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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 over the years. Since its inception in the early 1980s, the Ethnic History Collection Project has obtained business records, letters, photographs and other items representing many ethnic groups with ties to Indiana. 

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, for example Germans and English. 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.  

Ethnicity can be complex and therefore to avoid any confusion collections are separated based on geographic factors and the country of origin of the person in question. This may or may not be in line with the way a person would ethnically self-identify.

Updated to Summer 2016.

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