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

Trade, association and club publications

The Indiana State Library’s newest digital collection focuses on trade, association and club publications. The library has numerous materials in our Indiana and Rare Books and Manuscripts collections from various organizations, clubs, associations and trades across the state. The purpose of the collection is to provide access to a sampling of the materials from these organizations. Some runs of periodical materials are not completely digitized, so please check our catalog for further holdings for individual organizations or titles.

Trade publications are specific to a trade like construction, business or manufacturing. Among the publications, you can find the Indiana Construction Recorder, the official publication for the Society of Indiana Architects. This publication lists numerous building projects from around the state, making it a great source for architectural research.

Association and club publications are usually geared toward hobbies, interests or educational pursuits. They often provide general information about the topic, members, meetings, conventions and articles.

The Indiana Federation of Clubs was a parent organization to many smaller and local clubs during the early 20th century. We have several of their convention programs available in the collection.

The Y’s Man was the publication of the Senate Avenue’s Young Men’s Christian Association in downtown Indianapolis. This particular YMCA focused on the African-American community in that area. The newsletter covered the World War II era and had information about the service men and women.

The Indiana State Bee Keepers Association provided information about bees, their maintenance, the group’s meetings and its members. We also have a few issues of the Gladland News, a group focused on gladiolas and their cultivation. The Nature Study Club of Indiana’s yearbooks and publication, The Hoosier Outdoors, are also included in the collection.

You can find this digital collection, as well as others, on our website. We constantly continue to build our digital collections, so please check back periodically to see what new materials we have added. Please chat with one of our librarians who will be happy to help you get to our digital collections and also to help you learn more about the materials in the collections.

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

New exhibit! Decorating your home

Are you aware of the Indiana State Library’s massive collection of rare books, state and federal documents, Indiana history and genealogical material? There’s truly something for everyone – and for me, it’s an assortment of interior design, “how-to” books and advertisements and building samples, spanning from 1920-1960.

Our latest Rare Books and Manuscripts exhibit features a standard edition of the Munsell Book of Color created by the Munsell Color Firm in 1929. The Munsell color system was created by Professor Albert H. Munsell and is based on three color dimensions: hue, value (lightness) and chroma (color purity). The color of any surface can be identified by comparing it to the chips under proper viewing conditions.

ISL – [Cage] ISLM 752 M969m – Cage General Books

A Dictionary of Colours for Interior Decoration will also be on display. Developed by the British Colour Council in 1949, this volume was published to provide clarity and standardization of design work, specifically application to carpets, curtains and upholstery fabric, and in the making of paint or other materials used in decorating. The guide includes 378 colors displayed on three surfaces, including matte, gloss and fabric.

ISL – [Cage] ISLM 535.6 B862D – Cage General Books

Interested in Indiana furniture design during the 1960s? Several Tell City Chair Company catalogs are available to view. The catalogs were designed to aid the homemaker who desired a “comfortable and attractive living space.” They include a comprehensive review of Tell City’s furniture styles, the basic principles of decoration and tips on the care of furniture.

Paired with the Tell City Chair Company catalogs is one of our favorite volumes within the rare book collection titled “The American woods: exhibited by actual specimens and with copious explanatory text.” Each volume contains a booklet of descriptive text and at least 75 wood samples mounted in an estimated 25 plates. The featured specimen includes a transverse section, a radial section and a tangential section with Latin, English, German, French and Spanish names for maple wood.

ISL – [Cage] ISLM 634.9 H8384 – Cage General Serials

Maple wood was featured in many styles of the Tell City Chair Company, including the Young Republic Group and the Hard Rock Maple. Many of the furniture pieces are highly valued among collectors due to their fine craftsmanship and quality.

If you’re curious about building repair or home decoration supplies during the early 1920s-1950s, we have you covered! Booklets from the Louisville Wall Paper Company, Sherwin-Williams Company, Indiana Farm Bureau, Co-operative Association, Inc., Alabastine Company and the United States Rubber Company are on display, too.

ISL – John M. Smith collection (L596) – Rare Books and Manuscripts

The Rare Books and Manuscripts reading room is located on the second floor of the Indiana State Library. The interior design exhibit will be on display until the end of March.

This blog post was written by Bethany Fiechter, Rare Books and Manuscripts supervisor, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317) 232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at http://www.in.gov/library/ask.htm.