June Newsletter

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June 2023


Welcoming Kelsey D. Green to IHB!

Kelsey D. Green is our newest state historian and public outreach coordinator. She graduated from the University of Indianapolis and is currently in the university’s master’s program in history. Her research interests include immigration, state and local politics, and social histories dating from the early 1900s to present day. When Kelsey isn’t working, she loves cooking new dishes, hiking at Indiana’s state parks, and relaxing at home with her two cats!


When Harry Refused to Serve Harry: Belafonte’s Visit to Purdue

This year, legendary performer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte passed away at the age of 96. Writer Matt Werner composed a guest post for our #IndianaHistoryBlog about Belafonte’s 1956 visit to Lafayette. During his performance at Purdue University, he spoke out about the discrimination he had experienced at Harry's Chocolate Shop in the city. His remarks angered campus officials and inspired editorials in the student newspaper, The Exponent.


Learn more about Belafonte’s refusal to quiet his convictions: https://blog.history.in.gov/when-harry-refused-to-serve-harry-belafontes-visit-to-purdue/



Need an Indiana History Expert?

Did you know that IHB staff are happy to speak to your school, club, museum, library, church, etc. about Indiana history? Our expert staff can present on a variety of Hoosier history topics from women’s suffrage to the rise of the Klan to the Civil Rights Movement and more. IHB historians are also available to speak on general topics like “Why History Matters” or how to conduct an oral history interview. Additionally, IHB's Digital Initiatives division also provides talks on Indiana Memory, Hoosier State Chronicles, and digital access and preservation. Lastly, IHB staff are also available to answer or assist with research questions. Send us an email: ihb@library.in.gov.



Marker Dedications



“The Greater Creed:” How Suffragist Sara Messing Stern Overcame Antisemitism through Verse

Sara Messing Stern was a philanthropist, poet, and leader within the Women’s Franchise League, the Indiana Federation of Clubs, and the National Council of Jewish Women. While she faced antisemitism from some of her colleagues, she remained above the fray, responding to discrimination with defiant poetry. Stern overcame obstacles to forward women’s work for equality and was literally at the table when Governor Goodrich signed the resolution ratifying the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Learn more about Stern’s tenacity and contributions to the women’s suffrage movement:



“If Even a Sparrow Should Fall:” The Conservation Work of Ornithologist Jane L. Hine

Jane Brooks Hine, known as “the bird woman of Indiana,” kicked off an impressive career late in life. In 1911, at the age of eighty, she published a beautiful collection of articles on Indiana’s native bird species that became an important contribution to Indiana ornithological knowledge. Her articles and speeches changed the position of many farmers from shooting birds on site, to valuing their role in controlling pests that ruined crops, thus impacting environmental conservation at an early date. Learn more about how Hine became a widely respected ornithologist in an era when women were denied entry to most scientific programs and organizations:



Members of IXE, Courtesy of The New Works News (August 1989): 7, accessed Chris Gonzalez GLBT Archives, IUPUI Library

“I’m Lonely! Please Write:” The Search for Solidarity and the Indiana Crossdresser Society (IXE)

For gender non-conforming Hoosiers, the pursuit of kinship and shared identity was often fruitless, if not outright dangerous. Before the connectivity of the internet and the advocacy of organizations like Indiana Youth Group and GenderNexus, many were bereft of social opportunities and emotional support. Beginning in 1987, the Indiana Crossdresser Society (IXE) served these Hoosiers by providing social forums and offering resources to individuals struggling with gender identity. The group also challenged instances of discrimination within and outside of the LGBTQ community.


Learn more about IXE and the search for solidarity:




Justin Clark

Stay tuned for new episodes starting in August from our new Talking Hoosier History host Justin Clark!


Justin Clark is a public historian and serves as the Digital Initiatives Director for the Indiana Historical Bureau, a division of the Indiana State Library. He holds a B.S. in History/Political Science from Indiana University Kokomo and a M.A. in Public History from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. A specialist in intellectual history and digital history, his writing has appeared in the Indiana History Blog and the Truth Seeker. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife, Kalie, and their cat, Bowie.


marker haines

New State Markers Unveiled


IHB staff worked with community partners in Marion County and Vanderburgh County to dedicate two new state historical markers this spring. On April 27th, a new marker commemorating abstract artist and conservator Felrath Hines, Jr. was unveiled on the grounds of Crispus Attucks High School. Read more about that marker and the program at: https://myips.org/blog/district/ips-helps-dedicate-historical-market-commemorating-abstract-artist/. On May 17th, a new marker examining labor history in the Midwest and Mary Harris “Mother” Jones’s work advocating on behalf of workers was dedicated in Evansville. Follow IHB’s Facebook page to learn about future marker dedications.


new marker

Apply for a New Marker Today!


IHB is currently accepting applications for new state historical markers. The deadline to apply is July 12th. Topics must demonstrate statewide and/or national significance to be considered and must be supported with primary source documentation. For the second year in a row, IHB has a grant funding opportunity available thanks to the William G. Pomeroy Foundation to help offset the cost of markers. Learn more about the application process, access examples of types of primary sources that can assist in your research, and download copies of the application and grant funding request form at: https://www.in.gov/history/state-historical-markers/apply-for-a-marker/

Marker Cleanup


Thank you to everyone who helped survey, clean, or repaint some of our state historical markers this spring! We especially want to recognize the History Club at Traders Point Christian High School for repainting our Brig. General Benjamin Harrison marker in Indianapolis and the Ball State University History Department for cleaning the Hemingray Glass Company and Shaffer Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church markers in Delaware County. If you’re interested in volunteering to help survey or refurbish our state markers, please contact us at cpfeiffer@library.in.gov.


marker repair



RBM staff installed a new exhibit on the Zig Zag Cycle Club in the ISL Reading Room. This exhibit features club documents, photographs and ephemera of the Zig Zag Cycle Club, which was active from 1890-1896. They promoted cycling and racing, provided social activities for cyclists, and helped lobby for better roads as members of the National League of American Wheelman. It was the largest cycling club in the state at a time when such clubs were popular. The exhibit will be up through August.


Digital Initiatives continues to expand its offerings to the public through Indiana Memory and Hoosier State Chronicles. We have several new titles from Adams and Jasper County available for you through Hoosier State Chronicles, totaling 29,858 issues and 193,484 pages. This brings our total page count in Hoosier State Chronicles to 1,589,638! See the full listing of available titles at the Hoosier State Chronicles blog: https://blog.newspapers.library.in.gov/new-titles-available-2/. On the Indiana Memory side of things, we have a new library partner, the Frankfort Community Public Library, whose collection can be seen here: https://indianamemory.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16066coll79/search. We're also updating and
expanding the Indiana State Library Newspaper Collection (separate from Hoosier State Chronicles), which focuses on unique newspapers that are not on microfilm. You can check the collection out here: https://indianamemory.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16066coll22/search. Visit Indiana Memory (https://digital.library.in.gov/) and Hoosier State Chronicles (https://newspapers.library.in.gov/) regularly to stay updated on all our new additions!




Below are the new ILOHI interviews available online, which can be listened to on any podcast platform or at ILOHI.IHB.IN.GOV


*Cleo Washington 1996-2000, Democrat, Indiana Senate


*Brent Steele 1994-2002, Republican, Indiana House and 2004-2016 Indiana Senate


*Cleo Duncan 1994-2010, Republican, Indiana House


*Brian Bosma 1986-2020, Republican, Indiana House