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Ethnic History Materials in Manuscript Collections

We established the Ethnic History Collection Project to collect, preserve and make available for research materials which illuminate the history of the various ethnic groups that have played an important role in Indiana’s development.

While the Germans have by far been the largest group statewide, the presence of other groups has been significant as well. Irish, Italians, Eastern Europeans and most recently, Vietnamese, Cambodians and Hispanics, have settled in the state through the years. Since its inception in the early 1980s, the Ethnic History Collection Project has obtained business records, letters, photographs and other items representing Italian, German, Greek and other ethnic groups. Yet we believe there are many collections still out there and hope that our effort to publicize the importance of these materials will lead to their discovery.

This guide highlights some of the manuscript collections we hold, arranged into groups based on geographic location. Please note that some are listed by ethnicity alone for those that are too large to incorporate within the other groups. We will make additions to the guide as other collections are received and processed. Not all the items listed in this guide deal exclusively with ethnic groups. In some instances, ethnic groups form a component of a larger collection. When this occurs, we indicate the relationship to the specific ethnic group.

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