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A Dial-Up Librarian Enters the Blogosphere

When I was first approached about doing a blog for the library, my first thought was "YIKES."  Being new to the blogging world, this was unchartered terrain for me. After all, we still have dial-up at home and I rely on my 2 year old to help program our DVD player. However, the more I thought about it, I realized – what a great forum to talk about the wonderful items in our collection. After 10 years of working in the library at the Indiana Historical Society, I am still uncovering gems in the collection.

With more than 1.5 million images, thousands of books, manuscripts and maps there is a lot to uncover.  We recently estimated that if you stacked our collections flat page-by-page, it would be a single stack almost 6 miles high. (OK, so we didn’t actually try this but you get the idea that there are a lot of great materials that we can talk about in our blog.) Here are a few of my favorites. 

Eagle map
This 1833 map uniquely and beautifully depicts our developing nation.
A woman gives an orange to a departing WWI soldier. (Bretzman Collection, Indiana Historical Society)




This one caught your eye – didn’t it?! The American Red Cross sponsored this circa 1918 broadside to help keep WWI servicemen healthy.


Let me know your favorite Indiana history topic or if you have a question about something we might have in the collection – you can leave a comment here or e-mail us at    


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Comments (3)

1. Nadine Harris says

March 12, 2010 at 11:28 a.m.
I love that fact that the traveling exhibits can be seen online. That is so cool!

2. John Brunn says

May 20, 2011 at 8:45 a.m.
Suzanne, I have an original printing of the book "Remembrances of Adams, Jay and Randolph Counties" I would like to sell it and I have been told about how much it is worth, however, I really have no real idea of the value. There is a chapter about my Great, Great, Great Grandmother, Mariah Mendenhall who was a mid wife and we have been told she delivered more than a thousand babies. I think the book is in pretty good condition for its age. If you have any thoughts, please let me know. email at, Thank you and I am looking forward to hearing from you!

3. Marianne says

March 13, 2012 at 11:47 p.m.
I don't think I really meant that we would load 3,500 hruendd books on an e-reader (I don't have that kind of time), nor did I intend to mean that I would expect the patron to read them all if we did. But if we did load that many on an e-reader, then the patron could choose whichever ones they wanted to read (just like when they are in the library). As a side note- Can I ask you, should a library only purchase enough books for one person to read in a lifetime?Anyway, some other options are We could load 10 books on 350 different subjects and when a patron asks for books on whatever subject, they could check out the E-reader, read those ten books, explore a couple other subjects and maybe expand their knowledge and understanding. Or we could load 350 books on ten subjects and the patron could really get to know some subject very well.As far as quantity Well, a large part of our job is anticipating need and balancing resources. But even if I didn't have a general idea of how many we would need then I would think that if we didn't purchase enough, we would buy more. If we purchased too many, we wouldn't buy anymore.