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Indiana State Library

Library > About the Library > General Information > Exhibits > Fit to Breed? The History and Legacy of Indiana Eugenics, 1907-2007 Fit to Breed? The History and Legacy of Indiana Eugenics, 1907-2007

Fit to Breed? The History and Legacy of Indiana Eugenics, 1907-2007

Indiana State Library, April 12, 2007 - December 31, 2007. 

This exhibit traces the historical significance and lasting effects of eugenics in Indiana. The exhibit is a collaborative project using the design talents of a faculty member and students from the Herron School of Art and Design, research of faculty and students from IUPUI's History Department and Medical Humanities and Health Studies Program, and subject expertise of two eugenics scholars from the University of Michigan and Georgia State University. Primary source materials displayed in the exhibit come primarily from the collections of the Indiana State Archives and the Indiana State Library.

The exhibit utilizes the unique architecture of the Indiana State Library to provide a visual experience that is both informative and aesthetically pleasing. The exhibit is comprised of three key facets that provide a historical journey of Indiana eugenics and a glimpse into Indiana's genetic future. The entrance that leads to the body of the exhibit allows viewers to reflect on their current notions of eugenics and to identify with the way eugenics impacted individual lives. The body itself will consist of numerous primary documents including books, medical logs, photographs and historical artifacts aimed at contextualizing Indiana's eugenic history. The viewer can expect to gain a greater understanding of the personalities and activities of key figures, the duties and operations of significant institutions, and the philosophies of influential organizations. The exhibit concludes by recontextualizing Indiana eugenics in a contemporary frame. Questions to contemporary issues about genetics, bioethics, and human nature will be posed, leaving the answers up to the viewers' own reflections.

Exhibit description based heavily on text by Matthew Groshek, Public Scholar - Exhibition Planning and Design at Herron School of Art and Design | School of Liberal Arts - IUPUI

The online exhibit is provided by IUPUI in partnership with the Indiana State Archives and the University of Michigan