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In Your Neighborhood

Getting together to chat with the neighbors is a very Hoosier kind of thing. When we see our neighbors doing good things, we want to know the scoop – the new teacher who’s doing such a good job with the fourth grade; the people on the next block whose yard looks so great; or the local mechanic recommended by the neighborhood car guy. We like sitting around with a cup of coffee and talking about ways to make things better in our neighborhood.

The IHS Local History Services Department holds get-togethers for local history folks called In Your Neighborhood meetings where we do just that. We chat about common challenges, share successes and learn from each other. In April, county historians and local history groups from Ohio, Dearborn and Switzerland counties got together to talk at the Switzerland County Historical Museum in Vevay.

We chatted about a successful quilt exhibit and a daunting cataloging project, among other ventures. And then, by request of our Switzerland County hosts, we discussed researching a historical period for an exhibit or tour. We shared some methods of research, including an approach used by some of the IHS staff in researching the You Are There experiences at the History Center.

At In Your Neighborhood meetings, we also share news of the resources IHS offers around the state:

• Seventeen Indiana history exhibits available for loan – from Gary’s own WWII photographer John Bushemi to the Ohio River’s steamboat history

• Books, pamphlets and other items to help local history groups do their work that we distribute through our Lending Resource Center

• A network of volunteer county historians who act as resource people for county history inquiries – this program is a joint effort with the Indiana Historical Bureau.

• Workshops covering cemetery preservation, fundraising, caring for collections and more

• A directory of more than 75 speakers on topics from Aaron Burr to World War II

• Our weekly electronic newsletter, Communique Online, with information about exhibits, programs, resources, funding opportunities and other news

• Opportunities to call, e-mail or arrange a visit with LHS staff to consult on whatever current challenges local history groups might be facing.

If you’re a board member or staff person at a local history organization, we look forward to meeting you In Your Neighborhood. Contact us at localhistoryservices@indianahistory.org.