There are many resources available on the web that can guide one in researching a structure, person, or organization. I thought I’d put together an annotated list of some of my go-to places when I begin researching any topic.
IUPUI University Library Digital Scholarship | IUPUI’s collection of digitized resources includes the vastly popular (and massive) Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. They also house digitized copies of several Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory books (interim reports) for the state of Indiana. Making these resources available online was a great investment, as it a great resource now available at your fingertips!
IU Spatial Data Portal | This resource is primarily for GIS users, but it also houses digitized copies of all the public domain, Sanborn Maps for Indiana. I access the Spatial Data Portal for work frequently, while it also features a map viewer for those without ArcMap.
Indiana State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database (SHAARD) | SHAARD is an invaluable resource which will only get better as more information is added. Although the archaeological side of the site is only accessible for qualified Principal Investigators in archaeology, anyone can enter SHAARD as a guest. Guest access provides you digital copies of National Register nominations, the cemetery registry, and some counties of the Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory.
Indiana Historical Society Digital Image Collections | The IHS online collection is pretty great for those researching Indianapolis, while I’ve found it hit or miss for the rest of the state. The Bass Photo Collection is a true gem and you can get lost for hours exploring the many photographs. However, the resources still available at the library within the IHS are still worth a visit.
Ball State Digital Media Repository | Ball State’s online repository features a great variety of digitized resources, ranging from architectural drawings, photograph collections, newspaper clippings, magazines, and more! Although some of the collections focus primarily on the Delaware County area, other collections range the entire state or even to Indianapolis.
Indiana Memory | This is a collection of collections from across the entire state of Indiana. Some featured are those items already listed, but the list features access to historic photos, maps, papers, and more from county and state collections.
Historic American Buildings Survey Collection, Library of Congress | This might seem like a no brainer, but sometimes I forget to check if anything I am researching has been documented (and digitized) by HABS. The availability for Indianapolis structures is pretty expansive, so it’s definitely a great resource for Indianapolis and to some extent, Indiana.