Thursday, April 03, 2008

Native American Resources for Learning, Teaching, and Research

By Hannah D. Cox, Archives and Special Collections Supervisor Melissa S. Gentry, Map Collections Assistant

Students, faculty, and other researchers looking for resources about Native Americans can find them in abundance in the Archives and Special Collections and the Geospatial Resources and Map Collection at the Ball State University Libraries.

While much of the material can be found through the Libraries’ online public catalog CardCat, some items of potential interest require more in-depth assistance. For this reason, collection guides to Native American resources are being updated.

The material in Archives and Special Collections is divided into two sections, with the first focusing specifically on the Miami and Delaware people in Indiana and the second encompassing resources of a more general nature. The first section of the subject guide has been subdivided into Manuscript Collections, Theses and Dissertations, and Rare Book Monographs. This includes newspaper articles, manuscripts, books, maps, and photographs concerning local Native Americans. The Miami Indian Collection and books from such authors as Otho Winger are two examples of local resources.

The second section consists primarily of rare books about Native American tribes outside of Delaware county, as well as official documents and reports. Many of the books in this area were written from the perspective of missionaries, travelers, or soldiers, although there are several written by Native Americans.

The online Native American Collection Guide can be found under the Collection Areas subheading on the Archives and Special Collections homepage. The URL for viewing is These resources can be of a great deal of assistance both to those in anthropology or history classes completing research for a paper and others interested in Native American cultures.

The Geospatial Resources and Map Collection (GRMC) also has a number of resources that can be used in research and learning about Native Americans. The Map Collection includes several maps published by the U.S. federal government showing the location of “Indianlands” over time, Indian land cession maps, Native American languages maps, as well as the location of current reservations throughout the United States.

The Atlas Collection includes many resources for the study of Native Americans. The Atlas of American Indian Affairs, Atlas of American Migration, and the Illustrated Atlas of Native American History are excellent resources about Native Americans in general. Other atlases have a more specific focus, including Atlas of the Sioux Wars, The Navajo Atlas, A Zuni Atlas, and the Northern Cheyenne Integrated Resource Management Plan Atlas.

An online guide to Native American resources available in the GRMC and Atlas Collection will soon be available on the GRMC Web page. Most of the resources in the Collections are currently available for searches in CardCat.

For more information on these and other resources, contact Hannah D. Cox, Archives and Special Collections Supervisor, and Melissa S. Gentry, Map Collections Assistant,

Three New Digital Collections Now Accessible through Libraries' DMR

by Maren L. Read, Archivist for Manuscript Collections

Students, faculty, researchers, and scholars worldwide now have online access to three new resources through the Ball State University’s Digital Media Repository (DMR), a project of the University Libraries.

The Muncie Sanborn® Fire Insurance Maps Collection includes 200 maps showing the commercial, industrial, and residential sections of Muncie, Indiana from 1883 through 1911. The maps were originally produced by the Sanborn Map Company® to assist fire insurance agents in determining the degree of hazard and establish premiums for particular properties.

Today these maps are used by students and scholars in a variety of fields, including history, urban planning, historic preservation, and genealogy. An online tutorial entitled “Maps and Cartography: Using Sanborn® Fire Insurance Maps” by Melissa S. Gentry, Map Collections Assistant, and a handout on how to search this collection in the DMR will be available online soon.

The Chapbook Collection consists of 174 chapbooks including many donated by the Elisabeth Ball, and 50 chapbooks purchased by Archives and Special Collections through the Martin D. and Helen B. Schwartz Fund.

The collection offers a rich and valuable resource for students, scholars and others interested in 19th century popular literature, literacy, children’s literature and education, and the history of the book. Subjects range from moral instruction to the ABCs to advertisements for patent medicines and soap.

The Hague Sheet Music Collection includes 151 pieces of sheet music donated to Ball State University Libraries by Elizabeth Hague in 2006. The sheet music was collected by her father Frank Penwell. Most of the collection is arranged for piano and, strings and includes popular music titles, including songs from movies and vaudeville productions. For more information about these collections, contact Maren L. Read, Ball State University Libraries’ Archivist for Manuscript Collections,, 765-285-5078.

Joint Exhibit Focuses on History of the Printed Word

The Ball State University Libraries and the Department of Art’s Visual Communications Program are jointly participating in a collaborative exhibit. Called Archetype: The Social Revolution of Writing, the exhibit runs through April 30, 2008.

Encompassing two floors at Bracken Library, the exhibit includes unique items from the Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections and artwork created by students under the guidance of Prof. Christine L. Satory. Student Casara K. Heaton helped to develop the concept of the exhibition and designed all of the print material.

“This is an example of an immersive learning experience as Casara was a full collaborator during the course of two semesters,” said Prof. Satory.

Students in Prof. Satory’s class created several multimedia works of art for the exhibit, which help to explore the various ways people have historically used symbols, typography, and the visual arts to communicate.

The University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections included illuminated manuscripts, a page from the Gutenberg Bible, a double fore-edge painted book, an illustration by Salvador Dali from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, a chained lectern book from 1506, chapbooks, and hornbooks. Other popular items include an antique typewriter and an early Macintosh computer (circa 1987) complete with a small screen, printer, and mouse.

The Friends of the Alexander M. Bracken Library sponsored an evening program on March 18, 2008, to support the exhibit. Prof. Christine L. Satory and Philip J. Deloria, Archivist for Digital Projects and University Records, discussed the history and development of the printed word from cave paintings through the alphabets and the Gutenberg Press to the invention of the personal computer and the World Wide Web.

The exhibit can be seen on Bracken Library’s first floor east and in wall display cases next to the Archives and Special Collections area on the second floor.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Ostland Atlas and Chevrolet Drawings Available

We are pleased to announce that the rare Ostland Atlas is now available in the DMR ( Also making their debut in the DMR are the Muncie Chevrolet Plant Architectural Drawings (