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Indiana State Library

Library > About the Library > General Information > History of the Library History of the Library

The first official mention of a state library for Indiana is made in the Journal of the Constitutional Convention, when on June 28, 1816, the following resolution was adopted: "That it be recommended to the general assembly of the state of Indiana, to appropriate the money voluntarily given by the citizens of Harrison county to the state, to the purchase of books for a library for the use of the legislature and other officers of government; and that the said general assembly will, from time to time, make such appropriations for the increase of said library, as they may deem necessary."

The capital of Indiana Territory was then at Corydon, in Harrison County. The Assembly did not take formal action until the first session after the capital was moved to Indianapolis. By an act approved February 11, 1825, the State Library was definitely established, an appropriation made, and the secretary of state designated as librarian. In 1841 a law was approved making the library a separate institution, and in 1867 an act provided that the law' section of the library be placed under the control of the judges of the Supreme Court, an arrangement still in force. By a' law of 1895 the management and control of the State Library was placed in the hands of the State Board of Education, which served as a State Library Board. From this period dated a large increase in material, service, and usefulness, as it also witnessed the beginning of the spread of popular libraries throughout the state under the advice and encouragement of the Public Library Commission, which was established by the Assembly in 1899. By an act of 1925 the State Library and the Public Library Commission were united and placed under one director, and the State Library thus formed, together with the Historical Bureau and the Legislative Reference Bureau, placed under one board called the Indiana Library and Historical Board. By virtue of an act of 1933 the library was made a part of the Department of Education.

It was the Library and Historical Board that engaged in securing an appropriation for a Library and Historical Building. The General Assembly in 1929 authorized a special levy of two cents spread over three years in the expectation of raising about one million dollars for the cost of site and building. Governor Harry G. Leslie appointed the Building Commission and a site at the corner of Senate Avenue and Ohio Street was acquired in the summer of 1931. An architectural competition was held under the direction of Mr. Arthur Bohn of Indianapolis in October, 1931, the jury of award consisting of Mr. Edgerton Swartwout and Mr. Raymond Hood of New York, and Mr. Mitton J. Ferguson of Brooklyn. Pierre and Wright of Indianapolis were the architects selected and plans were ready in March, 1932; the general contracts were let at that time.

The original conception of the State Library as an institution for the use of legislators and state officials has never been lost, but a multitude of activities have gradually been added throughout the years to meet new needs and changing conditions. Books, serials, and special materials are still procured for use of officers and employees of the several departments. The care of all public records devolves upon the library so far as they are no longer of current use. This archives material has been preserved with little attention in the past. A large amount of storage space will be available in the future and proper care can be given to the public records of the state in the archives section of the library. The law permits the custody of local records from towns and counties, also. The administrative and cataloging divisions of the library are supervisory and preparatory. The service divisions include reference, lending, Indiana history, and extension.

Reference Division

The Reference Division deals with the many inquiries for facts and information that come in from all over the state, thousands each year. The general collection of books is built up with reference value in mind, many of the books being selected to supplement those in the general libraries of the state and to meet the more unusual requests.

The large collection of federal and state documents that has come to the library because of its age and favored location is an important source of information. The library of the Indiana Academy of Science has been deposited in the State Library and contains many scientific periodicals and proceedings of learned societies, not only of this but of other countries. Special collections of pictures, clippings, and pamphlets maintained by the division add to its usefulness. For the bibliographical information that is so important in large libraries, the division may call upon an excellent collection which includes not only the outstanding books in this field but also the official printed author catalog of books in the Library of Congress.

Loan Division

In 1903, by special act, the lending service was extended to include the citizens of the state, so that now books are mailed to thousands of borrowers who do not have local libraries. Where local libraries are available loans are made through them to avoid duplicating their service while supplementing their collections. There is hardly a public library in the state but looks upon the State Library as its natural ally and depends upon it for scholarly and unusual books which are too rare or expensive for local purchase. Many libraries borrow several hundred books annually for the use of their patrons. This department contains also the Braille library for the blind, the only collection for general circulation in the state. Volumes are sent to readers free under the federal franking privilege. Records for the new "talking book" have been added recently to this collection for the use of the blind. The traveling library service, which was carried on for years by the Public Library Commission, was placed in this department upon consolidation in 1925. In communities having no local library service, organized clubs, schools, and churches may borrow traveling library collections; and where there is no special organized group any five or more responsible citizens may organize a library association. The collections sent to these places vary in size from thirty to three hundred books, and are sent by freight, express, parcel post, or may be called for. Over seven hundred traveling libraries were sent out during the past year, nearly half to general associations organized for the purpose, eighty-two being new associations. There is also in this department a growing collection of music for lending, containing scores, anthems, and instrumental music.

Indiana History and Archives Division

The Division of Indiana History and Archives was established as a separate department of the State Library in 1913. Its material constitutes the state historical collection which in many states is housed alone in special historical library buildings. As a part of the State Library, it has the use of large general reference and federal document collections and the benefits derived from the library's cataloging and administrative facilities. The general section of this division consists of a very large collection of books, pamphlets, maps, pictures, broadsides, and manuscripts, all relating in some way to Indiana. Because of the almost complete collection of Indiana state documents, the division was selected as the "document center" library for Indiana by the Social Science Research Council in 1932. Following their recommendation, the Indiana Records Council was organized to encourage the saving of not only state and municipal publications but all kinds of historical records relating to the state. Special representatives in many of the counties are cooperating in this work. The collection is used extensively for research purposes by many persons from other states as well as from Indiana. The manuscript collection has over one hundred and twenty-five thousand pieces which are filed and available for use. Many additional papers have been promised as gifts with the removal into the new building. Fireproof vaults contain ten thousand cubic feet of space for the safe-keeping of manuscripts, rare books, and specially valuable records. Adequate equipment for the protection of maps and prints has been provided, and the library has an excellent collection of such material. A photostat has been acquired for the copying of rare material. It is hoped that now, with adequate facilities for the care of Indiana's historical records, many persons will feel disposed to place in this collection any valuable historical material which they may have. Here it will be preserved and at the same time will be always available for use, under supervision, by those working on the history of the state. Gifts in the form of endowments for the purchase of very valuable books, pamphlets, and manuscripts relating to the state would be of great benefit in making the collection still more notable.

The genealogy section has been given a large study and reference room to itself where genealogical material is segregated for convenient use. A special feature is made of Indiana families, and the collection is strong in the material of those states from which many early settlers came. It is the largest genealogy collection in the state and compares well with those in similar libraries of other states. The archives, or official public records of Indiana, are at last to receive proper care and attention in the large space provided for their organization, study, and storage. These are being taken over as fast as assistance can be provided and made available for both historical and administrative purposes. The valuable collection of Indiana newspapers, now numbering over six thousand bound volumes, is provided with an adequate special newspaper stack with a capacity of fifteen thousand volumes. These are supplemented by many rare single numbers. One hundred and thirty current Indiana newspapers, the subscriptions to which are donated by public-spirited owners, will continue to add to this collection, as will many other desirable gifts that are made from time to time. A large central collection of newspapers like this is a valuable source for the historical study of the people, events, and resources of Indiana. Additions are being made continually.

Library Extension Division

The workers in the Extension Division are concerned primarily with the improvement of library service in the public and school libraries of the state, and with the extension or organization of local library service in areas not now having it. This is done by correspondence and visits to libraries for the purpose of advising with librarians, board members, school superintendents, trustees, and other officials. There are two hundred twenty-four public libraries in the state. Fifteen of these give countywide service. No town over four thousand is without a public library and only one county has no library. In spite of this, over one-fourth of Indiana's citizens lack local library service. This division conducts an annual summer library school for employed librarians, is interested in meetings for librarians and library trustees, and publishes a quarterly library periodical, the Library Current. Reports are received from all libraries and compiled for the Indiana Year Book.

The State Library is also the official agent for the distribution of the documents and publications of the state government. They are sent to all libraries in Indiana and on exchange account to libraries in other states and abroad. The library has been the recipient of many gifts-rare, curious, scholarly-all valuable for one reason or another. The largest have been the John H. Holliday collection on the Civil War, and the Ewing family manuscripts. We can point with equal pride and satisfaction, however, to those gifts in small numbers-here one, there a few-that serve constantly to fill a void and build up the book collection and add to its richness and usefulness.

We look back with a grateful pride on what has been done in the past to build up this library. May we not look forward with confidence to a continuation of that same generous support? The outlook is for ever greater and better service. We have tried to erect an institution that will be the great central library of the state, one that will go on gathering and using these rich treasures -historical, literary, personal-that are to be handed on from generation to generation, even from century to century.

THE INDIANA HISTORICAL BUREAU

The historical department of the state was created by act of the General Assembly approved March 8, 1915, under the title of the Indiana Historical Commission. It then consisted of nine members: the governor, the director of the Indiana Historical Survey of Indiana University, the director of the Division of Indiana History and Archives of the State Library, and six additional members, one of whom was nominated by the Indiana Historical Society.

This commission prepared and carried out plans for the celebration in 1916 of the centennial of the state. As part of the centennial celebration it promoted and paid the preliminary expenses of the movement which secured Turkey Run Centennial State Park, the first of the parks which now constitute one of the principal recreational and historical attractions of the state.

It issued eighteen Bulletins containing suggestions for historical work, proceedings of conferences, and other matters of interest for the state and for counties; thirteen volumes of the Indiana Historical Collections, containing early official papers, World War records, and other historical material; also a number of leaflets and two special commemorative booklets. It began the publication in 1924 of the monthly Indiana History Bulletin, which superseded the earlier numbered Bulletins and continues to serve as the medium of communication and informal supervision of the historical organizations and work in the state. It was responsible for the organization of a large number of county historical societies and promoted the membership and the work of the Indiana Historical Society.

The following persons served on the Historical Commission during the years indicated: Governor Samuel M. Ralston, 1915-17; Charles W. Moores, 1915-23; James A. Woodburn, 1915-25; Harlow Lindley, 1915-23; the Reverend Father John Cavanaugh, 1915-19; Dr. Frank B. Wynn, 191521; Samuel M. Foster, 1915-25; Lew M. O'Bannon, 1915-25; Charity Dye, 1915-22; Governor James P. Goodrich, 1917-21; Matthew J. Walsh, 1919-23; Governor Warren T. McCray, 1821-23; Mrs. John N. Carey, 1921-25; Mrs. Kate Milner Rabb, 1922-25; Esther U. McNitt, 1923-25; Thomas F. Moran, 1923-25; Evans Woollen, 1924-25; Governor Ed Jackson, 1925.

An act approved March 6, 1925, put the Historical Bureau, with the State Library and the Legislative Bureau, into the Indiana Library and Historical Department, the control of which was vested in the Indiana-Library and Historical Board. This board consisted of five members appointed by the governor, one recommended by the State Board of Education, one by the Indiana Library Trustees Association, one by the Indiana Library Association, one by the Indiana Historical Society, and one selected by the governor. There have been thus appointed, in the order given: William P. Dearing, Mrs. Elizabeth Claypool Earl, succeeded after her death, December 8, 1931, by Mrs. William R. Davidson, William M. Taylor, Charles N. Thompson, and Mrs. Frank J. Sheehan. Under an act approved January 31, 1933, the Historical Bureau was assigned by the governor to the Department of Education.

Directors of the Indiana Historical Commission and the Historical Bureau have served as follows: Walter C. Woodward, 1915-19; John W. Oliver, 1919-23; Harlow W. Lindley, 1923-24; Christopher B. Coleman, 1924-. The first relatively permanent office was in Room 334, State House. During sessions of the General Assembly this was used by the senate, and the historical staff was distributed among other offices in the State House from the basement to the top floor. In the new State Library and Historical Building the Historical Bureau has suite number 408, two rooms at the northeast corner of the top floor, facing Senate Avenue and Ohio Street.

The Historical Bureau, for the most part, has continued the activities begun by the commission. Down to September, 1934, a total of nineteen volumes of the Indiana Historical Collections have been published. The last eight volumes are: Swiss Settlement of Switzerland County, by Perret Duefour; William Henry Harrison, by Dorothy Burne Goebel; Fort Wayne, Gateway of the West, 1802-1813, by Bert Griswold; Bibliography of the Laws of Indiana, 1788-1927, by John G. Rauch and Nellie C. Armstrong; Volume 3 of Constitution Making in Indiana, 1916-1930, by Charles Kettleborough; Indiana Book of Merit (official individual decorations and commendations awarded to Indiana men and women for services in the World War), compiled by Harry A. Rider; a reprint from the Illinois Historical Collections of the Laws of Indiana Territory, 1801-1809, edited by Francis S. Philbrick, and Indiana Boundaries, Territory, State, and County, by George Pence and Nellie C. Armstrong.

With the September, 1934, number, the Indiana History Bulletin completed its eleventh volume. Proceedings of history conferences and special reports are now published as regular numbers of the Bulletin. Among the reports thus published are: "Excavation of the Albee Mound in Sullivan County," "Archaeological Surveys of Randolph County and the Fudge Mound," archaeological surveys of the Whitewater Valley, Porter, Green, Dearborn, and Ohio counties, "Indiana County Government," and "Historic Markers and Public Memorials in Indiana."

Among publications now being prepared are: the laws of Indiana Territory 1810-1816, the life and writings of Solon Robinson, pioneer and agriculturist, and the journals of the Territorial Assembly; some work has also been done on a descriptive catalog of state documents and publications.

The bureau has cooperated extensively with the Indiana Historical Society. During the last ten years the director has acted as secretary of the society and the Publications of the society, now in the eleventh volume, have been edited by the bureau. In conjunction with the society, it promoted the observations of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the capture of Fort Sackville and the development of a national George Rogers Clark memorial at Vincennes. The bureau has also cooperated with most of the fifty or more county historical societies, a number of which have now developed valuable historical museums and collections of other historical material. It has aided in securing valuable papers for both the State Library and the William Henry Smith Memorial Library of the Indiana Historical Society.

The study of prehistoric remains in Indiana and the preservation of some of the most important prehistoric mounds in the state have been promoted by the bureau with the increasing support of the Indiana Historical Society, which has now taken over most of this work. During the present year two experienced archaeologists have been employed by the society, and important scientific results have been obtained. Through the Madison County Historical Society the famous mounds near Anderson were purchased by the county and presented to the state as a Mounds State Park.

The bureau seeks to cooperate with all the agencies which preserve and make available the rich historical materials of the past of the state and of its subdivisions, and to promote the study of the history of the state and of its progress in all fields of human activity. With the Society of Indiana Pioneers and the Indiana Historical Society it holds an annual Indiana history conference at Indianapolis during the second week-end of December. With the Historical Society it cooperates in the work of the quarterly Indiana Magazine of History, owned and published by Indiana University. Instruction in history in the grade schools, high schools, colleges, and universities of the state has been promoted by the holding of conferences of history teachers. The marking of historic sites and the commemoration of historic personages and events conducted, for the most part, by local historical organizations, have been assisted, as far as possible. Thus, in addition to its own specific and technical work on the records of the state, its goal is the development of a commonwealth of historically minded citizens.

THE SMITH MEMORIAL LIBRARY

The William Henry Smith Memorial Library is the property of the Indiana Historical Society and is controlled by it. It was made possible by the will of Delavan Smith of the Indianapolis News, who left to the Society in memory of his father, William Henry Smith, his library with an endowment for upkeep. Its purpose is to collect and preserve rare and valuable material, specializing in that relating to the Old Northwest, in particular, to Indiana. The collection already includes a number of unusual books, manuscripts, pamphlets, and prints.

By an arrangement between the state and the Historical Society, the library has been assigned a special room in the State Library and Historical Building, so that it is enabled to work in close cooperation with the State Library without duplication of material, while users have convenient access to both collections. As the purpose of the Smith Library is research purely, its material is not circulated but must be used in the library. The excellent library left by Mr. Smith, with the additions made by the gifts of friends and by purchase, will make the collection one of increasing usefulness to the historical interests of the state.

THE STATE LIBRARY AND HISTORICAL BUILDING

The plan and design for the Indiana State Library and Historical Building, guided by a fine imagination and drawn with a firm hand, avoids completely the confused expression so common to many similar buildings. Although the exterior is Greek in many of its details, and a classic simplicity and dignity pervade the entire structure, any evidence of a slavish copying of ancient forms is wholly missing. Its beauty is a matter of proportion rather than of applied ornament. From the great cove at the ground line, which sweeps the foundation up into the wall above,: the building rises with a straightforwardness and purity of line which make it a worthy contemporary of the growing list of fine public buildings which have been erected during the last decade.

The value of restraint in architectural design has been truly appreciated- restraint has indeed been deemed a paramount virtue, but at no point has its practice resulted in bareness; incident and charm still remain. Unadorned walls, the units in fine scale with the dimensions of the building and the jointing carefully studied; well-proportioned openings in which deep shadows rest; the satisfying thickness of the walls; sculptured figures made vibrant by the skill of the designer-all these combine to produce an impression of strength and richness which leaves little to be desired. Within the building, adaptability to function has been the guiding thought, and the materials used and the forms in which they appear follow its leading.

One approaches the building across a broad stone-paved platform elevated slightly above the street sidewalk. On either side of the paving are lawns, the planting of which provides a pleasing setting for the building and promises much for the future. Above the windows in the ground story, figures carved in the stone symbolize the advance of civilization. Here are shown the Indian with the peace pipe, the Trapper, the Priest, the Woodsman or Pioneer, and the Plainsman; Invention is represented by the motion-picture machine, Transportation by the aeroplane, Arts by the designer with his instruments.

Across the top of the east facade in the spaces between the deeply recessed windows above the cornice, groups of figures slightly more than life size, modeled by Leon Hermant of Chicago, carved boldly in the stone, unfold the pageant of growth and development from the wilderness into a- great commonwealth. The group at the extreme south of the building shows the Explorer (La Salle at the portage of the St. Joseph and Kankakee rivers); and in sequence follow, the Soldier (Capture of Vincennes), the Pioneer, the Farmer, the Legislator (signing of the state constitution), Miner, Builder, Constructor, Manufacturer, Educator, and finally a group, the Aspiring Student, which is symbolized by figures pressing with determined mien toward a great light drawing them forward.

The manner of execution of the exterior carving is interesting. The surface of the figures is flush with the face of the building, the relief in all cases being obtained by cutting deep into the surrounding stone. The conventional carving in the round is missing, the surfaces of the figures are flat and the edges are square cut. The depth of the relief and the sharpness of the outlines make it possible to read the story told by the various groups at a considerable distance. On the south return of the building, at the same height and in size to correspond with the groups on the east facade are single figures symbolizing Science, History, Invention, and Religion; on the similar return at the north are Philosophy, Art, Charity, and Justice.

The building is entered through a simple doorway, deeply recessed and bare of overhanging cornice, the severity of which is relieved by the use of bronze to frame the great sliding doors, and by a perforated marble facing set in the depth of the upper portion of the opening. Above the doorway a great owl supporting an open book, looks solemnly down on the visitor. The doors are of oak with heavily molded, deeply recessed panels in which are carved symbols for the attributes of knowledge. On the right-hand door are Aspiration, Information, Learning, and Wisdom; on the left-hand door are Inspiration, Sanctuary, Strength, and Truth.

Within the building one enters first the lobby, out of which rises a broad marble stair leading to the foyer on the main floor. The eye travels instinctively upward; it is arrested by the center window in a group of five designed for that room by J. Scott Williams of New York, which is truly the focal point of the building. Because of the beauty of this window, the lobby itself may escape close observation and its items of interest be passed by unnoticed. The walls are of Monte Cassina sandstone from the quarries at St. Meinrad in southern Indiana, warm buff in tone and marked with brown, used in blocks of a size which bring them into perfect scale with the dimensions of the room. These quarries, previously used only to provide stone for the buildings of St. Meinrad's Monastery and Academy, were opened first to the outside world for this building. With this stone, of great surface beauty in itself, moldings and ornament are superfluous and have been entirely omitted.

On the north wall is carved in simple letters the following inscription:

IN MEMORY OF THE PIONEERS OF INDIANA, WHO IN LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS OF A STATE AMID PRIMITIVE SURROUNDINGS, HAD THE WISDOM AND FORESIGHT TO PROVIDE FOR THE SELF-INSTRUCTION OF ITS CITIZENS BY ESTABLISHING A STATE LIBRARY.

On the south wall is carved:

THE STATE LIBRARY WAS ESTABLISHED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN 1825: THE PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION ESTABLISHED IN 1899 WAS UNITED WITH IT IN 1925. THE HISTORICAL BUREAU WAS CREATED IN 1915 AS THE INDIANA HISTORICAL COMMISSION.

To the right and left of the main stair, steps lead down to a lower level on which are the entrances to the passenger elevator and to rooms assigned to the Extension Division, traveling library, and newspaper and archives sections. On the wide jambs of the openings leading down to these rooms are figures carved in stone, symbolizing four ages of the world, Stone, Bronze, Iron, and Golden ages, which will bear close study because of the freshness of the symbolism.

At the top of the broad stairway leading up from the lobby is a foyer. Here are placed the loan desk and the public card catalogue. From the foyer one may enter to the north, through a high glazed opening, the Indiana History Room; through a similar opening at the south end of the foyer the General Reference and Reading Room is entered; to the east is the Exhibition Hall. Through openings on either side of the main stairway wall two stairways lead in easy flights to the fourth story. From the Exhibition Hall access is had on the north to the Genealogy Room and on the south to the Smith Memorial Library of the Indiana Historical Society. To the west of the foyer is the Loan Division, behind which the main bookstack may be entered. To the west of the stack is the catalog workroom where the work of cataloging newly arrived material is carried on and the files are kept up to date.

The foyer and Exhibition Hall are stately rooms. Faced with St. Meinrad stone, lighted from tall windows, and provided with decorative floors and ceilings, their beauty is sufficiently compelling to tempt the visitor to linger in contemplation and to repay his study.

In the west wall of the foyer are five great windows, the glass for which was designed by J. Scott Williams of New York. In the center window against a background of German antique glass is symbolized the conquest of the territory and the making of the state. Here appear William Henry Harrison and General Anthony Wayne in full regimentals, beautifully composed against a background of other figures famous in the early history of the state and surmounted by the insignia of the Indiana state flag. Below is the figure, strongly modeled, of an Indian bearing in his hands, and surrounded by, great stalks of corn symbolizing the Indian's gift to the settler.

In each of the other four windows, against the same background used for the center window, is a cartouche in less brilliant color, illustrating the means by which knowledge has been transmitted through the ages. That in the window to the extreme left is entitled Oral Tradition, in the adjoining window to the north are illustrated monks at work in the thirteenth century on an illuminated manuscript; to the right of the center window, Gutenberg reads a page which has just been lifted from the press by an assistant who stands beside him; adjoining this window at the north end of the room is shown an American Indian at work on a legend in picture writing which he is applying on a dried skin stretched before him.

The ceiling of the foyer, forty-two feet above the floor, is vaulted and paneled in perfect scale with the dimensions of the room. To avoid conflict with the strong color in the glass, the decoration on the ceiling is subdued; gray blue, dull red, gold, and black applied over a background which is in tone with the walls bring the room into an unbroken harmony. In the upper north, south, and east walls are openings with deep jambs and broad sills which make the corridor of the fourth floor into a balcony from which the activities in the foyer may be seen and which further serve to break the unusual height of the walls with deep shadows.

In the Exhibition Hall adjoining the foyer, the ceiling, twenty-two feet high, is paneled in smaller units and more profusely ornamented than elsewhere. In these panels the constellations-Jupiter, Vega, Orion, Arcturus, and Venus are shown in low relief, in forms quite refreshing in the newness of their symbolism. The colors in the ceiling of the foyer are here repeated with gold used more brilliantly. In this room, on the north and south walls, are placed two of the four murals painted for the building by J. Scott Williams. The two reference rooms are faced above the bookcases, which occupy all available walls to the ceilings, with finely matched, carefully selected walnut veneers which have been given a soft lustrous finish little darker in tone than the natural wood. These walnut surfaces are unbroken by panels, the beauty of the wood itself being used to produce a quiet, restful background for rooms which are primarily for study. Along the exterior walls are deeply recessed windows, the sills of which have been brought low to the floor.

The floors are covered with rubber tile in two tones of green. The ceilings are decorated in color applied directly to the exposed concrete. At intervals on the great beams which occur in the length and along the sides of the rooms have been painted designs from many of the distinctive printers marks used in this country and the old world.

The Genealogy Room and the Smith Memorial Library are also faced with walnut, selected with the same care as that in the reference rooms, but here used in many panels after the Jacobean manner. Galleries in each of these rooms increase the book capacity. The floors are of rubber and the ceilings, in tones of old ivory, are ornamented in a style harmonious with the design of the wall paneling.

The construction of the main bookstack represents the latest developments in this field. All of the inclosing walls throughout the seven stories are faced with ivory glazed blocks; the floors are of thin concrete slabs poured into metal pans supported on posts which also serve as the supports for the bookshelves. Pans, posts, and shelving are all of steel. The floor pans form the ceiling in each story. The floors are covered with resilient asphalt tile in two tones of green; the steel posts, shelves and the ends of the book ranges are black; the ceilings are light ivory to serve as a reflecting surface for the electric lamps, which are simple, frosted bulbs. All exposed metal, such as electric switch plates, index card holders, and range finders are chromium. Two automatic electric elevators with pushbutton-control are provided, and serving all floors adjoining each elevator are steel stairways. The stacks are arranged as an integral part of the heating and ventilation system, and a continuous circulation of fresh, tempered air is provided at all seasons of the year.

Below the foyer and History Reference Room, arranged for easy access from the archives section, and connected with the main bookstack, are two stories of shelving, for the storage of bound volumes of newspapers and archives. To the west of the archives stack is a fireproof vault, divided; into two levels by construction similar to the stacks.

A basement underlies the entire building, in which is located all of the mechanical equipment necessary to properly heat and ventilate all rooms. Temperatures in the principal rooms throughout the building are automatically controlled, insuring the comfort of patrons at all times. Adequate storage space is provided, calculated to take care of the library needs for years to come.

In the fourth story all activities radiate from the reception room in the center of the east side of the building. This room contains the information desk, the telephone switchboard, and a master clock. To the north is the office of the director of the Historical Bureau, to the south is the office of the librarian. Both of these rooms are paneled with walnut in the Georgian manner. The floors are of oak, laid in pattern.

The north room of the Historical Bureau is devoted to work space for those employed in the department. In connection with this room is a small room for special research workers. The ceilings are of acoustical plaster.

To the south of the librarian's office on the east side of the building is the workroom for the financial division of the library and in connection with it along the south side of the building are rooms assigned to the Extension, Order, and Supply departments. Several rooms on this floor are occupied temporarily by the Indiana Department of Conservation.

Throughout the construction of the building every effort was made to use Indiana materials. The exterior is of Indiana limestone; on the interior, much use has been made of the Monte Cassina sandstone from St. Meinrad Abbey, and all of the interior woodwork and much of the furniture is of Indiana walnut. With reference to the walnut it is an interesting fact that for the four principal rooms in the first story, the veneers used in each one are from a single tree. The glazed blocks, with which the walls in the stacks and service hails and stairs are faced are an Indiana product.

The probable future needs of the library have not been overlooked. The stack has been constructed to permit the addition of four stories, and two undivided spaces on the west side of the building will be available.

STATE LIBRARY BUILDING COMMISSION

Members

Arthur B. Ayres, New Castle

Arthur R. Baxter, Indianapolis

Mrs. William R. Davidson, Evansville

Mrs. Elizabeth Claypool Earl, Muncie

Herbert P. Kenney, New Albany

James R. McCann, Lebanon

C. Herman Pell, Brazil

Charles T. Sansberry, Anderson

George L. Saunders, Bluffton

Mrs. Frank J. Sheehan, Gary

William M. Taylor, Indianapolis

Charles N. Thompson, Indianapolis

Officers

Arthur R. Baxter, President, 1930-33

Herbert P. Kenney, President, 1933-34

Charles T. Sansberry, Vice-President, 1930

Charles N. Thompson, Vice-President, 1930-34

Louis J. Bailey, Secretary

GOVERNORS

Harry G. Leslie, 1929-33 Paul V. McNutt, 1933

 

Pierre & Wright, Architects