Primary Source: June News from the Indiana Historical Bureau

IHB Primary Source Banner

Research 101

IHB Staff are very excited about the incoming group of historical marker applications.  Whether you're applying for a marker, doing family history research, or writing an article or book, here are some tips to get you started:
1.  Evaluating, locating, and using primary sources about your topic can be tricky, especially if you have a topic that is very early in history or relates to minorities.  Check out our guide to finding and using primary sources for help.
2.  Leave no stone unturned as you search for source material.  Have you visited your local historical society, public library, archives?  Have you consulted your County Historian?  Here's a list of places to do research and what you can expect to find there.
3.  Be a part of the conversation: history is a lot like science--it's a dialogue among historians who propose an interpretation and provide proof in the form of primary source documentation.  Read recent articles on your topic to stay in the know.  If you don't have access to databases like JSTOR at home, visit your local library, the Indiana State Library, or to access databases and search for recent scholarship.

Summer is coming

The first day of summer is June 22.  Here are some great historically-inspired things to do while the weather is nice:
  • Go to the Juneteenth Celebration on 6/23 at the Indiana State Museum.
  • Check out Civil War Railroad Days in La Porte, IN, 6/23-6/24.
  • All Summer:  Join the Marker Hunt and photograph Indiana State Historical Markers.    Make it a scavenger hunt and go as a group.  Try to find all the Civil War-themed markers in your area, or pick another topic that interests you!
  • Check out Whitewater Valley Railroad Excursions.
  • Hike some of Indiana's public trails, many of which will take you through historic areas and past local and state historical markers. 
  • While you're out and about, visit an Indiana museum.

Are you registered to vote? 

Primaries are underway for IHB's Unofficial State Animal Mock Election!  Do you feel that the Indiana Myotis best represents Indiana, like Indiana State University professor, John Whitaker, Jr.?  Or do you think the more historic Mastodont would better represent your state alongside neighboring states' less-imaginative emblems?
Like us on Facebook and cast your votes through July 2!

Marker Hunt

Shop @ IHB

June is Perennial Gardening Month. Pick up Moya L. Andrews’ book, Perennials Short and Tall at the IHB Book Store.

Did you know?

This month in 1916, a Warren Public Library Board was organized and by 1917, a grant of $10,000 from the Carnegie Corporation was confirmed to support construction of a free public library.  Warren’s Carnegie Library is just one of 164 of Indiana’s Carnegie Libraries – the most in the nation according to the Indiana State Library’s History of Public Libraries.

Upcoming Deadline

The deadline to apply for a Cemetery Heritage Sign is fast approaching. If you would like a sign for your historic cemetery, guidelines and an application can be found here. Return your application to the Cemetery Registry Coordinator by June 15! Signs will be ordered as a lot for delivery by October 31. 
The next deadline is February 15, 2013 (for delivery by May 30, 2013).


"I drive by this historical marker every day, and yesterday, it wasn't there.  What happened?" 
More often than not, those missing markers are being repaired, but that's not always the case.  If you see someone taking a marker down, they should have a letter from IHB authorizing it--if they don't, call us and the local authorities.  If you see a marker-less post or  an empty hole where a marker used to be, please let us know.  You can call us or fill out this simple form.
Even more common is the question, "the marker near my house is really worn.  Can't I just fix it?"  In most cases, the answer will be yes--but some repairs can only be performed by the manufacturer.  Snap a photo and report the damage.  Be sure to note that you want to repaint or repair the marker.  We'll get back to you after we assess the situation, and if it can be taken care of locally, we'll contact you to discuss the details and send you a letter authorizing the removal of the marker for repair.