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Irwin-Sweeney-Miller Family Collection

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Joseph Ireland Irwin, front and center with a white beard, poses for a photo at the Shelbyville Depot to commemorate the first trip of the Interurban on Jan. 1, 1900.

The Indiana Historical Society is proud to announce that the Irwin-Sweeney- Miller Family Collection, an extensive archive that documents the lives of a prominent Bartholomew County family, is now available to the public for research purposes.

The collection came to IHS in January 2010 as 516 large storage boxes full of a variety of archival materials, from personal letters to photographs, and from campaign literature to architectural plans. The collection focuses on 11 dynamic family members that span four generations, from the family patriarch and Irwin’s Bank founder Joseph Ireland Irwin to the man who made Cummins Engine Co. a national and international success, J. Irwin Miller. Other family members documented in this collection include Xenia Simons Miller, Clementine Miller Tangeman, William Glanton Irwin, Hugh Thomas Miller, Elsie Irwin Sweeney, Nettie Sweeney Miller, Linnie Irwin Sweeney, Zachary Taylor Sweeney and John Chapman Miller.

Researchers will be interested in the collection for not only the biographical information that can be gleaned for each of the family members and their relationships with each other, but also for insights into business management, political history, religion and philanthropy. Items in the collection are listed in its nearly 500-page collection guide, which is available both online and at IHS.

The Irwin-Sweeney-Miller Family Collection is one of the largest IHS has accessioned and cataloged, with close to 800 boxes of manuscripts, 66 boxes of photographs, 55 photo albums, 177 bound volumes, 213 books, approximately 150 reels of microfilm and 16 paintings in addition to a variety of small artifacts. The inventorying, processing, conservation and cataloging of this collection was made possible through the generous support of the Irwin Management Company, the Irwin-Sweeney-Miller Foundation, the Cummins Foundation, Margaret Miller, Catherine Miller, Elizabeth Miller, Hugh Th. Miller and Will Miller.