Researching 1920s Building History with the Indiana Construction Recorder

Doing history on a building completed in the 1920s?  The Indiana Construction Recorder, we have from 1920-1933, must be consulted.

The Indiana Construction Recorder (ISLI 690.5 I385C) is the trade publication of the Indiana Society of Architects and Associated Building Contractors of Indiana. It lists new building contracts awarded for large projects such as schools, apartments, etc. Not only does it show new construction contracts awarded, but also lists building permits which include residence and garages.

I have used it only a couple of times because it is so time consuming to use, but it is a great source if you have the time. It is not digitized or indexed, so it is not for the faint of heart. This resource works best if you know exactly when your home was built.

It not only covers Indianapolis, but cities all over the state. Below are a few examples to show off this amazing resource.

Here is the entry for an apartment building on N. Meridian St in Indianapolis. It lists all the firms working on the project:

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This blog post was written by Monique Howell, Indiana Collection Supervisor, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana Collection Division at (317) 232-3670 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at