The Library of Congress has recently published the papers of farmer, writer, reformer, landscape architect, urban and suburban planner, and conservationist Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903). The online papers consist of approximately 24,000 items (roughly 47,300 images) spanning from 1777 to 1952, and contain materials on Olmsted's private and professional life. The documents will take you on a journey through the papers, drawings, and correspondence of one of America’s most famous landscape architects. Learn more here.
Esri story maps are gaining in popularity as a means to feature research and present narratives in the fields of humanities, history, archaeology and more. Learn about labor history, Mount Vernon’s Slave Cemetery, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and more. Or learn to make your own story map.
Grants to Preserve Local History Across State
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) helps strengthen Indiana’s historical and cultural heritage through annual federal grants it administers to local communities and not-for-profit groups that these organizations put toward preservation projects.
This year, the DNR Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology (DHPA) has awarded 11 federal grants for historic preservation and archaeology in Indiana communities (see list below). The grants, totaling $476,696, provide a match of $512,545 in local and private funds, for a total projected investment of $989,241.
The funds come from the National Park Service, a part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, which distributes federal funds to the states through the Historic Preservation Fund Program. Since 1974, the state has awarded more than $18 million to Indiana communities through this program.
Statehouse Display at Indiana State Library
“Indiana’s Statehouse,” a new exhibit, is on display through October in both the Exhibit Hall and the second floor Great Hall of the Indiana State Library.
This year marks the 130th anniversary of the completion of a new Statehouse for Indiana. The Indiana Statehouse was designed by architect Edwin May and was under construction from 1878 to 1888.
After May’s untimely death in 1880, his draftsman, Swiss-born Adolph Scherrer, was appointed supervising architect. On Oct. 2, 1888, the Statehouse Commissioners officially closed the account books on the building project.
The exhibit includes drawings, photographs, maps and other historical materials from the collections of the Indiana State Library. A rare 1738 edition of Andrea Palladio’s “Books of Architecture” provides an architectural prototype to compare to the Renaissance Revival style of the dome of the Statehouse. Several artifacts from the Statehouse grounds are displayed courtesy of the DHPA.
Their staff collected samples of building materials during the 2017 renovation of the Statehouse’s north steps. The Indiana Archives and Records Administration also provided copies of historical documents for the exhibit.
New Listings in National Register of Historic Places
From May 2018, through August 2018, Indiana added nine listings to the National Register of Historic Places. These listings— a factory building; military buildings; a church; a social club; commercial, residential, and rural historic districts; and a cemetery — have added approximately 170 historic resources to the National and State registers.
For information on Indiana properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places and the Indiana Register of Historic Sites and Structures, please go to
Change in Cemetery Sign Program
In recent years, the public has become more concerned with the condition of historic cemeteries. This increased public interest has resulted in more people wanting to mark these important cultural sites with signage. In 2002, this led the Indiana Historical Bureau, in conjunction with the DHPA, to create a special sign to commemorate and mark historic cemeteries. Starting in 2018, DHPA will be the sole agency administering this project.
To learn how to obtain a Cemetery Heritage Sign, contact DHPA at 317-234-1268 or dhpa@dnr.IN.gov.
Indiana Historic Buildings, Bridges, and Cemeteries Map
The Indiana Historic Buildings, Bridges, and Cemeteries map (IHBBC) is now available as a resource. This new map, which replaces our former SHAARD GIS map, is run by Esri and can be accessed online within the DHPA via the SHAARD Online Database link. Once you get to the SHAARD Database page, click on the Indiana Historic Buildings, Bridges, and Cemeteries Map link. This will allow you to launch the app and explore the map.
Returning users will notice that this map has many new features and improvements to the old SHAARD GIS map. A User Guide is available and will be updated as new features and updates are added to the map.
Contact Megan Copenhaver (mcopenhaver@dnr.IN.gov) for specific questions or suggestions concerning the map. Thanks and happy searching.
Remembering Mitch Zoll
DHPA staff attended the Indiana Archaeology Council’s summer picnic at Mounds State Park. This gathering was in honor of Mitchell K. Zoll, DHPA director, who passed away in early June. At this gathering, archaeologists and others who knew him got to share memories regarding Mitch. At the meeting, the DHPA presented Mitch’s wife with a Tribute Resolution passed by the Indiana Historic Preservation Review Board.
Save the Date for Statewide Preservation Conference
“Preserving Historic Places,” Indiana’s annual conference on saving and revitalizing vintage buildings and neighborhoods, comes to Evansville, April 9-12, 2019. The conference includes educational sessions, workshops, field sessions and tours in addition to lectures by state and national preservation leaders. Watch for program information and registration info in early 2019.
Genealogy and Local History Fair
The Indiana State Library offers a free Genealogy Fair every year. This year it will be at the Indiana State Library on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free, and the fair is open to the general public.
Internships at DHPA
The deadline for applications for fall internships with DHPA is July 15th. These unpaid positions are an excellent opportunity for students to learn about real world history, archaeology and preservation jobs; acquire news skills; and deliver important products for the office.
DHPA Staff Programs
Staff from the DHPA offer free programs around the state on a variety of topics including archaeology, Underground Railroad, cemeteries, and preservation. If you would like to learn more about these topics, check out the Calendar of Events and find the talk closest to you. Or, if you organization is looking for a speaker; contact the DHPA for potential speakers and topics.
Tell us what you think!
We are always interested in your ideas. If there is a topic you would like to see in an upcoming issue of Eavesdropping, send us an e-mail at DHPAConnect@dnr.IN.gov.