Indiana Historical Bureau: 100 Years of Marking Hoosier History

The Indiana Historical Commission was established by the Indiana General Assembly on March 8, 1915. The Commission was established to prepare and execute plans for the 1916 Centennial celebration.  Many successful programs were developed to commemorate Indiana’s admission to statehood, including the establishment of the State Parks system and the creation of a state flag.

When the Indiana General Assembly ended the Commission in 1925, its activities became the mandate of  the Indiana Historical Bureau.  Since that time, IHB has collaborated with state and local entities to provide programs, publications, exhibitions, educator resources, and support to historical organizations and the public.  Here are some highlights:

  • As early as 1916, the Commission was promoting the creation of local signage to mark Indiana’s history.  By 1936, a state marker program existed.  Indiana Historical Markers were made of thin sheets of metal painted white from 1936-1942. Since 1946, IHB has installed over 575 State Historical Markers of the current style, in cast aluminum with gold lettering on a blue background with an outline of the state in the crest.
  • IHB jointly established Indiana’s Junior Historian program for Hoosier school children, which many of our readers will recall sparked their personal and professional interest in history from a young age.
  • In 1980, IHB took Indiana’s small History Day program and fostered its growth for over 20 years.  Around the same time, IHB played a major role in growing the National History Day program, establishing an organizational structure and printing all of its publications.
  • For many years, IHB ran a print shop, publishing over 200 volumes of Indiana history material for educators, history professionals, and the general public, and printing thousands of publications for partner agencies and organizations.  We continue to get Indiana History publications into the hands of readers through our Indiana-focused Book Shop.
  • IHB has embraced the web as a publishing platform.  Handling 12-20K searches per month, we’ve made Indiana history research and resources accessible online in the over 1800 pages hosted at IN.gov and MarkingHoosierHistory.org.  That number grows every day, as we work to make our research more accessible.


Celebrate with Us!

We’re celebrating our 100th birthday March 9-14!  Come share your favorite things about IHB or Indiana History with us over on Facebook.

Take advantage of 20% discount on all titles published by IHB in the Book Shop during our birthday week, and mark Hoosier history with us by subscribing for email updates, applying for a historical marker, exploring IN.gov/history, and getting involved in the Indiana Bicentennial or State Parks Centennial.