Monday, September 24, 2007

Indiana Memory

Special Collections and Digital Initiatives News
by John B. Straw, Director for Archives and Special Collections and Director, Digital Media Repository The University Libraries Contribute to Indiana’s Digital Memory

Indiana Memory is a collaborative project of Indiana libraries, museums, archives, and other related institutions to provide digital access to the state’s unique cultural and historical heritage. The development of this state-wide digital library by the Indiana State Library is intended to serve Indiana citizens, students, lifelong learners, scholars, researchers, state and federal government, businesses, and others.

Through the continuing growth of the Ball State University Digital Media Repository,, the University Libraries are well positioned to make a significant contribution to Indiana’s long-term digital memory. Many current collections provide digital windows into the lives, history, and culture of past and present residents of East Central Indiana. Several planned and anticipated future collections will also have an Indiana focus.
The two past Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant projects completed by the University Libraries had Indiana themes.

Created by the 2005-2006 LSTA grant, The Digital Repository of U.S. Civil War Resources from East Central Indiana, provides a rich source of handwritten letters, diaries, photographs, artifacts, and other research materials that document the involvement of Indiana soldiers and civilians during the War Between the States.

The recently completed 2006-2007 LSTA grant project focused on providing access to digital audio and transcripts of oral histories with African-American, Jewish, and Catholic citizens of Muncie, Indiana, in the Middletown Digital Oral History Collection.

The current LSTA grant project for 2007-2008 will provide access to another Indiana historical resource, The Muncie Post-Democrat newspaper. This anti-Ku Klux Klan paper from the 1920s through the 1950s is being digitized and will be accessible and searchable through the Digital Media Repository in mid-2008. Other collections in the Digital Media Repository that
preserve Indiana’s digital memory include:

• More than 5,000 historical photographs in the Middletown Digital Archives, including the Otto Sellers, W. A. Swift, Spurgeon-Greene, and Other Side of Middletown collections
• 380 issues of The Muncie Times, an African-American newspaper
• 568 photographs of Indiana courthouses in the Daniel W. Hartwig Collection
• 87 photographs of covered bridges in Indiana in the Alvin W. Holmes Collection
• 167 broadcasts of Indiana Public Radio’s Indiana ArtsDesk program dedicated to fostering awareness, appreciation, and participation in the arts in East Central Indiana
• 629 digital videos of NewsLink Indiana news briefs produced by Ball State University
• WIPB videos on Ed Ball’s Century and Gene Stratton Porter: Voice of the Limberlost
• Video, photographs, and other documentation of Robert F. Kennedy’s speech at Ball State University in 1968
• Video, photographs, and other documentation of The Man Haters, an historic 1915 silent movie filmed in Muncie, Indiana, featuring local residents in the cast Additional Indiana-focused digital resources in the Digital Media Repository are slides of Indiana architecture in the Architecture Images Collection, Ball State campus photographs and building plans, and films by Ball State students.

As the Indiana Memory project moves forward, the digital collections being created by the Ball State University Libraries, especially through partnerships with other community, educational, cultural, and historical institutions, will provide a rich resource representing the lives, culture, history, and contributions of the citizens of East Central Indiana.

For more information on the Indiana Memory project, visit the State Library’s Web page at For more information about Ball State University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository, contact John B. Straw,, (765) 285-5078.

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