The Indiana State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument Digital Collection

Located in downtown Indianapolis, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument is one of the most notable architectural achievements in the Midwest, and is a proud symbol of Indianapolis. Designed and built over a decade starting in the late 1880’s, the structure took a great deal of planning, design work, and eventual labor to implement. Here at the Indiana State Library, we have successfully digitized many of the early reports that details the history of this monument so that patrons and future generations will have easy access to these rare documents. They can be read by clicking here.

First Image

Scene of the cornerstone laying, from the 1889 Report

Second image

The 1887/1888 Biennial report documents some of the monument’s earliest planning phases

Reports from 1887 to 1894 have been digitized and are now available online, in addition to various bulletins regarding architectural competitions from competing artists. They list everything from names, qualifying criteria for successful applicants, projected costs, and illustrations. Many of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument Reports needed to undergo conservation treatment by the ISL conservator, Rebecca Shindel, before we commenced digitizing them. Due to their condition, extra preservation work needed to be done to ensure they were not damaged by the scanning process. It is our hope that these digital copies make researching this important aspect of Indianapolis easier and simpler, and without having the risk the condition of the original copies.

Third Image

The cover of one of the Biennial Reports, after conservation work