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Prints, Postcards and Maps

Prior to photography artists and cartographers created visual records of places and historical events. Eventually, pictures taken by photographers were printed on postcards to promote towns and businesses. Maps remain a vital source of information and are continually updated to reflect changes in the world.


Karl Bodmer Prints (FF29-a - FF29-e)

Prince Maxmilian of Wied hired artist Karl Bodmer to accompany him and paint some of the sights of his expedition of the American West from 1832 to 1834. Bodmer painted the American landscape, indigenous animals and native Americans. The images showcased in this digital collection are selections from Bodmer’s labors.


Postcards of Indiana, The Jay Small Collection (P 0391)

Indianapolis resident Jay Small collected real photo and printed postcards. The images depict locations across Indiana, individuals, interurban and railway stations, bandstands, celebrations, and examples of advertising. Featured here are views and street scenes in towns and cities. The images date from circa 1907 to the 1920s.  


Native American Portraits from the Aboriginal Port Folio (E89.L67 1836)

James Otto Lewis accompanied government treaty negotiators in the 1820s to make portraits of the Native Americans attending. In 1835 and 1836, Lewis published The Aboriginal Port Folio, with the first eight plates appearing in May 1835. These portraits were the first such images ever to be published. Subsequent parts appeared monthly, but the project bankrupted Lewis in 1836. The ninth and 10th parts were issued in much smaller press runs. IHS’s set contains all 80 plates as well as the lithographed title leaf, a one-leaf “Advertisement,” and one leaf of reviews.

Eagle map

Maps in the Indiana Historical Society Collections

Maps augment and complement information found in books and manuscript collections. They show expansion of settlement, document legal boundaries, highlight transportation networks, report geological findings and more, while at the same time they can be works of art themselves. This collection contains some of the maps in our holdings.