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The Blog of the Indiana State Archives

  IARA Divisions State Archives Collections From the Vault Blog

"Black Day"

While modern politics has its share of issues, few current events compare to the government breakdown and physical violence seen in Indianapolis on February 24, 1887.

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Tales from the Vault

Volunteer Appreciation


April is National Volunteer Month. Many of you may not know it, but we at IARA have the privilege to work with some fantastic volunteers.

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Historic Baby Names


Historic baby names are increasingly popular with parents. Sure, you could go with one of 2023’s most popular names like Charlotte, Evelyn, or Theodore. Or you could get inspiration from our collections!
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Indiana Boys' School


The Indiana State Archives houses the records from the Indiana Boys’ School. These records may be of interest to genealogists researching formerly incarcerated boys.
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1880 Census Mix-Up


Indiana State Archives conservator Elizabeth Hague was preparing a large, disbound volume of the 1880 Agricultural Census when she discovered that the pages for Deer Creek Township in Caroll County were actually pages from the 1880 Population Census.

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Fun Barcoding Finds


Even with all the work we do and all the patrons we assist, there are some records that won’t be used by archivists, other staff, or patrons. So, we wanted to highlight some of the fun things our barcoding teams have ‘discovered’ during the last 3 years of barcoding.
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Sensitive Topics in the Archives


Sensitive Topics in the ArchivesIn honor of Black History Month, the Archives has been working on digitizing and making available online a collection of registers known as the “Negroes and Mulattoes Registers."
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Inheritance Tax Records


There are two types of tax records kept at the Indiana State Archives. Genealogists may be interested in the tax records as a source of information about relatives.
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Spanish-American War Records


Though often overlooked, the Spanish-American War left behind valuable documentation. IARA holds a collection of Spanish-American War records that genealogists may find useful.
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The Indiana Pi Bill


In 1897, Dr. Goodwin believed that he had solved the ancient mathematical problem of “squaring the circle” and created a new and much simpler value for Pi – 3.2.

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Barcoding


The largest, most important, and most time-intensive project we’re working on is adding new labels and barcodes to every box and volume in our holdings.
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Stories from the Archives


Collections that concentrate on individual people can always be counted on to be intriguing. A particular favorite for most genealogists is the Foster Care Files 1892-1910.
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Santa Claus vs Santa Claus


Likely holding the record for the number of times the name “Santa Claus” appears in the title of a legal case, the story of Santa Claus v. Santa Claus started in 1856.
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Backlog


If you’ve been following the State Archives for a while, you know that we’ve been working on preparing our records to be moved into a new building in 2026.
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Research Indiana Indexes: Archives Staff Q&A


For Ask an Archivist Day, we asked our staff some questions about our new Research Indiana Indexes site.

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Working From Home: The WPA Card Catalog


The WPA Card Index lives in a large card catalog in the Archives’ stacks area. Our archivists use it for research, but with over 400,000 cards, it isn’t exactly browseable.
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Essential Operations


Essential operations during the lockdown stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the types of records that were still urgently needed
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The Kindig Mystery


Several WWI soldiers named Kindig enlisted around the same time from South Bend, Indiana. They also all seemed to be (originally) from Union City, Michigan. We decided to investigate and see if we could figure out the mystery!
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White River Park State Games


The Indiana State Archives holds a collection on the White River Park State Games. The collection includes advertising materials, budget paperwork, press releases, and planning documents. This collection represents an interesting decade of amateur sports history in Indiana.
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Tales from the Interns

Hannah - 2024

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Ben - 2023

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Myren - 2022

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Jamee - 2022

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Grayson - 2021

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Video Vault: Tales from the State Archives YouTube Channel