Crowd-source Your Favorite Indiana Newspapers!

We are excited to blog that the Newspaper button on Indiana Memory is LIVE!  Clicking on the button will take you to all of the newspapers we have digitized as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program plus a few more.  The content is being displayed in Veridian software, which is really exciting because users like you can correct the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) text.

If you researched with any digitized content in the past, you may have discovered that the search results you received were often only as good as the OCR.  The crowd-sourcing component of Veridian allows you to register and make corrections to the OCR.  For instance, if you find an individual’s name garbled in the OCR, you can correct it yourself, so that future users can find that person’s name in the newspapers easier.

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More Indianapolis Newspaper Issues Added to Chronicling America

The Library of Congress recently ingested another 12,533 pages of Indiana newspapers into Chronicling America!  This brings the total number of Indiana newspaper pages in ChronAm to over 80,000!  The Indiana State Library staff are digitizing these newspapers as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program.

Among the titles and dates recently added:

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Indiana’s Digital Library Unveils New Look & Functionality

“Best State Website” just got better!

INDIANAPOLIS (March 28, 2014) – The Indiana State Library unveiled a new Indiana Memory ( web interface on this afternoon during a reception honoring the fifth-year anniversary of the program. The new Indiana Memory promises faster access to this wealth of materials centered on over 200 years of Indiana history and culture. It was recently named a “2013 Best State Genealogy Website” by Family Tree Magazine, America’s #1 family history publication.

“Indiana Memory connects many of Indiana’s most historically significant collections and materials into a single search engine,” said Connie Bruder, Indiana’s State Librarian (interim). “These enhancements will enable the digital library to be a more useful resource for students, historians, or anyone else researching Indiana history and culture.”

Indiana Memory is a collaborative effort of libraries, archives, museums and other cultural institutions from across the state that provides free access to digital collections reflecting Indiana’s heritage. Researchers can examine primary sources documenting life in the Midwest from earliest fossil records to present day. Collections encompass a wide variety of source materials including digitized books, newspapers, maps, manuscripts, letters, photographs, and other media types. Indiana Memory enables researchers to access unique materials such as correspondence from the early Northwest Territorial government officials, Civil War soldier portraits, speeches of political figures, including Robert Kennedy’s May 4, 1968 speech in Indianapolis, and memorabilia from the Mercury space program. Reflections of everyday life are also available through historic newspapers, oral histories, letters home from soldiers, and family photographs.

“Indiana Memory offers free and instant access to some of Indiana’s most invaluable historical materials,” said Bruder. “The State Library is committed to adding new and existing collections to Indiana Memory and enhancing the portal’s educational and cultural resources.”

The new Indiana Memory operates on enhanced keyword searches, which is initiated from the home page. New advanced options enable users to limit searches to specific collections. Buttons at the bottom of the page offer users other methods for accessing materials. Collections Across Indiana” enables users to browse by county of collection origin while the “Indiana Newspaper Link” enables browsing by individual title. Also new to Indiana Memory, “Teacher Resources” links educators with suggestions for combining primary materials in Indiana Memory to support lesson plans.  Additionally, the “Collection Lists” option enables in-depth exploration of individual collections.

Preliminary discussions and planning for Indiana Memory began in 2003 and the portal officially launched in late 2008. The program has been made possible through the collaborative efforts of academic libraries, public libraries, historical societies, museums, and archives to create and share their digital collections reflecting Indiana’s cultural heritage. The program provides grant funds to Indiana libraries and their partnering organizations that have sound plans to digitize materials and make them freely available on the Internet. The project is made possible through grant funding from the Institution of Museum and Library Services to the Indiana State Library under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.

About Indiana Memory (
Indiana Memory is a collaborative digital library site providing access to over 350,000 historical and cultural items drawn from 107 contributing organizations around the state.  Indiana Memory seeks to support and enhance education and scholarship for all Hoosiers for increased understanding of Indiana’s past and its role in preparing for Indiana’s future.

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Historic Greencastle/Putnam County Newspapers Online

A few years ago the Indiana State Library awarded a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Putnam County Public Library, DePauw University Libraries and the Greencastle Banner Graphic to digitize Greencastle newspapers.  The organizations launched their archive of Greencastle newspapers in May 2012.  Unfortunately, those newspapers have been inaccessible the last few months because of some server issues.

The good news is that they recently migrated most of the content to the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana’s (PALNI) Digital Collections, and the content can now be accessed here.  There you will find 14,450 issues, and nearly a hundred years worth of Greencastle newspapers from 1880-1979.  Among the titles you’ll find there are the Greencastle BannerGreencastle TimesGreencastle StarPutnam Republican BannerGreencastle Star PressGreencastle Banner and Times, Greencastle DemocratGreencastle Herald, Greencastle Star-Democrat, Greencastle Times News, and the Greencastle Banner Graphic.

Happy searching!

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Notable Hoosier Obits: Benjamin Harrison

One-hundred and thirteen years ago today on March 13, 1901, ex-President Benjamin Harrison died at his home in Indianapolis.  Read his obituary in the Indianapolis Journal below:




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Vermont Papers Tell the Story of Solomon Northup

Originally posted on Vermont Digital Newspaper Project:

While the Academy Award-winning film, 12 Years a Slave , has recently been the subject of articles in Vermont newspapers, stories about Solomon Northup, a free black man from New York State who was kidnapped and sold into slavery, first appeared in Vermont papers during the 1850s. A search of Chronicling America titles indicates that Vermont papers printed articles about Northup’s rescue and also covered the subsequent arrests and trials of his kidnappers and the man who sold him into slavery.

watchman1853feb10_3On February 10, 1853, a long article from the New York Daily Times appeared on the front page of the Vermont Watchman and State Journal. In great detail, it described Henry B. Northup’s 1852 journey to Louisiana to rescue Solomon Northup and the arrest and trial of James H. Burch, the Washington DC slave trader who sold Solomon Northup in 1841. Burch convincingly argued that he sold Northup…

View original 165 more words

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Notable Hoosier Obits: Lew Wallace

109 years ago tomorrow, in 1905, Indiana author, soldier, and statesman Lew Wallace died.

Wallace was born on April 10, 1827 in Brookville, Indiana.  His father, David, was a future governor of Indiana, and his mother, Esther, was the daughter of a three-term Congressman. Wallace spent his youth in Covington, Crawfordsville, Indianapolis, and Centerville.  He enlisted in an Indiana regiment at 19 years old and served in the Mexican-American War.  After the war, he began a law practice, won election as prosecuting attorney for Indiana’s first district, married (Susan Elston), had a son (Henry Lane Wallace), and served in the Indiana Senate.  He moved to Crawfordsville after the birth of his son, and maintained a permanent residence there the rest of his life.

A Wallace obit from the New York Tribune

A Wallace obit from the New York Tribune

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Governor Morton commissioned Wallace as adjutant general to recruit and organize Indiana’s quota of troops.  Wallace subsequently became colonel of the 11th Indiana Volunteer Infantry.  He rose through the ranks, and became a major-general by 1862.  He participated in the battles of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, and Monocacy.  He also administered the Middle Department and 8th Army Corps in Maryland and Delaware.  He subsequently sat on the court-martials of Abraham Lincoln’s assassins and Henry Wirtz.

After the war, he served as Governor of the New Mexico Territory from 1878-1881, and U.S. Minister to Turkey from 1881-1885.  He also began a literary career with his first novel, The Fair God, published in 1873.  He followed his debut novel with Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ in 1880, which became one of the best-selling novels of the 19th century.

He returned home to Indiana in 1885, continued to write, and administer his intellectual property, including the adaptation of Ben-Hur for the stage. Wallace died on February 15, 1905 at his home in Crawfordsville.  You can find a sample of the many obituaries about him from across the country (from Hawaii to Vermont, from Minnesota to Florida) at the links below:

A High Tribute to General Lew Wallace,” Pensacola [FL] Journal.

The Author of Ben Hui [sic] Is Dead,” Hawaiian [Honolulu] Star

Career Over for Gen. Lew Wallace,” Washington [DC] Times.

Death Summons General Wallace,” Minneapolis Journal.

General Lew Wallace,” Bourbon [Paris, KY] News.

General Lew Wallace Dead at Crawfordsville, Ind., Home,” Rice Belt Journal [Welsh, LA].

General Wallace Dead,” Alexandria [VA] Gazette.

Gen. Lew Wallace, Author of “Ben Hur” Is Dead,” Deseret Evening News [Salt Lake City, UT]

Gen. Lew Wallace Dead,” Brownsville [TX] Daily Herald.

Gen. Wallace Dead,” Washington [DC] Evening Star.

Great Man Passes Away,” Tazewell [VA] Republican.

Lew Wallace,” Salt Lake Tribune.

Lew Wallace Dead,” Bennington [VT] Evening Banner.

Lew Wallace Dead Stanch [sic] Friend of West End Came Quietly,” Bisbee [AZ] Daily Review.

Noted Author of “Ben Hur” Dead,” Los Angeles Herald.

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