Indiana Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections

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This entry was originally written by Carol L. Maki and Michael John Neill for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
the Indiana Family History Research series.
History of Indiana
Indiana Vital Records
Census Records for Indiana
Background Sources for Indiana
Indiana Maps
Indiana Land Records
Indiana Probate Records
Indiana Court Records
Indiana Tax Records
Indiana Cemetery Records
Indiana Church Records
Indiana Military Records
Indiana Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Indiana Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Indiana Naturalization
Ethnic Groups of Indiana
Indiana County Resources
Map of Indiana


Periodicals

The Hoosier Genealogist (Indianapolis: Genealogical Section of the Indiana Historical Society) began printing Indiana genealogical information and extractions in January 1961; it is published bi-monthly. County, cemetery, church, and family records from this periodical have been published by Willard Heiss in several volumes of Indiana Source Book, Genealogical Material from the Hoosier Genealogist, 3 vols. and index (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1877–83).

Indiana Magazine of History (Bloomington: Dept. of History, Indiana University in cooperation with Indiana Historical Society), published quarterly, includes well-written and documented state history articles, listings of recent pertinent publications, and reviews of books relevant to Indiana historical research. Elfreda Lang’s Indiana Magazine of History General Index (vols. 51–75, 1955–79), available from the Indiana Historical Society, serves as an excellent printed index to the magazine. Also see Dorothy L. Riker’s Genealogical Sources Reprinted from the Genealogical Section, Indiana Magazine of History (1979), which includes marriages, will records, various county records, family Bible records, cemetery and church records, complete with a surname index.

Several genealogical societies publish periodicals as well. The Allen County Public Library is the headquarters for the extensive [[Periodical Source Index]] which covers several thousand periodicals, not limited to Indiana’s.

Newspapers

Indiana’s first newspaper, the Indiana Gazette, was published in Vincennes in 1804. The largest newspaper collections in the state are located in the Archives Division of the Indiana State Library and the Indiana University Library. For an excellent Indiana newspaper history and finding guide, see John Miller’s Indiana Newspaper Bibliography (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1982). This is alphabetically arranged within counties by name of town or city where published. It is indexed and includes listings of approximately 8,000 newspapers published between 1804 and 1980, with locations of all known original and/or microform copies.

Indiana has the unusual requirement of having its county recorders maintain, for public use, bound volumes of all newspapers published in their jurisdiction. These may begin as early as 1852. See also Margaret R. Waters, Dorothy Riker, and Doris Leistner, Abstracts of Obituaries in the Western Christian Advocate, 1834–1850 (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1988), which includes all genealogical data found in more than 8,000 Obituaries in this Methodist Church newspaper. The entries are not, however, limited to Methodists; they basically cover the states of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. There are surname and geographical indexes.

Manuscripts

The major manuscript collections include those at the Indiana Historical Society and the Indiana State Library, with a combined printed guide to both collections (Eric Pumroy and Paul Brockman, comp., A Guide to Manuscript Collections of the Indiana Historical Society and the Indiana State Library [Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1986]). Included in the manuscript collections of the Indiana Historical Society Library, which may be of interest to genealogists, are the following: Francis Vigo (fur trader) Collection; William H. English Collection (1741–1928); and Society of Friends Records (meetings minutes include records of marriages, births, deaths, removals, and new members).

Betty Jarboe and Katyrn Rumsey’s Studies on Indiana: A Bibliography of Theses and Dissertations Submitted to Indiana Institutions of Higher Education for Advanced Degrees, 1902-1977 (Indiana Historical Bureau, 1980) lists such examples as “The Fur Trade Around Fort Wayne,” “The History and Development of the Showers Brothers Furniture Company,” “History of the French Lick Springs Hotel,” and “Internal Migration in Indiana.”

Local history collections exist in other libraries throughout the state. Many can be accessed through the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections.

See also Draper Manuscript.

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