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African American Resources

Resources at the IHB

Publications about African-Americans for sale at the Indiana Historical Bureau

Several issues of The Indiana Historian, A Magazine Exploring Indiana History published quarterly by the Bureau, are devoted to Indiana black history topics. Magazines cost $1.00 each (plus tax and shipping) with special pricing for twenty or more copies.

Madame Walker, Parts 1-2. 1992, 12 pp.

These two magazines describe the life and career of Madame C. J. Walker, a prominent black businesswoman in Indianapolis in the early 1900s.

Black Settlers in Indiana. 1993, 12 pp.

Focuses on the Roberts Settlement in Hamilton County in central Indiana in the 1860s.

Indiana's 28th Regiment: Black Soldiers for the Union. 1994, 16 pp.

This was the only black regiment organized in Indiana. The regiment's chaplain, Garland H. White, wrote letters to the Christian Recorder, a religious newspaper, which provided eyewitness accounts of the service of the 28th.

"We don't intend to fall in anymore at the end of the parade." 1995, 16 pp.

A history of the black population in Evansville, Indiana, from settlement to the 1940s.

"Indiana Emigrants to Liberia." 2000, 16 pp.

Explores black colonization and Indiana's part in the nationwide movement in the nineteenth century.

How to purchase books and discount information

Resources in the Indiana State Archives

Indiana State Archives
Archives and Records Administration
6440 East 30th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46219

Emma C. Baker, Salem, Indiana,
the first Indianapolis policewoman, 1918.
Indiana State Archives.

  • Negro Registers
    Censuses of African Americans taken after the General Assembly moved in 1852 to enforce articles in the 1851 Constitution barring further immigration of African Americans into Indiana. Includes name, age and physical description. The Archives holds registers for Switzerland, Clark, Franklin and Ohio counties.
  • County Records
    Many nineteenth century county records which specify the race of an individual have been deposited at the Archives; among these are School Registers, Enumerations of White and Colored Males over the age of 21, Court Dockets, Jail Registers, and Insane Records. Includes name, age, county, year and additional remarks.
  • Civil War Records
    Lists of Indiana African-American recruits (1864-1865); muster rolls of Indiana's 28th U.S. Colored Troops and other units. Hospital registers, applications for appointments in the 28th and lists of men unaccounted for are also available. Includes name, age, county, and physical description.
  • Spanish-American War Records
    Muster rolls of soldiers in Companies A and B of the Indiana Colored Infantry (1898-1899). Includes name, age, rank, and physical description.
  • World Wars I and II, Korean War Service Records of African-American Soldiers
    Includes name, age, rank, and physical description. Gold Star Honor Roll materials available for soldiers who died during World War I. Service records subject to confidentiality restrictions.
  • Indiana Fair Employment Practices Commission (1941-1961)
    Complete collection of correspondence, flyers, employment surveys, and sample cases. Charts the political, economic, and social progress of African Americans in Indiana.
  • Indiana Civil Rights Commission (1961-Present)
    Correspondence, flyers, records of related organizations, information on African-American elected officials and surveys. Formerly the Fair Employment Practices Commission.
  • General Assembly
    Deliberations and records of the Indiana House and Senate. Records of the Centennial History of the Indiana General Assembly hold data on African-American legislators.
  • Indiana State Board of Colonization (1852-1865)
    Records, pamphlets, and legislation regarding the board created to subsidize emigration of Indiana African Americans to Liberia.
  • U.S. Census Records
    Censuses of Manufacturers (1820-1880); Census of Agriculture and Social Statistics (1850-1880) arranged by county and township. Includes names, residences, economic data and information on local and county institutions.
  • Indiana Corporations
    Articles of association and annual reports for business, fraternal, professional and charitable organizations incorporated under state law and subsequently dissolved.
  • State Agency Records
    A variety of materials that may include records on individuals: applications from the Professional Licensing Agency, records of the state Supreme and Appellate Courts, state hospitals, the Departments of Education, Correction, Public Welfare, and the State Board of Health, etc.
  • Veterans Enrollments of 1886, 1890, 1894
    Arranged by county and township within the county. There are individual books for each township, organized alphabetically by name only. Lists veteran's name, company, regiment, state served from, number of children under 16, cause of death, wounds or medical problems incurred while in the service, and current physical condition.
  • Marion County Board of Public Safety
    Includes personnel records for the over ninety men and women who served on the Indianapolis Police and Fire Departments from 1870 until 1926. Many records contain photographs.

Resources in the Indiana Division, Indiana State Library

Indiana Division, Indiana State Library

Newspaper Section, Indiana Collection
Available Indiana newspapers are listed by county and date

Genealogy Collection

  • Barekman, June. Register of Negro Slaves and Masters for 1805-1807. Knox County: Indiana Territory. Chicago: Barackman Family Association, 1970. (977.201 K74ba)
  • Blockson, Charles L. Black Genealogy. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1977. ( 929 B651b)
  • Brown, Letitia Woods. Free Negroes in the District of Columbia, 1790-1846. New York: Oxford University Press, 1972. (975.3 B878f)
  • Byers, Paula K. ed. African American Genealogical Sourcebook. New York: International Thomson Publishing Company, 1995. (929.11 N393ag)
  • Gatewood, Willard B. Aristocrats of Color. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1990. (929.11 N393ga)
  • Greene, Robert Ewell. Black Courage 1775-1783: Documentation of Black Participation in the American Revolution. Washington: National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, 1984. (973.34 A11gb)
  • Gutman, Herbert G. The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, 1750-1925. New York: Vintage Books, 1976. (929.11 N393gu)
  • Haller, Stephen E., and Robert H. Smith. Registers of Blacks in the Miami Valley: A Name Abstract, 1804-1857. [Dayton, OH]: Wright State University, 1977. (977.101 M6181h)
  • Honeyman, Gale. "Hanktown Negro Cemetery, East of Laura, [Miami Co. Ohio]." Genealogical Aids Bulletin, Miami Valley Genealogical Society, 6 (Summer 1976). (pf 977.101 M uncat no. 1)
  • Lawson, Sandra M. Generations Past: A Selected List of Sources for Afro-American Genealogical Research. Washington, D.C.: Supt. of Docs., Government Printing Office, 1988. (16.92911 N393 l )
  • Martin County Historical Society. Negro Register, 1853. Enumeration of White and Colored Males over Age Twenty One in Halbert Township, Martin County, 1895. (microfilm)
  • Michigan Historical Commission. Negroes in American History. A John M. Munson Michigan History Fund Publication. Lansing: Michigan Historical Commission, 1970. (977.4 M624n)
  • Ohio Historical Society. Register of Blacks in Ohio Counties, 1804-1861: Ross Co., 1804-1855; Clinton Co., 1838-1861; Logan Co. 1824-1857; Highland Co. 1828-1843. Columbus: Ohio Historical Society, 1971. (microfilm)
  • Puckett, Newbell Niles. Black Names in America. Ed. by Murray Heller. Boston: G. K. Hall Co., 1975. (929.4 P977b)
  • "Register of Negroes and Mulattoes in Franklin County [Indiana] [1852]" N.p.: n.d. (Pam. 977.201 F uncat no. 7)
  • "Registers of Blacks in the Miami Valley [Ohio] 1804-1857.²" [Dayton, OH]: Wright State University, 1977. (microfilm)
  • "Registers of Negro Slaves, Indiana Territory: Clark County, 1805-1810 and Knox County, 1805-1807." The Hoosier Genealogist, 17 (Sept. 1977): 58-60 (Pam. 977.2 R uncat no. 1)
  • Robinson, Wilhelmena S. Historical Negro Biographies. International Library of Negro Life and History. 2nd ed. rev. New York: Publishers Co., 1969. (929.11 N393r)
  • Robbins, Coy D. Source Book: African American Genealogy in Indiana. Indianapolis, IN: African American Historical and Genealogical Society, 1989. (929.11 N393ro)
  • Rose, James, and Alice Eicholz. Black Genesis. Gale Genealogy and Local History Series. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1978. (929 R796b)
  • Sanyika, Becktemba. Know and Claim Your African Name. Dayton, OH: Rucker Press Publishing Co., 1975. (929.4 S328k)
  • Shick, Tom W. Afro-American Immigration to Liberia: An International Perspective on Black Genealogy. [Madison, WS]: by author, n.d. (929.11 N393s)
  • Simmons-Henry, Linda. Proj. Dir., ed. by Philip N. Henry and Carol M. Speas. Heritage of Blacks in North Carolina. Foreword by Alex Haley. Charlotte, N.C.: North Carolina African-American Heritage Foundation in Cooperation with the Delmar Co., 1990. (q 975.6 H548 v.1)
  • Slevin, Ruth. Report of Blacks and Mulattos as Enumerated in the 1860 Federal Population Census of Indiana. Indianapolis: Indiana State Library, Genealogy Division, 1980-81. (977.2 S362re)
  • _____. Index to Blacks, Indians, Chinese, Mulattos in Indiana 1880 Census. Indianapolis, IN: Indiana State Library, Genealogy Division, 1980. (977.2 S632ib)
  • Smith, Jessie Carney, ed., Ethnic Genealogy. With a Foreword by Alex Haley. Westport CT: Greenwood Press, 1983. (929 E84e)
  • Spears, Jean E., and Dorothy Paul. Admission Record Indianapolis Asylum for Friendless Colored Children, 1871-1900. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1978. (977.202 I388s)
  • Stewart, Rowena. A Heritage Discovered: Blacks in Rhode Island. Providence: Rhode Island Black Heritage Society, [1978]. (974.5 S951h)
  • Streets, David H. Slave Genealogy: A Research Guide with Case Studies. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1986. (929.11 N393st)
  • Terrell, Lloyd P., and Marguerite S.C. Terrell. Blacks in Augusta: A Chronology, 1741-1977. Augusta, GA: Preston Publications, 1977. (975.802 A923t)
  • Thackery, David T. Afro-American Family History at the Newberry Library: A Research Guide and Bibliography. 1988. (16.92911 T362a)
  • U.S. National Archives and Records Service. General Services Administration. Black Studies, Select Catalog of National Archives and Records Service Microfilm Publications. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973. (16.929 U58b)
  • Walker, James. Black Genealogy: How to Begin. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education, 1977. (929 W181b)
  • ______. The Black Loyalists. Publication of the Dalhouser African Studies Series. Ed. by John Flint. New York: Africana Publishing Co., a Division of Holmes & Meir Publishers, 1976. (929.11 N395wa)
  • Weston, Rubin F., ed. Blacks in Ohio History: A Conference to Commemorate the Bicentennial of the American Revolution. No. 4, The Ohio American Revolution Bicentennial Conference Series. Columbus: Ohio Historical Society, 1976. (977.1 B631)
  • Werle, Audrey C. The Black and Mulatto Population of Hamilton County, Ohio and the Cincinnati Additions, but Excluding the City of Cincinnati as Taken from the Censuses of 1870 and 1860 Respectively. Indianapolis, IN: Ephesus House of Prayer, 1980. (977.201 H222bl)
  • Woodson, Carter G., comp. ed. Free Negro Owners of Slaves in the United States in 1830: Together with Absentee Ownership of Slaves in the United States in 1830. Westport, CT: Negro Universities Press, 1924. (929.11 N393wo 1968)
  • Young, Tommie Morton. Afro-American Genealogy Sourcebook. New York: Garland Publishing, 1987. (929.11 N393yo)

Resources in the Indiana Division, Indiana State Library, Reference Section

ISL Reference & Government Services

Video Recordings

Indiana Avenue: Street of Dreams. Indiana Historical Society, 1984. (I325.26 I385)

Indiana's African-American Community. Indianapolis: Government TV 16, 1990. (I977.201 M341Iia)

Biography Index

An index to biographies of prominent and newsworthy Hoosiers found in books, periodicals, and other sources. Card file.

Newspaper Index

An index to the major Indianapolis newspapers from 1897 to May 1990; indexes major stories pertaining to Indiana and Indianians and biographies and obituaries of more prominent persons. Card file.

Indianapolis Star and News. October 1993 to near present. Every-word index on CD-ROM.

Vertical Files

Negroes-General: Arts; Black Expo; Discrimination; Economics; Education; Health and Welfare; History; Housing; Organizations; Politics and Government. Cities and Towns-Lyles Station and Roberts Settlement. Biography.

Picture Collection

Portraits of prominent persons; photographs of former slave houses, Putnamville, 1928; children at colored orphans home; colored glee club, Madison; miscellaneous views from album of A.J. Stag, Upland, 1907, including black workmen; black firemen in Atkinson Fire Department collection.

Reference Section, Selected Books/Pamphlets

  • Black Hoosier Americans. Indianapolis: Dignity Unlimited-Black Odyssey Museum. (I920 B627)
  • Brown, Henrietta, and Leslie A. Harris, comp. Outstanding Black Women in the State of Indiana. Indianapolis: National Council of Negro Women, Indianapolis section, 1983 and 1986, 2 vols. (I920.7 084)
  • Cameron, James. A Time of Terror. Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 1994c 1982. Reminiscences of a man who barely escaped being lynched in Marion, Indiana in 1930. (I364.1 C182a 1994)
  • Clifford, Eth, and John McDowell. Freedom's Road: A History of the Black People of Indiana. Indianapolis: David-Stewart, 1970. Juvenile book. (I325.26 C637F)
  • Community Service Council of Metropolitan Indianapolis. The Negro in Indianapolis: A Summary of Local Data. Indianapolis, Indiana, 1967. (I325.26 C735n)
  • Daniels, Dallas, Jr. History of the Federation of Associated Clubs, Inc. Indianapolis: 1976. (I374.2 F293hd)
  • The Directory. Microfilm of a journal of information published in the interest of the Afro-Americans of Indiana. Indianapolis. Incomplete collection; vol. 1, no. 37 and vol. 2, no. 33, April 4, 1897-March 5, 1898. Mutilated pages, missing pages, not in complete chronological order. Includes: The Afro-American Church and Business Directory 2/28/1897 and 3/14/1897.
  • Flanner House: Annual Report. Indianapolis: Flanner House. Library has: 1919, 1920/1921, 1922/1923, 1937/1938, 1944, 1947. (I331.852 F585a)
  • Flanner House: The Indianapolis Study. Indianapolis: 1939. (I331.852 F585i)
  • Gilliam, France V. Halsell. A Time to Speak: A Brief History of the Afro-Americans of Bloomington, Indiana, 1865-1965. Bloomington, IN: Pinus Strobus Press, 1985. (I325.26 G481t)
  • Goodall, Hurley, and J. Paul Mitchell. A History of Negroes in Muncie. Muncie, IN: Ball State University, 1976. (Ip325.26 no. 11)
  • Greer, Edward. Big Steel: Black Politics and Corporate Power in Gary, Indiana. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1979. (I309.1772 G816bi)
  • Heller, Herbert Lynn. ³Negro Education in Indiana from 1816 to 1869.² Indiana University School of Education doctoral dissertation, 1951. (I371.974 H477n)
  • Hine, Darlene Clark. When the Truth Is Told: A History of Black Women's Culture and Community in Indiana, 1875-1950. Indianapolis, IN: National Council of Negro Women, Indianapolis section, 1981. (I305.48 H662wh)
  • Indiana Civil Rights Commission. Black Elected Officials in Indiana, 1979. Indianapolis: The Commission, 1979. (I353.9 I385cib)
  • Indiana General Assembly. Interim Study Committee on Problems of Black Males. Final Report. Indianapolis: Indiana Legislative Services Agency, 1992. (I305.8 I385f)
  • Indiana Negro History Society. Bulletin. Terre Haute, IN: The Society, 1936-1947. (I326 I385n)
  • January, Alan F., and Justin E. Walsh. A Century of Achievement: Black Hoosiers in the Indiana General Assembly, 1881-1986. Indianapolis: Select Committee on the Centennial History of the Indiana General Assembly in cooperation with the Indiana Historical Bureau, 1986. (I920 J33c)
  • Knox, George L. Slave and Freeman, The Autobiography of George L. Knox. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1979. (I923 K739s)
  • Liber College. Eighth Annual Catalog of the Officers and Students of Liber College, for the year 1860-61. Indianapolis: Indianapolis Journal Company, 1861. (Ip378 L695 no. 1)
  • Lyles, Carl C. A History of Lyles Station, Indiana. Evansville, IN: Lyles, 1973. (I977.201 G448Ls)
  • _____, Lyles Station, Indiana, Yesterday and Today. Evansville, IN: Office of Development, Indiana State University Evansville, 1984. (I977.201 G448Zl)
  • Marion County's Black Population from 1970-1980: A Comparative Analysis. Indianapolis: Department of Metropolitan Development, Division of Planning and Zoning, 1982. (I312.93 M341)
  • The Negro in Terre Haute: 1863-1963 Emancipation Centennial: A Century of Progress. Terre Haute, IN: Terre Haute Branch of the NAACP, 1963. (Ip325.26 no. 8)
  • Nelson, William Edward, Jr. "Black Political Mobilization: The 1967 Mayoral Election in Gary, Indiana." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois, 1971. (I325.26 N432b, 1972)
  • Potts, John Foster. "A History of the Growth of the Negro Population of Gary, Indiana." MA thesis, Cornell University, 1937. (I325.26 P871h)
  • Smith, Blanche Maddox. A History of the Colored People in Johnson County, Indiana. Seymour, IN, 1956. (Ip977.201 J12 no. 5)
  • Sprinkles, Dallas W. The History of Evansville Blacks. Evansville, IN: Mid America Publishing Company 1973c 1974. (I325.26 S769h, 1974)
  • A Study of the Social and Economic Conditions of the Negro Population of Gary, Indiana. Conducted for the Gary Council of Social Agencies by the National Urban League. National Urban League, 1944. (I325.26 N277s)
  • Success Stories for Today: Local Black Newsmakers from the pages of the Indianapolis Star and the News. Indianapolis: Newspapers in Education, 1983. (IQ375.97 S942)
  • Thornbrough, Emma Lou. Since Emancipation: A Short History of Indiana Negroes, 1863-1963. Indianapolis: Indiana Division American Negro Emancipation Centennial Authority, [1964] (I325.26 T497s)
  • _____, This Far By Faith: Black Hoosier Heritage. Indianapolis: Indiana Committee for the Humanities, 1982. (Ip977.2 T448)
  • Union Literary Institute. A Brief Concerning Union Literary Institute, A Negro Institution. 1899. (Ip371.974 no. 1)
  • Williams, Beverly Ann. An Annotated Checklist of Indiana African-American Newspapers and Other Publications. 1996. (I 16 W721a)

Resources in the Indiana Division, Indiana State Library Manuscript Section

ISL Manuscripts & Rare Books

  • American Negro Emancipation Centennial Authority. Indiana Division. Publications including bulletins, programs, invitations, speeches made, newspaper clippings. S1506.
  • Eleutherian Education Society. "An Appeal to the Ladies of Indiana." From the Indiana Free Democrat, June 16, 1853. Articles of the Eleutherian Education Society. Typed copies. S1516.
  • Foley, Evajeane Alberta. Transcript of oral history interview with first black counselor at Indiana Girl's School, 1959-1973. 1973.
  • Heller, Herbert L. 1850 census records compiled for doctoral dissertation: "Negro Education in Indiana from 1816-1869." Also index and listing of county statistics. Negative microfilm, one reel.
  • Martin County Historical Society. Negro register 1853. Complete description of each negro in Martin County in 1853. Item 9. Typed copy of above, Item 4 (#5e) (scrapbook 5) Microfilm. Martin County Historical Society Collection, reels 2 and 3.
  • Roberts Family. Papers of Roberts family of Hamilton, Rush and Henry counties, 1734-1938. Includes deeds, certificates, agreements, Civil War letters, cancelled notes, receipts, genealogy, newspaper articles on Roberts Settlement. Photocopies. L176.
  • Thurman, Lottie. Transcript of taped interview, 1975, covering experiences as daughter of minister of A.M.E. Church in Wabash, piano player for the church and elevator operator for Eagle Theater. Indexed.

Other Resources

  • Within the Indiana Division and other divisions of the State Library, there are more books, manuscripts, and electronic and other resources relevant to black history research. Please explore the many opportunities available in the collections that have been preserved by the state.
  • Located nearby at 450 W. Ohio Street is the private Indiana Historical Society with an extensive collection of black history resources in the William Henry Smith library.

Using These Materials

  • State historical resources at the Indiana Historical Bureau, Indiana State Archives, and Indiana State Library are available for you to use. Resources in the State Archives and State Library generally do not circulate but must be used in the building. Copying services are generally available.
  • The Indiana State Library and Historical Building is on the northern edge of the state complex near the State Capitol. On-street parking is metered and limited. The state parking garage, located across the street with entrances on Senate Avenue and New York Street, is available to the public at a reasonable charge.