded the Black Caucus of the American Librarian Association during the ALA Midwinter Conference. He was the association’s first president, serving from 1970 to 1971. He also served as president of the ALA from 1984-85. In addition, Josey was a library science professor at the University of Pittsburgh from 1986 to 1995.

Josey authored numerous articles and books during his lifetime. The Indiana State Library has several of his books in its collection:

 

In April of 1998, Josey delivered an address at the National Sankofa Council on Educating Black Children Conference in Merrillville, Indiana. You can read the text of his speech here.

On July 3, 2009, Josey passed away at the age of 85. ALA issued a statement mourning his loss.

In 2012, in honor of Josey and his work, a collection of essays, “The 21st Century Black Librarian in America: Issues and Challenges,” written by and about African-American librarians and the services they provide to the African-American community was published.

This book is also in the Indiana State Library’s collection. Members of BCALA served as editors and contributors; two of the book’s essays were authored by three Indiana librarians.

As an additional honor to Josey, BCALA offers the E.J. Josey Scholarship Award for African-American library science students. The scholarship is offered each year.

In 2020, BCALA will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its founding by Josey. It will also mark the commencement of its 11th National Conference of African-American Librarians in Tulsa, Oklahoma. To learn more about BCALA, you can visit its website.

BCALA also has affiliate chapters across the country. In Indiana, the BCALA affiliate is the Indiana Black Librarians Network. Founded in 2001, IBLN is an organization for African-American librarians and support staff to network, share ideas, work together on projects and to invest in professional development, research and scholarship to better serve the communities and organizations in which they work.

To learn more about Josey and his work, there is a video from YouTube.

This blog post was written by Michele Fenton, monographs and federal documents catalog librarian.

Tips, tricks and mobile apps… oh my!

There’s a plethora of mobile apps available these days that can be of great benefit in your genealogy research. Here are just a few suggestions recommended by professional genealogists. This list is by no means exhaustive. Have fun picking and choosing which apps will work best for you!

All things note taking, organization and management

The Notes app on your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch allows you to quickly write a thought manually or ask Siri to start a note. You can also create a checklist, format a note, add attachments, add a photo or video, pin a note and scan and sign documents.  You can use iCloud to update your notes on all of your devices. Access Apple Support here for tips and instructions on using the different features of Notes. Available only on Apple iOS.

Google Keep is compatible with iPhone and Android. It is pre-installed on most Android devices with the Google services enabled. You can take quick notes, make lists, standard checklists, pin notes, color code notes, use voice notes, share notes, set reminders and it syncs with your Google account, thus syncing across devices. Available on both Apple iOS and Android.

Evernote can handle all types of notes including typed text, audio, photos, videos, content from websites and a lot more. Imagine finding a great article or document about an ancestor on the internet; it can easily be saved with Evernote. You can save parts and even full pages from the internet. Evernote is free if using it on one or two devices. If you need to use Evernote on more than two devices, or upload more than 60 MB a month, there is a paid plan available. Available on both Apple iOS and Android.

Trello is a free project management app that makes it easy to organize, write, collaborate and deal with task management. It uses customizable boards, lists and cards to help with organization and visualization of everything on which you’re working. You can upload photos, videos and files to share. Trello lets you add power-ups like apps of calendars, Evernote, DropBox and so much more. Available on both Apple iOS and Android.

GedView “is a viewer and recording tool for your genealogy database when you are out and about researching local records, or visiting locations such as graveyards looking for information. It acts as a way to quickly check up on family relationships, dates and locations of events, sources of information and view your notes, or record newly found information while out researching. You can either build your tree directly on your device, or can import a GEDCOM file from any genealogy application/service.” Available only on Apple iOS.
Price: $4.99

Google Drive comes with 15GB of free storage space. You can have all of your files within reach across your devices. “All your files in Drive – like your videos, photos and documents – are backed up safely so you can’t lose them. Easily invite others to view, edit or leave comments on any of your files or folders.” Available on both Apple iOS and Android.

A Drop Box Basic account is free and includes 2 GB of space. You can also earn more space on your Dropbox Basic account. Using Dropbox is like using any folder on your hard drive but the files you put into Dropbox will automatically sync online and to any other devices linked to your account. DropBox can be used as a backup for your documents, photos, etc. Available on both Apple iOS and Android.

All things about researching records of ancestors and creating a family tree

Genealogy research apps are a fantastic way to do research on-the-go. The following free apps are highly-recommended:

Ancestry
FamilySearch Tree
FamilySearch Memories
My Heritage

For those not familiar with these apps, Family Tree Magazine recently covered the basics regarding the use of the apps. The article can be read here. All apps are available on both Apple iOS and Android.

All things photo, video and audio

Google Photos allows for basic photo editing. Google Photos uses facial recognition as opposed to tags. Photos are organized by date so they are easily found by using the timeline. You can create photo books and albums, which are shareable. You have unlimited cloud storage of photos less than 16 megapixels and video shot at 1080p or lower. If you need to store larger images or higher resolution video, you can do this for a fee. Google Photos is also a great app to use for backing up your photos. Available on both Apple iOS and Android.

PhotoScan by Google Photos is another free app that allows you to scan those old family photos and documents you may come across unexpectedly. The app takes four images of an item and “stitches” the four images together to give you a composite image that is comparable to an image you would get using a flatbed scanner. Google touts that PhotoScan can “create enhanced digital scans, with automatic edge detection, perspective correction and smart rotation.” Available on both Apple iOS and Android.

CamScanner is a mobile scanner that makes it easy to scan, archive and share anytime and anywhere. This app has the ability to auto enhance images and to perform auto edge cropping. It also features optical character recognition (OCR) and supports syncing between your devices. Available on both Apple iOS and Android.

Adobe Photoshop Fix is extremely helpful to use with those old family photos that might need some restoration. The spot heal tool will correct small blemishes and a clone stamp tool will fix larger or more serious image problems. There is also a smooth tool to use when there is graininess in a photo. A variety of editing tools can be found in the adjust tool. Available on both Apple iOS and Android.

Storypix allows you to create a video with audio narration from one or several photos. You can also add scenes, use the zoom function and add text captions to enhance your story. Your new video is also shareable. Available on both Apple iOS and Android.

Adobe Spark is a free graphic design app that allows you to create web pages, video stories and exciting graphics. With graphics you can add text and apply design filters to your photo. With web pages you can assemble words and images into beautiful web stories. Video stories allows you to easily add photos, video clips, icons and your own voice. Available only on Apple iOS.

All things miscellaneous

Find A Grave is the world’s largest grave site collection. “Find the graves of ancestors, create virtual memorials or add photos, virtual flowers and a note to a loved one’s memorial.” This app allows you to search or browse cemeteries and grave records looking for ancestors. Available on both Apple iOS and Android.

Billion Graves is an interactive app for genealogists all over the world. “The goal of BillionGraves is to create digital maps of every cemetery near you.” If you want to participate, “collect photos and map out your entire local cemetery or just portions of it. Others can see what you’ve mapped and use your work as research. In turn, you can access the locations and information for graves other people have mapped. Within this app, you can collect photos of headstones around you and upload the photos. The more people who map grave sites, the more easily future genealogists can find the ancestors they’re looking for.” Available on both Apple iOS and Android.

Pinterest is described by its CEO as a “catalog of ideas” or a visual search engine. “It is part search engine, part organization tool, and part social media site…” Here is a great article from Family History Daily titled, “Why You Should Start Using Pinterest for Genealogy Right Now (and How to Do It).” Available on both Apple iOS and Android.

“For your digital book and document collection, the app Book Crawler is a helpful tool for research and organizing. Book Crawler is a great tool to gather information about sources such as author, publication and publish dates that may be hard to find. Within this app, you can log, search and organize publications. The built-in ISBN scan can record bar codes of any books you may be interested in at a bookstore or library. Book Crawler can access your local library’s database to check the availability of books you want to check out. But at its soul, this app can help you view and organize your collection.” Available only on Apple iOS.

Google Translate is great for family history. You use your phone’s camera to hover over text in a foreign language or you can take a picture of the text. Google Translate will translate and write out the text for you in your language of choice. It can translate between more than 100 languages. You can also translate entire websites. Available on both Apple iOS and Android.

Google Earth lets you explore the world from above with satellite imagery, showing 3-D buildings in hundreds of cities and 3-D terrain of the whole earth. Take a look at the towns where your ancestors originated. Available on both Apple iOS and Android.

Feel free to share any other mobile genealogy apps that you find helpful.

This blog post was written by Alice Winslow, librarian, Genealogy Division of the Indiana State Library.

R.I.P. VHS

Most sources say VHS magnetic tape has a life-span of about 30 years. For many tapes in our collection their 30th birthday has come and gone. The degradation is evident. The sound goes tinny, the image begins to streak and rattle across the screen. Have no fear, we are currently in the process of migrating our VHS to DVD and digital format.

Until now, I had hardly browsed our VHS collection, but this project has given us a chance to view some real gems. VHS was the main form of commercial video for about 20 years in the ’80s and ’90s, so this collection falls heavily within those decades. We have VHS tapes of A&E Biographies of famous Hoosiers. Many contain original local programming. Do any of these programs jog your memory: “Hoosier History” with Rick Maultra on TV-16, “Across Indiana” on WFYI or “Our Hoosier Heritage” on WFBM?

Some of the VHS is footage originally transferred from 16mm film. It was converted to VHS to preserve the film and make it accessible. From the VHS we will make DVDs. We have a couple of these on the State Library’s YouTube channel.

YouTube and Archive.org have a lot of neat historical films available:

  • Bernie Sanders’ film about the Socialist-party leader from Indiana, “Eugene V. Debs.” The film was made in 1979. Sanders doesn’t appear on screen, but you’ll recognize his voice as Debs.
  • “Family of Craftsmen” is a promotional company film from 1953. The film follows the Bokon family of South Bend who work at the Studebaker plant. “Family of Craftsmen” is available on Archive.org.
  • Madison, Indiana is featured as an ideal American town in the 1945 Office of War Information film, “The Town.”

Moving images capture our attention and allow us to see the past more vividly. We’ve transferred footage of the Foster P. Johnson family hamming it up for the home camera in the 1930s.

Do you have any interesting videos in your home collections? It’s time to get in touch with a professional and have them transferred!

This post was written by Indiana Collection Supervisor Monique Howell

On-demand webinar recordings available

Did you know the Indiana State Library has over 130 archived webinars that you can access at any time? Earn LEUs on your own time, in the comfort of your own library! Archived training videos cover a wide range of topics including: admin/management, collection management, director training, facilities/security, genealogy, intellectual freedom, leadership, marketing, populations, programming, reference/research, staff development, trends, youth services and TLEUs. There’s something for everyone!

How do you document your LEUs? Any time you watch an Indiana State Library archived webinar recording, or any online event produced by an organization on the list of pre-approved training providers, your library’s designee in an administrative or human resources roll can create and award LEU certificates in-house. Certificates generated in-house may be formatted any way you choose, as long as they contain the following elements:

  • Participant’s name
  • Event/workshop provider’s name
  • Event/workshop name, date and number of LEUs obtained
  • Proctor/supervisor’s written name, professional title and signature – in the case of a library director, the HR manager or the president of the board of trustees should sign the certificate

LEUs are awarded hour-for-hour for eligible sessions lasting longer than 30 minutes. LEUs round up to two after 90 minutes. LEUs round up to three after 2.5 hours and so forth.

If you have any questions about archived webinar recordings, contact your regional coordinator!

Resources
Archived webinars
Pre-approved training providers
Regional coordinator

This blog post was written by Courtney Brown, Southeast regional coordinator from the Indiana State Library’s Professional Development Office. For more information, email Courtney.

Real ID and Indiana marriage records

In 2013, the federal government issued minimum standards of documentation required for individuals to obtain a state-issued ID or driver’s license. These standards were known as Real ID. The standards have been phased in over time, but beginning in October 2020, Real ID-compliant identification will be required for certain activities, such as boarding an airplane or entering a federal building. For more information on Real ID, check out these articles from the Department of Homeland Security and the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Included in the list of required documents to obtain a Real ID is documentation of legal name changes. This includes name change due to marriage. So, if you changed your name when you got married, you will need to provide a certified copy of your marriage license when renewing your ID. This includes all marriages, even if you are now divorced.

Photo courtesy of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

If you do not have a certified copy of your marriage license, you can obtain one from the Clerk of Court’s office in the county where you obtained your marriage license. In Indiana, only the county clerk’s offices are able to provide certified copies.

If you do not remember where you obtained your marriage license or if you have contacted the county and they cannot find the record, you can search for your post-1958 Indiana marriage license in several places, depending on the year of marriage.  The Indiana State Library’s Indiana Legacy database includes the “Indiana Marriages, 1958-2017” index. As the title suggests, this index contains all marriage licenses issued in Indiana between 1958 and 2017, including the names of both parties, the marriage date, and the county that issued the license. This database does contain some known OCR issues, so if you find an error in a record, please let us know so we can correct it.

For marriages that took place between 1993 and the present, you can also check the Indiana Supreme Court Division of State Court Administration’s Marriage License Public Lookup. This database is updated regularly and includes marriages as recent as two weeks ago.

If you have an Ancestry.com account or if your local public library has Ancestry Library Edition, you can also search the Indiana Marriages, 1917-2005 database, which contains full scans of Indiana marriage records from the Indiana State Archives. Be aware that this database’s title is somewhat misleading, as the scans actually cover 1961-2005.

Unfortunately, there is not a statewide index to Indiana marriages pre-1958. The most complete sources are on FamilySearch, the Indiana Marriages, 1780-1992 and Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007 databases. These databases are free for you to use at home, but you will need to create an account.

If you are having trouble locating your marriage license through these resources, please contact the Indiana State Library Genealogy Division at 317-232-3689 or Ask-A-Librarian.

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

The Jerry Slocum Mechanical Puzzle Collection at Indiana University

Today we welcome guest blogger Andrew Rhoda of the Lilly Library at Indiana University. Rhoda is the world’s only puzzle curator.

The Jerry Slocum Mechanical Puzzle Collection at the Lilly Library is a collection of puzzles designed by the world’s most innovative designers of fascinating and confounding objects. The library’s collection of mechanical puzzles is the only one in the world available to the public. Mechanical puzzles are different from crosswords or jigsaw puzzles, which are what most people think of when they think about puzzles. In the book “Puzzles Old and New,” Jerry Slocum and his co-author Jack Botermans define a mechanical puzzle as, “…a self-contained object, composed of one or more parts, which involves a problem for one person to solve by manipulation using logic, reasoning, insight, luck and/or dexterity.” Some examples of well-known mechanical puzzles are the Rubik’s Cube, the tangram and the 15-puzzle.

The Lilly Library at Indiana University, Bloomington. Courtesy of Indiana University Libraries.

Mechanical puzzles have a long history. The oldest known mechanical puzzles were not even intended as entertainment. Romano-Celtic puzzle padlocks dating to the second century B.C.E. were small, ring-sized locks used as security measures. In the 19th century, the popularity of mechanical puzzles as entertainment increased. The first catalog of puzzles appeared in 1893, written by Professor Hoffmann. This book featured puzzles of all kinds; however, it is most notable for its descriptions of what we know as mechanical puzzles. These puzzles are known as Hoffmann Puzzles, as this work is the first historical reference for these puzzles. In recent years, technology has changed how mechanical puzzles are made. Throughout the 19th century and early 20th century, puzzles were usually made of wood or metal. However, in the later 20th century and 21st century, new technologies have emerged, like three-dimensional printing, that are changing how puzzles are made. Modern puzzles designers now create these ingenious objects using classic techniques and modern technology to challenge puzzle solvers.

While most interlocking puzzles are small enough to be held in the hands, some interlocking puzzles can be quite large. For example, this “Wooden Robot Puzzle” is around three feet tall. Courtesy of Indiana University Libraries.

Slocum was born near Chicago, and in 1939, he began collecting puzzles at the age of eight when his parents brought back a puzzle from the New York World’s Fair. That puzzle was the Trylon-Perisphiere, which was a small plastic interlocking puzzle. From that point, Slocum began collecting mechanical puzzles of various kinds. He began researching mechanical puzzles, and when he could not find puzzles to purchase, he learned how to make his own copies of those puzzles.

Sequential movement puzzles feature a solution that requires a sequence of moves to solve the puzzle. The Boss Puzzle, a version of the 15-puzzle, has a certain set of moves that puts the numbered blocks in order. Courtesy of Indiana University Libraries.

His research into mechanical puzzles inspired Slocum to begin publishing articles and books on mechanical puzzles. His first published work was an article for the October 1955 issue of Science and Mechanics magazine, titled “Making and Solving Puzzles.” It was a short article on what mechanical puzzles are, and how to build some simple puzzles. From that, Slocum has gone on to publish general books on mechanical puzzles, such as the aforementioned “Puzzles Old and New,” and books on specific puzzles, such as “The Tangram Book” and “The Famous 15 Puzzle.”

In 1993, Slocum established the Slocum Puzzle Foundation to promote the use of mechanical puzzles both for entertainment and for fostering creative thinking and problem solving. He has also worked with various institutions across the country to exhibit puzzles from his collection.

Interlocking puzzles come in many different shapes. They can be simple to very complex, like this puzzle “Polyhedron 32” by Yashirou Kuwayama. Courtesy of Indiana University Libraries.

Through his research, Slocum developed a system of categorization for mechanical puzzles. The system includes ten categories, defined by what needs to be done to the puzzle to solve it. For instance, the first category is “put-together” as the solution is achieved by putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Modern puzzle designers have further developed the categories, both by developing specializations in those categories, and by combining qualities of two or more of them. To match these developments Slocum added sub-categories in his system.

The categories are:

  1. Put-together puzzles – To solve, you assemble the pieces in a predetermined arrangement.
  2. Take-apart puzzles – To solve, you disassemble the puzzle or open a compartment.
  3. Interlocking solid puzzles – To solve, you disassemble and reassemble the object.
  4. Disentanglement puzzles – To solve, you remove one piece such as a ring or string from the puzzle and put it back.
  5. Sequential movement puzzles – To solve, you repeat a certain sequence of moves a number of times.
  6. Dexterity puzzles – To solve, you use either gravity or some other type of motion.
  7. Puzzle vessels – To solve, you either take liquid from or pour liquid into the vessel without spilling.
  8. Vanish puzzles – To solve, you explain how parts of the puzzle disappear when the pieces are rearranged.
  9. Folding puzzles – To solve, you to fold the puzzle in such a way as to reveal an image.
  10. Impossible puzzles – To solve, you must explain how the puzzle was made.

Put together puzzles can be two-dimensional or three-dimensional, such as Piet Hein’s “Pyramystery” shown here. Courtesy of Indiana University Libraries.

To solve some puzzles in these categories, like the vanishing puzzle or impossible puzzles, the moving of pieces is not the point, but rather the description of how the puzzle works or was made.

Impossible puzzles do not require any disassembly; you only have to answer a simple question: How did the arrow get through the bottle? Courtesy of Indiana University Libraries.

When Slocum began thinking of where he would donate his collection, he selected the Lilly Library because, unlike a museum, donating his collection to a rare books library would mean that his whole collection would be available for patrons to solve. While traditional museum might only display a few puzzles at a time through exhibits, the Lilly Library provides access to the whole collection for patrons who visit the Reading Room.

In 2006, Slocum began donating his collection to the Lilly Library. Since that time, he has been donating portions of his collection every year. Currently, the Slocum Mechanical Puzzle Collection consists of over 30,000 of puzzles, in addition to books and manuscripts relating to mechanical puzzles. These materials are accessible in the Lilly Library’s Reading Room and – barring a puzzle being in conservation – the contents of the puzzle collection are available for use. When requesting puzzles to consult in the Reading Room, it is best to allow three to four days processing time so that all items can be gathered for the visit. The puzzle collection is searchable through the Jerry Slocum Mechanical Puzzle Collection database.

Puzzle locks, such as these Viennese Master Craft Locks from the 19th century, are the oldest category of mechanical puzzles known. Puzzle locks are a sub-category of take apart puzzles. Courtesy of Indiana University Libraries.

A permanent exhibit of highlights from the collection is on display in the Lilly Library Slocum Room located at 1200 East Seventh Street in Bloomington. The exhibit contains examples of each of the ten mechanical puzzle categories in Slocum’s category system. As a companion to the exhibit, there are also hands-on puzzles for visitors to the Slocum Room to solve while viewing the exhibit. In this way, visitors can see the types of puzzles and they can try similar puzzles.

When visiting the Slocum Room to see the permanent exhibit, or to try the hands-on puzzles, it is best to check the availability of the room. This room also functions as a classroom space, which means that it might be reserved on occasion. The library is open on Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Reading Room is open Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

If you would like to visit the Slocum Room or see a particular puzzle, please contact Andrew Rhoda, curator of puzzles, with questions about the collection and for information about scheduling tours or group presentations.

Citing archival resources

When researching for a project, it is vital to record the collections one is researching and all pertinent information for them. This is important, not only for citing your sources and the integrity of your work, but also in case you need to view the material again throughout the course of your research. Record the information below:

  • Institution
  • Collection title
  • Collection name
  • Series name and number (if applicable)
  • Box, folder, and/or volume/item number

Information about the document itself:

  • Creator or author
  • Title
  • Recipient (if applicable)
  • Date
  • Page number (if applicable)

Below are examples using collections at the Indiana State Library. Be sure to maintain consistency in your citation style whether it is based on your preference or a professor’s preference. Any information that isn’t available by looking at the folder or box your materials are in would be discoverable in the finding aid for the collection. You can find the finding aid by searching for your collection in the manuscripts catalog.

Chicago Manual of Style
Joe Rand Beckett letter to members of Battery D, December 1967, S0091, Joe Rand Beckett collection, 1917-1969, Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library.

Modern Language Association
Beckett, Joe Rand. Letter to members of Battery D. December 1967. S0091, Joe Rand Beckett collection, 1917-1969. Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis.

American Psychological Association
Beckett, J. R. (1967, December). [Letter to members of Battery D]. Joe Rand Beckett collection, 1917-1969 Rare Books and Manuscripts (S0091), Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN.

For resources viewed online, you would complete the citation as above and add the access URL at the end.

Chicago Manual of Style
A.E.F. Y.M.C.A. Movement order, 13 January 1919, L359, Box 1, Folder 2, Franklin Newton Taylor papers, 1896-1963, Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library. http://cdm16066.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p16066coll47/id/484/rec/3

Modern Language Association
A.E.F. Y.M.C.A. Movement order. 13 January 1919. L359, Franklin Newton Taylor papers, 1896-1963. Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis. http://cdm16066.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p16066coll47/id/484/rec/3

American Psychological Association
A.E.F. Y.M.C.A. (1919, January 13). [Movement order]. L359, Franklin Newton Taylor papers, 1896-1963. Rare Books and Manuscripts (Box 1, Folder 2), Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. http://cdm16066.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p16066coll47/id/484/rec/3

You may need to consult the guides for your citation style to verify how to cite additional information, such as page numbers, or different kind of archival resources, such as diaries or photographs. Find out more by using the websites below or conducting your own web searches.

Chicago Manual of Style
Modern Language Association
American Psychological Association

The Purdue Online Writing Lab also has wonderful resources and guides.

You can also ask a librarian for assistance with citing your resources while doing your research or using QuestionPoint.

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.”