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The Blog of the Indiana State Archives

  IARA Divisions State Archives Collections From the Vault Blog

Fun Barcoding Finds

With over 100,000 boxes in our holdings, it is pretty unlikely that any one person will ever fully explore or work with all of our records. Our reference archivists work closely with our most regularly requested collections, as these are frequently used to answer common research questions or requested by patrons for their own research needs. The most frequently requested records include deed records, naturalizations, military records, Secretary of State records, and more.

Our processing archivists primarily work with new incoming records transferred to the archives from state agencies or the Records Center. The processing team also works with backlog projects, records that we’ve had in our holdings for years but were left either unprocessed or unaccessioned.

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.

1.) WPA Children’s Clothes: These pieces of clothing are from the Works Progress Administration. Not much information is known about this clothing.

2.) Terre Haute is the birthplace of the Coca-Cola bottle! The Root Glass Company created the design of the classic Coca-Cola bottle. This glass Coke bottle was presented to Governor Bayh during the historical marker dedication ceremony, highlighting the history of the Root Glass Company.

3.) This unusually decorated Whitley Co. Naturalizations volume includes images of a woman on the front and back covers.

4.) Legislative Baseball Cards were provided by the Ball State Alumni Association to help legislative interns learn about Indiana Legislators in 1993.

5.) Although it’s not uncommon to find archival doodles in volumes and on manuscript records, they are still a delight to discover! These doodles were found in a Putnam County Clerk Fund Book.

6.) This Dog Fund Claims volume from Ripley County track sheep that were killed by dogs and their value. One barcoding team discovered several pages have recipes pasted in over the records.

7.) Clothing Books from the State Penal Farm. These volumes look deceptively small based on their binding but are actually very long.

8.) The Indiana State Seal and the American Revolution Bicentennial Celebration Medal printing dies come from the 1970s American Revolution Bicentennial Commission records. After ‘discovery,’ these dies were placed into custom boxes with a warning label about how heavy they are.

9.) One barcoding team discovered this amazing handwriting in a Shelby Co. Auditor Register of Receipts volume.

10.) Reference Archivist Keenan has been known to accidentally leave his notebook in the stacks when he’s hunting down answers for reference questions. While we didn’t barcode his notebook, it was still fun to find in the stacks!

Curious about what barcoding is and why we’re doing it? Check out this blog post that details this massive multi-year project.