Family photos and memorabilia from generations of Indianapolis families are the latest additions to The Indianapolis Public Library’s growing collection of local historical materials that can be viewed at digitalindy.org. The “Black History, Indianapolis History” digital archive is comprised of images from community members that were scanned during several cultural heritage preservation events at Indy Library branches in the past year. Items include family and individual portrait photos, newspaper clippings and photos from weddings, graduations, military participation and other celebrated milestones.
Represented in the collection are notable citizens, such as Elder Watson Diggs, an educator, founder of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and first African American to join the Indiana Reserves; Dr. Earle Robinson, Sr., one of the first 27 black graduates of the iconic Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis; acclaimed local artist Joseph Holiday; and a number of alumni of Crispus Attucks High School.
Interesting images from the collection include a 1937 photo of Dr. Earle Robinson, Sr. performing an autopsy at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis; a Diggs family photo from the early 20th century featuring Elder Watson Diggs; and a clipping from the Indianapolis Recorder in 1971 showing newly-elected Indianapolis City-County Councillors, including Indiana Pacer player Roger Brown. Brown was elected as a Republican at-large member of the council.
Other collections in the Library’s Digital Indy archives on the topic of black history in Indianapolis include those featuring Indianapolis Public Schools, Indianapolis African American Firefighters, the Crispus Attucks Museum, Crispus Attucks High School and the library’s African American History Committee. The “Black History, Indianapolis History” collection also includes a number of library resources available for further reading and research.
The Library will continue to host events during which individuals are encouraged to bring items relating to their family histories for scanning and inclusion in “Black History, Indianapolis History” collection. To learn more about these programs, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Black History, Indianapolis History” has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.”