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The Blog of the Indiana State Archives

  IARA Divisions State Archives Collections From the Vault Blog

Essential Operations

The Indiana Archives and Records Administration, like other institutions across the country and world, has recently shifted to a remote work model. Working from home as an archivist is an exercise in creativity, and we’ll be sharing some of our at-home projects soon. First, we wanted to share a bit about our essential operations, and the types of records that may be needed urgently.


The Indiana State Archives holds Indiana’s collection of military discharge papers, or DD-214s. Although DD-214s are a federal document, many veterans submitted their DD-214s to the state in order to apply for a state-provided bonus. The state copy was transferred to the State Archives, and we now have an extensive collection of military service records from WWII to the present (in additional to our historic military collections). DD-214s are used to prove military service when applying for benefits, services, or military funerals. A catastrophic fire at the National Personnel Records Center in 1973 destroyed many federal military records, leaving Indiana’s copy as the only document available for many veterans.

The need for DD-214s continues throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Archivist Michael Vetman, himself a veteran, is currently at the State Archives providing DD-214s to his fellow servicemen and women. We feel very privileged to provide this service. Michael recently helped the family of a 101-year-old World War II veteran who had participated in D-Day.

Medical Records

The Indiana State Archives is charged with maintaining state hospital patient records. With the closing of Central State Hospital, Fort Wayne State Developmental Center, and the recent move and rebranding of Larue Carter to its new location at Community East as the Neuro Diagnostic Institute, the Archives has seen an influx of patient medical records. Other hospitals, such as Madison State Hospital and Logansport State Hospital also store discharged patient records at the Archives. When a patient must return to the hospital, these facilities contact the Archives to obtain records for Continuity of Care. Like DD-214s, these records are needed urgently and are deemed essential. This is yet another type of the services Michael continues to provide during the COVID-19 pandemic.

School Transcripts

The Indiana State Archives is also home to the transcripts of closed for-profit schools, such as MedTech, Brown Mackie, and Harrison College. When these schools close, the Indiana Board for Proprietary Education transfers the transcripts to the State Archives for permanent retention. Many students require their transcripts to apply for jobs, licenses, and education programs for years or even decades after their graduation. Reference Assistant Denise Deboy continues to process these requests on a daily basis.

In addition to closed proprietary schools, the State Archives has transcripts and other records from state schools such as Morton Memorial High School, the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the Indiana School for the Deaf. We also have transcripts for some nursing schools, such as Wishard, South Bend Memorial, and Ball Memorial.

During the COVID-19 emergency, it was more important than ever for medical professionals to be able to quickly join the workforce. The Indiana State Archives waived our transcript fee for all medical degrees at that time.

To see which closed schools we have transcripts for, and to submit a request, visit our website.