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Family History Research

The William H. Smith Memorial Library has an abundance of unique resources that can be helpful to family history researchers. The vast collection of manuscripts, visual materials and rare published volumes help create a clearer understanding of the time in which your ancestors lived. Below is a short list of some of the many treasures that may be useful.

  • Reminiscences and correspondence of Indiana soldiers from various military conflicts
  • Numerous 19th century medical guides and directories
  • A variety of biographical sources, including Indiana Authors and Their Books and Biographical Directory of the Indiana General Assembly
  • Records or reports from a select number of central Indiana orphanages
  • City directories for cities or metropolitan areas around the state
  • An extensive body of county and city histories, atlases and architectural inventories
  • A large map collection highlighting early settlement and transportation in Indiana
  • Pocket traveler’s guides, such as those carried by immigrant ancestors, circa 1820s to 1840s
  • Histories of businesses, industries and unions

Our Library Catalog includes a more complete listing of our holdings. You may explore the riches of IHS collections further by visiting the library. We look forward to assisting you in your family history research. Contact us at (317) 234-0321 or e-mail us at reference@indianahistory.org.

  • Finding Indiana Ancestors, Research in Indiana Courthouses and other guides
  • AncestryLibrary, Heritage Quest, Civil War Research and other on-site databases
  • A complete run of THG: Connections, the genealogy journal published by IHS Press
  • Our Indiana Source Book series, offering a hodgepodge of genealogical gems
  • An Index to Indiana Naturalization Records … Prior to 1907, published by IHS
  • Pioneer Ancestors of Members of the Society of Indiana Pioneers by Ruth Dorrel
  • Original manuscript and published records for select counties in Indiana
  • Correspondence and personal accounts of people living in specific counties – perhaps contemporaries, neighbors or relatives of ancestors being researched
  • History of the Northwest and Indiana Territories
  • Histories and records of select churches and congregations around the state 
  • Civil War rosters and regimental histories