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How to Use Our Collections

Locating Books, Journals, and Other Materials

Most, but not all, of the printed materials in the collections of the Indiana State Library can be located using the online catalog. Books, pamphlets, and most maps are included, as well as titles of the many magazines and journals.

Requesting Materials from the Stacks

The majority of the materials in the Indiana State Library are kept in locked stacks, with the exception of the Genealogy Division's book collection on the first floor, and the reference collections and microfilm collections on the second floor. Patrons need to request the particular items they want from the appropriate reference or service desk, using a completed call slip that includes the patron's name, address, the title of the item, and its call number.

  • All Indiana Division materials must be requested from the second floor service point, except for manuscripts, photographs and broadsides, which are requested in the Manuscripts Reading Room. Less than ten percent of the book collection circulates; all other materials must be used within the Indiana State Library.
  • All Genealogy Division books are requested and used in the first floor reading room. No materials from the Genealogy Collection can be checked out.
  • Most materials from the general collections of the Indiana State Library can be checked out. These materials may be requested at the Loan Desk on the first floor, or at the reference desk on the second floor.
  • All materials from the Special Services Division, with the exception of its reference collection, may be checked out. Patrons may visit in person or call with their requests.

Reproduction Services:

All copies are made for the one-time research use of a patron, and all requests are contingent on the condition of the item. Patrons are responsible for obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders and for abiding by all state and federal laws.

Any questions may be submitted to or by calling (866) 683-0008.

Obituary  $5.00 / name 
1-10 pages $5.00
11+ pages  $.50 / page* 
*50 page maximum 
Color Photocopies $1.00 / page

The fees for photocopying are to be charged when library staff are making and sending copies, and not when patrons are making copies for themselves in the library. Documents may be saved to a flash drive. Personal scanners are not allowed.

Self Service Photocopies and/or Microform Scans

Scan  Free
Digital Photograph Free
Photocopies $.25/page

Locating and Using Manuscripts, Photographs, and Broadsides

Researchers can use the Manuscripts Catalog to search Rare Books and Manuscripts collection guides. Each collection is described in a detailed record called a finding aid, which provides both an overview of the intellectual organization and a detailed list of items within the collection. For more information, visit our Research Tools  page.

Rare books, manuscripts, photographs and broadsides do not circulate and must be viewed in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Reading Room. Researchers are advised to review the Reading Room Rules Governing the Use of Materials before their visit.

Microforms: Newspapers, Genealogy Materials, and More

The second floor of the Indiana State Library contains the combined microform collections of the Genealogy Division, Indiana Division, and Reference & Government Services Division. This is a self-service area, with many microfilm reader/printers available for use by the public. The microfilm reader/printers take quarters when printing; $.25 per page from the reader/printer.

Included in the microform collections are over 80,000 reels of microfilmed Indiana newspapers, federal census records on microfilm, county histories and family histories on microfiche, and more. A listing of the Indiana newspapers held by the Indiana State Library is available, arranged by county. A partial listing of the microforms held by the Genealogy Division is also available, while the microfiche collection of the Genealogy Division is included in the online catalog.

MA 3-8-2019