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February 25, 2021

What IS in the Indiana Room?

Written by: Nancy Massey, Indiana Room Coordinator

If you are a genealogist, someone researching the history of your home, or a student researching a famous Hoosier, then you may already know that the Indiana Room houses a specialized collection of genealogical and historical resources. So what resources are those?  

Our Noblesville city directories and Hamilton County directories range as early as 1874 through 2000. They don’t cover every year but you can search for the name of your ancestor or the street on which they lived. The 1874 Peoples Guide is available online. Our Haines Criss-Cross Indianapolis and Noblesville directories begin in 1976 and continue to the most current year. You won’t be able to search for a name but you can search for an address and find out who lived there or what business was there. Genealogists and real estate researchers most often use these directories.

Genealogists treasure our Family Histories File. This file is comprised of copies of genealogy research by family historians. If you would like to see if there is a file on your family surname, check out this index on the Indiana Room webpage. The Indiana Room also has bound family histories in our reference collection.  These volumes do not circulate but you are welcomed to read and study them in the room. Right now, you will need to make a two-hour appointment by calling 317 770 3236.

Our Indiana and Hamilton County vertical files contain clippings, pamphlets, brochures, photos, etc. on pertinent topics particular to Indiana and Hamilton County. Although there is an index to those files, it is not available online at this time. One patron was researching the history of the Forest Park pool. We found this brochure about a swim meet in 1936 at the pool!

If you have some microfiche that you would like to view or print, our microfilm readers also view microfiche.

If you are looking for an obituary, the Indiana Room has Hamilton County newspapers on microfilm (1837-2019). Those newspapers have been indexed for obituaries, marriage announcements, biographical sketches, etc. So our Obituary File Index is another often used resource. We have made it easy to search from home with our Newspaper Database found on the Indiana Room webpage.

The Indiana Room collection also contains county histories, historical maps, plat maps, books written by Indiana authors, books about Indiana, and unique resources, such as the 1973 Hamilton County Ancestors-Descendants Project. This was a project organized to commemorate the 150th anniversary for Noblesville and Hamilton County. Their bicentennial will be celebrated in 2023, which is just around the corner.

The Indiana Room also has a few interesting displays, such as the stereoscope and stereoscopic slides. We even house the state bicentennial torch that traveled through Hamilton County in the 2016 Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay.              

The Indiana Room archives some special collections, that include the Noblesville Mayor Docket Books, the Joe Roberts photo collection, the Ken Wright Negative Collection, the Stewart Title Abstracts, the Evans-Godby-Trout Funeral Home Records, the Floyd Hopper Negative Collection, and most recently the 1987 City Hall Renovation Photo Album. All of these collections have been digitized or are in the process of being digitized. The digitized collections are accessible through Indiana Memory an online  gateway to Indiana’s history and culture.

Another collection that is often used are the Noblesville High School yearbooks. These begin as early as 1909 and run through 2019. There are a few missing years when the yearbook was not published. The yearbooks are like a community/school time capsule for a particular year. They provide a picture of what Noblesville was like and what events influenced students. They may also provide a photo of your ancestor!  

Are you researching cemeteries? We have cemetery listings for you to peruse for information on your ancestors. These cemetery lists were also entered into our cemetery database which is remotely accessible from our Indiana Room webpage.

Are you just beginning to research your ancestors? The you might benefit from our Beginner’s Kit with forms to record your research and tips on starting your research. If you tracing the history of your home, we have a step by step sheet on how to get started and what resources to investigate. 

Are you curious about the Indiana Room? Feel free to make an appointment to visit! We even have a guidebook to the Indiana Room resources for you to keep. You can reach us at 317 770-3236. We look forward to hearing from you!