Ok, so I’m not actually going to write “an ode” cause I don’t do poetry; but I want to express my love and gratitude for this place which gives me a place to nerd up when the weather and/or my car isn’t eager for me to travel very far.
Now, I’m not talking about the Central Library. I love that library for a completely different reason. In fact, sometimes I wish I lived in that library. Everyone who lives or visits Indianapolis should go up to the 6th floor and just enjoy the view facing south towards the Circle.
On the exterior, Indiana State Library seems like the frumpy sister of the Central library but there are amazing resources there.
Today is a great example of reasons I love the State Library. This is what happened, in order.
1.) I parked out front on the street. There is almost always street parking out front. And the tops of the meters were removed! There were no “no parking” signs. So that means Free Parking! And it was! I did not get a ticket.
2.) I went inside and had no problem finding an open easy place to sit. The library is generally known for being a haven for homeless people. I don’t generally have a problem with this, but it can be an issue with space. Downstairs the only usable computers are hooked up to genealogy research sites and THAT is the only reason they are used. This is not the biggest hit with the homeless population of the city.
3.) I had been researching a branch of my family, the Staudts (or Stoudts…or even Stouts) and found a book on the internet that would be so very helpful. It didn’t even occur to me until I got there today that the State Library might actually have this very random family history called “Stoudts and Allied Families”. And they did! And I used it. And it was so very helpful. For those interested, I found out that my Staudt family came from Germany, a little village called Wolfersweiler. Sounds awesome, I know.
4.) It sounded as if there was a scuffle in the entry way about mid-way through my research there, and I had no worries. There are capable security guards at the library whenever they’re open.
5.) I asked the librarian a question. Now, this seems like a silly reason to like a library, but I’m kind of shy about asking strangers questions because I hate sounding stupid. But honestly, everyone who goes to this library is so geeked out on genealogy it makes me feel more comfortable.
6.) As I was leaving I noticed a flier with information about presentations they’ll be doing over the course of the next month. What is really amazing is that it’s free!
In addition to what happened today, other things that get me all excited about the State Library include:
- The insane collection of newspapers from pretty much every county in the state, and even some nearby states. I use these regularly, especially for obituaries and marriage announcements.
- The fact that it’s across the street from the Indiana Historical Society, which also has a small but pretty cool library.
- Records, records, and more records. I can get lost in all those deeds, wills, death records, marriage records…it’s all very exciting. Most of it is sorted by county and very easy to find.
For those who are interested in visiting the Indiana State Library I recommend checking out their website because the hours can be kind of weird; and there are some days they are just not open.
So tell me about these presentations you speak of…
Julia, good question. In July here is what they have that is focused towards genealogy:
Maps in Genealogy, 7/12, 10-11am in the History Research Room
Researching Mid-South Genealogy At the Indiana State Library (focus on Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and KY), 7/14, 5:30-6:30 in the History Reference Room
Legal Documents and Terms in Genealogy, 7/21, 5:30-6:30, History Reference Room