Finding original marriage records

Historically, original marriage records in Indiana were held solely by the county clerk’s office that issued the original record. So, if you need a copy of an original record, your best bet is to contact the county. But, if you’re not sure which county or you just need the information from the record but not the record itself, there are other sources for these records.

John Parrish and Florence Heaton marriage certificate, Marion County, Indiana, 1916. Katherine Parrish Mondor collection, Genealogy Division, Indiana State Library.

Why 1958 was an important year
In 1958, Indiana began to file marriage records at the state level rather than just at the county level. So, one copy of the record was retained at the county clerk’s office while a second copy was sent to the Indiana Department of Health. This makes it easier to locate more recent marriages, because the Indiana Department of Health can search all 92 counties at the same time.

Indexes vs. records
Many of the Indiana marriage records available to researchers at the Indiana State Library are indexes rather than record images. For example, Ancestry Library Edition currently does not offer scans of marriage records for Indiana. Instead, they offer indexes to the records that summarize what the record contains. FamilySearch offers both indexes and record images; however, while the indexes can be accessed freely from home, to access the images you will need to be at the Indiana State Library or another FamilySearch Affiliate Library or Family History Center.

FamilySearch’s Indiana Marriages database has over 1.2 million records.

You can also search our Indiana Marriages 1958-2021 index on Indiana Legacy, which is available at home to researchers for free.

These limitations are applicable to both very old records and more recent records. So, whether you are doing genealogy research or looking for your own record, you will have to work within the parameters of the databases.

Where else to look?
One issue that the librarians here at the State Library have noticed is that the indexes are not always correct. Verifying the correct county that issued a marriage record can be tricky, but we’ve developed a few tips to help you narrow down your search.

First, look at where the couple was living when they got married. The farther back in time you go, the less likely it is that a couple traveled to get married. Also, in order for a county to issue a marriage license, one of the members of the couple was supposed to live in that county.

If you’re not finding a marriage record in the index, or you think the index may have incorrect information, you can also search newspapers. For years, local newspapers included a list of marriage licenses issued in the county, usually on a weekly or biweekly basis. This can help you determine which county actually issued the license you need and also confirm the approximate date of the marriage. You can use Hoosier State Chronicles to search Indiana newspapers for free from home, or if you visit the Indiana State Library you can access Newspapers.com, NewspaperArchive, and the Indianapolis Star.

Marriage licenses listed in the Terre Haute Weekly Gazette, April 16, 1885.

For recent marriages, you can also check the Marriage License Public Lookup. This database covers the entire state from 1993 to the present. It is updated regularly, and new marriages typically take two weeks or less to appear in this index.

What about certified records?
Only the county clerk and the Indiana Department of Health can issue certified copies of marriage records. Any record you obtain from a genealogy database will not be certified and cannot be used for Social Security, Real ID or other official business.

What if I’m really stuck?
You can contact the Indiana State Library through our Ask-a-Librarian service and we will do our best to locate the marriage you’re seeking.

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

Inaugural Lunch and Learn program from State Library scheduled for March 14

The Indiana State Library has announced the launch of a new program series called the Lunch and Learn Series. The series will run throughout 2024, with six programs already planned.

The inaugural program, “Fire Insurance Maps Online,” will take place on March 14 from 12-1 p.m. in the History Reference Room at the Indiana State Library.

Originally created to help insurance companies assess structures’ fire resistance, historic fire insurance maps now have a wide variety of uses, including historic preservation, land use research and urban development. Presenter Jamie Dunn, supervisor of the Genealogy Division at the Indiana State Library, will teach attendees about fire insurance maps and the Indiana State Library’s Fire Insurance Maps Online database.

Each program is eligible for one LEU for Indiana library staff. Click here to register.

Follow the Indiana State Library’s Facebook page for more information on the upcoming programs as it becomes available.

The Indiana State Library is located at 315 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.

Please contact Stephanie Asberry, deputy director of Public Services and Statewide Services at the Indiana State Library, with any questions about the Lunch and Learn Series.

This blog post was submitted by John Wekluk, communications director. 

Indiana Digital Library users borrow 6.6 million digital books in 2023

The Indiana Digital Library has announced that its patrons reached a new milestone: 6.6 million digital books borrowed in 2023. This achievement illustrates the library’s commitment to serving all members of the community in innovative ways, including with a large catalog of e-books, audiobooks and other digital media. Indiana Digital Library is ranked fifth of all public library e-book consortia and one of 152 total public library systems worldwide that surpassed one million checkouts last calendar year. View a complete list here.

Indiana Digital Library member libraries have been providing readers continuous access to e-books, audiobooks, magazines, comic books and other digital content for several years through the award-winning Libby app, the library reading app created by OverDrive. The large collection serves readers of all ages and interests, and usage has grown throughout the years. Some of the member libraries include Plainfield-Guildford Township Public Library, Perry County Public Library, Whiting Public Library, Brownstown Public Library and Berne Public Library.

“The Indiana Digital Library has, once again, exceeded expectations. The consortium is beyond thrilled to have reached the one million digital book checkout milestone for the second consecutive year,” said Jacob Speer, Indiana State Librarian. “The State Library will continue to support the Indiana library community’s collaborative effort to bring e-book access to the public while saving taxpayer funds.”

The highest-circulating title Indiana Digital Library readers borrowed in 2023 was “It Starts with Us” by Colleen Hoover. The top-circulating genre, romance, represents the most popular in a vast catalog that also includes thriller, suspense, children and young adult, mystery and more.

The top five e-book titles borrowed through Indiana Digital Library’s digital collection in 2023:

  • “It Starts with Us” by Colleen Hoover.
  • “Verity” by Colleen Hoover.
  • “It Ends with Us” by Colleen Hoover.
  • “Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus.
  • “Spare” by Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex.

The top five audiobook titles borrowed through Indiana Digital Library’s digital collection in 2023:

  • “False Witness” by Karin Slaughter.
  • “A Darker Shade of Magic” by V. E. Schwab.
  • “It Starts with Us” by Colleen Hoover.
  • “The Coworker” by Freida McFadden.
  • “Happy Place” by Emily Henry.

Residents of Indiana only need a valid library card from a member library to access digital books from Indiana Digital Library’s OverDrive-powered digital collection. Readers can use any major device, including Apple®, Android™, Chromebook™ and Kindle®.

Download the Libby app, or click here, to get started borrowing e-books, audiobooks and more anytime, anywhere.

Recently, Speer was in studio for an interview with WISH-TV in Indianapolis, in which he discussed the Indiana Digital Library. Click here to view the interview.

OverDrive is a mission-based company that stands with libraries. Named a Certified B Corp in 2017, OverDrive serves tens of thousands of libraries and schools in over 100 countries with the industry’s largest digital catalog of e-books, audiobooks, video and other content. Award-winning apps and services include the Libby library reading app, the Sora student reading app, Kanopy, the leading video streaming app for libraries and colleges and TeachingBooks.net, which offers one of the largest catalogs of supplemental materials that enhance literacy outcomes.

This post was written by John Wekluk, communications director at the Indiana State Library.

From the Statehouse to a building of its own

The bicentennial of the 1825 legislation, “An Act to establish a State Library,” that created the Indiana State Library will be observed in 2025. Since its beginnings as the office library of the Secretary of State to being housed in rooms within successive statehouses to moving to a temporary location during Statehouse construction to finally becoming its own standalone edifice, the State Library has continued collecting materials, providing information services, adapting to technology and supporting library services for Hoosiers. Prior to the state’s 2016 bicentennial year, I took a brief research dive into “The Hidden History of the Indiana State Library” to find out more about the library’s temporary quarters while Indiana’s statehouse was under construction from 1878 until 1888. Since that dive, more online resources to browse have become available.

Indiana Memory is always a great online resource for historical photographs. To find items specifically about the Indiana State Library, and not every random item hosted, digitized and/or created by the State Library, a search strategy is necessary. To start, I used the Advanced Search, enclosed the phrase “Indiana State Library” in quote marks and only searched the Subject field.

Looking through the results, there was a photograph from 1929 when Governor Harry G. Leslie signed the bill that authorized the construction of the new Indiana State Library building.

Governor Harry G. Leslie signs the library building bill, 1929-03-09. Source: Oversize Photograph Collection, Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library.

Why was a new State Library building needed? Below is a photograph, circa 1912, showing the cramped conditions of the library inside the relatively new, at the time, Indiana Statehouse. The State Library occupied four rooms in the third floor south wing from 1888 to 1933. Around 1912, there were advocates for a separate State Library building to be built by 1916, in celebration of the state’s centennial. The rooms previously occupied by the State Library are presently offices for the Legislative Services Agency and the Indiana House of Representatives. For those familiar with the Indiana Supreme Court Law Library, the two-story stacks and balcony seem familiar. However, the Law Library was, and still is, separately located in the north wing of the third floor, near the Supreme Court chambers.

Two levels of the Indiana State Library, ca. 1912. Source: Oversize Photograph Collection, Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library.

Another view from around 1912 shows shelves and study tables along with the Indiana Governors Portraits Collection in the background, which the library was previously responsible for collecting and maintaining.

Bookshelves in the Indiana State Library, ca. 1912. Source: Oversize Photograph Collection, Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library.

The current Statehouse is Indiana’s fourth capitol building, and third since the seat of government was moved from Corydon to Indianapolis. The building called “The Old Statehouse” was Indiana’s third capitol building from 1835 until 1877. It also housed the State Library in two rooms on the first floor, southwest corner. Around the late 1860s, several major structural issues became apparent, making plans and monies for a new statehouse critical. There are various exterior photographs of the old statehouse, particularly from when President Lincoln’s funeral train came to Indianapolis, and he lay in state inside the building. However, there are no known interior photographs of the State Library inside the old statehouse.

Statehouse draped for Lincoln’s funeral, 1865. Source: General photograph collection, Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library.

Through Indiana Memory, researchers can access these historical photographs of the 1934 building under construction, completed and the 1976 addition.

Indiana State Library foundation work, 1933. Image courtesy of Ball State University. University Libraries. Andrew Seager Archives of the Built Environment.

Exterior of the Indiana State Library building, after 1934. Source: Oversize Photograph Collection, Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library.

Indiana State Library and Historical Building with 1976 addition. Image courtesy of Indiana Landmarks Historic Architecture Collection.

Indiana State Library and Historical Building, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1984. Source: Indiana State Library slideshow, Genealogy Division, Indiana State Library.

Take a video tour of the Indiana State Library here. We look forward to celebrating 200 years of the Indiana State Library’s existence as a department within Indiana’s state government.

This post was written by Andrea Glenn, Indiana Division librarian and state documents coordinator at the Indiana State Library.

Summer reading 2024 resources

The year has just begun, but library staff are already looking toward summer reading 2024. The Collaborative Summer Library Program theme this year is “Adventure Begins at Your Library,” and libraries are excited to plan adventures of all types for their communities. I’ve put together several resources to help with public library staff’s summer planning.

Webinar: The best place to start is with the webinar I did in January 2024. This webinar covers updates about the 2024 Adventure Begins at Your Library program and highlights a variety of resources that should help you with program planning. You can view the webinar here.

Resource Website: Speaking of resources, I pulled together some of the most helpful resources for planning your summer reading program here. Included are all of the resources discussed in the above webinar, tutorials on navigating the online manual and planning summer reading, a list of adventure-themed topics to jump-start your creativity and much more.

CSLP Website and Manual: I highly recommend taking a look at the 2024 CSLP Online Manual for a ton of fully developed, ready-to-go program plans revolving around adventure. To access it, visit the CSLP website, go to “Manual Downloads,” and select “2024 Adventure Begins at Your Library!” You’ll be prompted to enter the manual code (Indiana public library staff may request the code here), and then you’ll have access to this wonderful resource!

CSLP Shop: Need shirts, decorations, incentive items and other gear with the trademarked CSLP artwork? Visit the CSLP Shop. CSLP is a nonprofit, and all of the money earned from shop sales go back into what the shop can sell next year. Just note the timelines – you must order by March 1 to receive your items by May 1.

Program Ideas: This winter, I’ve been facilitating workshops across the state about the “Adventure Begins at Your Library” theme, and at each training I collect program ideas from the participants. I post those program ideas under “Summer Program Ideas for Current Year,” so check them out if you need help with your own idea creation. You can also view program ideas from past years here. Of course, you can use most of these ideas year-round! I recommend bookmarking them in your browser for quick access.

CSLP Summer Symposium: The CSLP Summer Symposium is a national, virtual, free mini-conference which takes place in December. The third annual symposium took place on Dec. 7, 2023, and the recordings are now available! There were four one-hour sessions, each worth one LEU, that may be helpful to you; the topics were simplifying summer reading, manual highlights, promotion and outdoor programming partnerships. You can view the recordings and access the supporting materials here.

As you begin to plan for summer 2024, I recommend keeping things simple for you and your patrons. Summer reading programs can be organized in a million different ways, so do what’s best for your community, but try not to over complicate it. You’ll thank yourself once summer rolls around. Happy planning!

Submitted by Beth Yates, Indiana State Library children’s consultant.

Interesting information about the Indiana Talking Book & Braille Library

The Indiana Talking Book and Braille library would like to share some interesting information from our history and our current service. For more information about the National Library Service visit here, or visit the Indiana State Talking Book & Braille Library website.

  • The first embossed books were mailed to Indiana patrons in 1905. This means that the Indiana Talking Book & Braille Library has been serving patrons for 119 years. The Indiana Talking Book & Braille Library became a regional library of the National Library Service in 1934.
  • The original collection of embossed books was made up of 300 volumes; 200 were donated books. The Indiana Talking Book & Braille library now has over 25,000 braille books.

A photograph of an ordinary aisle in the braille room.

  • The concept of a national library for the blind was developed in 1897 by John Russell Young, the Librarian of Congress, when he established a reading room for the blind with about 500 books and music items in raised characters.
  • Congress created the National Library Service in 1931 out of concern for veterans who were blinded in World War I. Veterans still get priority today.
  • On March 3, 1931, the Pratt-Smoot Act established the National Library Service for the Blind and it became part of the Library of Congress.
  • Braille was created by Louis Braille in in 1824 while he was still a teenager. A more uniform system of Braille was established in 1933.
  • The first talking books were recorded as records in 1934. According to the National Library Services web site, among the titles chosen for the first orders of talking books were the Declaration of Independence; the Constitution of the United States; Washington’s “Farewell Address;” Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address;” Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” “The Merchant of Venice,” and “Hamlet;” Kipling’s “Brushwood Boy;” and Wodehouse’s “Very Good Jeeves.”
  • Between 1935 and 1942, as part of the Works Project Administration, 5,000 talking book machines were created.
  • Children were added to the mission of the National Library Service in 1952. Patrons with physical or reading disabilities were added in 1966.
  • The Indiana Talking Book & Braille Library currently has over 23,000 large print books. Public libraries in the state of Indiana are welcome to check out collections for their patrons’ use.

The Indiana Talking Book & Braille library owns a large variety of large print books.

  • In 1979, the American Library Association published “Standards of Service for the Library of Congress Network on Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.” It has been updated multiple times since then.
  • In 1997, the FBI seized from music pirates $200,000 worth of state-of-the-art duplicating equipment and donated it to the talking book program.
  • In the history of the National Library Service, they have provided records and record players, cassette tapes and cassette players, reel to reel tapes, digital duplication of books on demand and digital players and refreshable braille e-readers to the talking book program.

Many different types of talking book players and their media.

  • The Indiana Talking Book & Braille library presents Indiana Vision Expo every two years. In 2023, the event had more than 150 participants. The next Vision Expo will be in September of 2025.
  • In 2023, the National Library Service made braille on demand books available to their patrons. These books are embossed and sent to the patron to keep.
  • In 2024, the Indiana Talking Book & Braille Library will be sending out braille e-readers to patrons who can use them.

A Zoomax Braille E-reader.

  • The Indiana Talking Book & Braille Library has seven staff members working toward getting books to their patrons.
  • In 2023, the Indiana Talking Book & Braille Library had almost 5,000 active users, and circulated more than 400,000 items.

This blog post was written by Judy Gray, Indiana Talking Books and Braille Library supervisor.

Fare thee well Ms. Marcia Caudell: A well-earned retirement

The 2024 year will begin sadly at the Indiana State Library, as beloved Reference and Government Services supervisor Marcia Caudell will retire after 20 years of service. A native of Fortville, Marcia graduated from Mt. Vernon High School before starting a lengthy career working as a federal employee at the finance center at Ft. Benjamin Harrison. After retiring from the federal government, Marcia enrolled in classes to pursue a second career in libraries. She completed her undergraduate degree and earned a dual master’s degree in Public History and Library Science from IUPUI.

Marcia started working at the Indiana State Library in 2003 as a reference librarian. Marcia honed her craft working under the tutelage of former supervisor, and Indiana State Library icon, Ron Sharp. In addition to working primarily as a reference librarian, she also spent time working with genealogy and manuscripts collections to develop a well-rounded understanding of the library’s collections. Over time, Marcia became the respected librarian, with whom colleagues could turn to as a trusted source for the tough obscure questions. In 2015, Marcia became supervisor of the Reference and Government Services division. During her tenure as supervisor, Marcia guided her division through a pandemic and helped plan the first Hoosier Women at Work conference. Her division was recognized as FDLP’s Depository Library of the Year award in 2022.

Marcia is beloved by her family and colleagues. Her coworkers would describe her as smart, hardworking, prepared and humble. Marcia is known for her love of coffee, chocolate, cheese, coffee and Sherlock Holmes novels. Her co-workers will miss her humor, her candy jar, the food oddities she would share and mostly her company. Her presence will be dearly missed at the library, though staff is excited to hear that she does promise to return to the library as a volunteer. Everyone at the Indiana State Library will miss working with you. Enjoy your retirement, Marcia.

This blog post was written by Indiana State Library federal documents coordinator Brent Abercrombie. For more information, contact the Reference and Government Services at 317-232-3678 or via “Ask-A-Librarian.”

New prizes coming to the Indiana Library Passport in 2024

The Indiana Library Passport, a digital experience that encourages everyone to visit libraries across the Hoosier state, launched in 2022. The passport, open to Indiana residents and outside visitors alike, showcases nearly 170 main libraries and branches.

After users provide their name, email address and mobile phone number, a link is sent to their mobile phone, which adds a button icon to their home screen. From there, users are free to begin visiting Hoosier libraries. Users access the passport to check in to a participating library using their phone’s location services.

In addition to being a creative way to inspire people to visit the state’s libraries, the passport automatically enters the user into a quarterly prize drawing every time they checked in to a library.

In 2024, a new batch of prizes will be available for passport users to win via quarterly drawing. Next year will see admission vouchers to the Indiana Medical History Museum; tickets to tour various historical locations across the state, courtesy of Indiana Landmarks; annual Indiana state park passes, courtesy of the Indiana DNR; and admission passes to Minnetrista, which includes access to the Bob Ross Experience, added to the growing list of available prizes.

Additionally, a limited-edition Indiana Library Passport mug is available while supplies last.

Click here to learn more about the Indiana Library Passport. Click here to see a list of past and present prize donors.

Libraries interested in joining the Indiana Library Passport – free of cost – should contact John Wekluk, communications director at the Indiana State Library.

This post was written by John Wekluk, communications director at the Indiana State Library.

Navigating the musical wonderland of Christmas songs and copyright

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and nothing sets the festive mood quite like Christmas music. From classics like “Jingle Bells” to contemporary hits like “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” these melodies are an integral part of the holiday experience. However, behind the joyous tunes lie complex copyright implications that shape the way we enjoy and share these festive songs.

Christmas songs are more than just music; they are a cultural phenomena that evoke nostalgia and bring people together. Many of these songs have been passed down through generations, becoming timeless classics that artists continue to reinterpret and reimagine.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.While many Christmas songs are in the public domain, allowing for unrestricted use and adaptation, others are protected by copyright. This means that the creators or rights holders have exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, and perform the songs, subject to some exceptions set out in the Copyright Act. As a result, navigating the musical wonderland of Christmas songs involves understanding the copyright status of each tune.

Many of the so-called “classic” Christmas songs are in the public domain, which means everyone may use and enjoy them without fear of copyright infringement. Classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Deck the Halls,” “Up on the Housetop,” “Twelve Days of Christmas,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and “O Christmas Tree,” as well as others, have transcended their original copyright protection and can be freely shared and adapted.

However, keep in mind that the public domain status can vary depending on the specific arrangement or adaptation of a song. For instance, a traditional version of a Christmas carol may be in the public domain, but a new arrangement by a contemporary artist could still be under copyright protection.

Many popular Christmas songs are still under copyright protection and using them without permission can lead to legal consequences. For example, if you plan to use a copyrighted Christmas song in a commercial project, such as a film, advertisement, or holiday event, you may need to obtain a license from the rights holder. Additionally, cover versions of copyrighted songs require a mechanical license, allowing artists to reproduce and distribute their own rendition.

Playing copyrighted Christmas music in the background at your home among a small audience of family and friends is likely not a copyright violation because you are likely streaming from a commercial service or the radio that permits such private use. However, piping copyright protected music publicly over a speaker for background music at the library or other public place would require a license.

Understanding the copyright implications of Christmas songs is crucial for musicians, content creators, and anyone looking to share the joy of the season. Here are a few tips for navigating the legal copyright landscape:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the public domain status of Christmas songs. Traditional carols and older compositions are more likely to be in the public domain, but it’s essential to verify the status of specific versions.
  2. If you plan to use a copyrighted Christmas song in a commercial project or performance, or to play publicly in a public space, obtain the necessary licenses. This ensures that you have legal permission to use the music and supports the artists and rights holders.
  3. Consider creating original holiday music to avoid copyright complications. This allows you to share your festive spirit without navigating the legal intricacies of existing Christmas songs.

As we celebrate the season with joyous melodies and festive cheer, it’s essential to be mindful of the copyright implications surrounding Christmas songs. Whether a timeless classic or a contemporary hit, each melody carries its own legal considerations that shape how we can enjoy and share the magic of the holidays. So, as you deck the halls with boughs of holly, remember to deck your playlists with awareness of copyright rights, ensuring a harmonious and legal celebration of the most wonderful time of the year.

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

A vault shakin’, box makin’, history savin’ new machine

This fall, the Indiana State Library purchased a large – and lovely, if I do say so myself – new piece of equipment, a Gunnar Aiox digital cutting machine. Now, this machine can do a lot, but our initial uses for it will be greatly increasing the range of producible archival boxes, vastly expanding economic efficiency and massively reducing the time spent by Indiana State Library staff in terms of actually making the boxes themselves. Before this machine, staff were hand-making boxes by cutting and flaying archival board and then trying to fold and glue the board together effectively enough so that the box would last for decades. A single box would take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half, and box cleanliness, looks and regularity were sorely missing.

The Gunnar Aiox Hybrid XL, a state-of-the-art cutting machine, is capable of cutting anywhere from four to six boxes utilizing an amount of board previously used for only two boxes. The boxes can vary in size and shape and take about 25 minutes from design of the box on the associated computer program to the final cut being made. Then, it takes about another 10 minutes to fold up all of the boxes and get the books inside their new homes. This is an incredible amount of time and effort being saved, but – and maybe most importantly – the way the boxes are made with the machine requires no glue or adhesive whatsoever. Everything is done with precise folding theory and technique via the Aiox. This has increased the possible use time for these boxes – which are made with acid free archival board of varying sizes – by decades and without needing constant checks to see if any adhesive is coming undone. The time saved might not be truly stateable, as we weren’t exactly keeping track of the time it took to make a box before. Now, we’re making boxes in no time. The ease of box making – once figured out – has been just wonderful and we’re now starting to realize how we can make and design the boxes even more efficiently than the original templates. This technology also allows us a lot more functional scrap material for smaller boxes, box/material support and general reusability. With this scrap, we’ve been able to experiment and learn about the machine in a lot more effective manner as well. And in all honesty, as someone who isn’t great with arts and crafts, this machine makes a much better box than I ever did before it arrived.

Unfortunately, we are starting in quite cramped quarters, as the Aiox was put into our current digitization laboratory, so the supplies for the Aiox are spread throughout the library. Come April, however, our digitization lab will be moved into a bigger room that’s more able to support the functions required, and the former digitization lab will be converted fully to more effectively house the Aiox and all of the required materials for box making. All of us are quite excited about the eventual move, as the process can be a bit loud and makes it difficult to do digitization work with a giant machine whirring around you. However, the machine can be operated in mostly dark conditions in case someone is working on digitization at the same time. We all tend to agree it will be much nicer to have two separate rooms, one dedicated to each process, though.

As far as ease of use goes, I was unable to be here when the professional from Gunnar was here to train us, but through the notes of my colleagues and with a bit of testing cardboard to put through the paces, I figured out how to operate the machine with comfort and ease in just a couple of sessions. Most of us who need to use the machine can figure it out in just a couple of testing sessions and can continue on without needing anyone else there to help, further increasing efficiency and time management. And I must say, this machine makes my life – in terms of storing materials that are sometimes older than the United States – a lot less stressful, because I know what I’m producing is a lot safer and more accurate than I could have ever made by hand.

As someone who is only mildly tech-savvy, this machine was a bit daunting to look at and use at first, but the instructions are actually fairly simple and the true difficulty and intricacy of the machine lie in uses we haven’t even turned toward yet. We’re only just starting to use the machine with any kind of production line efficacy, and the possibilities moving forward can only grow. It’s also been a rather fun project to come together to work on and figure out. Nearly every division in the library has someone who uses the machine. Being able to make connections with co-workers through some rather humorous mistakes – we have a hilarious pile of failed boxes on test-board – is a another lovely way this piece of technology has been a benefit to the library.

This blog post was submitted by A.J. Chrapliwy of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division of the Indiana State Library.