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And the Winner Is ...

Favorite Things Winner
Bretzman Collection, Indiana Historical Society

Last summer, reference head Amy Vedra and my predecessor, Alyssa Boge, asked collections staff to share some of their favorite things currently held in the collections of the Indiana Historical Society. Eleven items were then selected to go on display in the library, along with explanations of the objects’ distinctiveness. Library patrons and staff were then asked to vote for the object (and the argument) that they preferred, thus determining the favorite “favorite thing” of our collection. The items went on display in mid-September, and voting ended last week. During that time, I took up Alyssa’s position of collections assistant in Reference Services and proudly inherited the library exhibits. 

Friends, I am happy to announce that I have the results of this collections referendum experiment. Yes, the body politic has spoken, and they have selected VP of Library and Archives Suzanne Hahn’s “favorite thing,” a 1918 Bretzman photograph depicting a woman handing an orange to a doughboy headed overseas. As described by Suzanne, the photo “simply, but yet beautifully, captures a moment of kindness in what was a turbulent time in our history.” The photograph received a staggering 20 percent of votes, edging out a fascinating Civil War diary selected by our cataloger, Lindsay Borman. Thank you to all participants and good luck in next year’s contest. I know that I am eager to enter my "horse" in the 2016 Favorite Things Derby.

Currently in the library, you can see exhibits about the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Indianapolis, and a new exhibit which highlights some lesser-known, but no less inspiring, black citizens from the early 20th century who rose above the expectations of a society arranged to keep them down.  I hope that you will stop by the library soon to take a look, and I look forward to using the great collection here at the Indiana Historical Society to prepare some exciting new exhibits in the future. Watch this space for details!

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