The Indiana State Library recently recovered an extremely rare and valuable letter written by President Ulysses S. Grant to his former Vice President Schuyler Colfax in 1873. The document was up for sale at a Pennsylvania auction house where it was discovered by the Northern Indiana Historical Society (South Bend) who contacted the State Library to determine the provenance of the letter.
Indiana State Library staff discovered, after examining content records for the Library’s collection of Schuyler Colfax manuscripts, that the letter was previously in its Manuscripts Collection and reported missing. They then contacted the owner of the auction house who connected them with the holder of the Grant-Colfax letter. Upon receiving documents verifying the State Library’s ownership of the document, the collector graciously donated the letter to the Library.
The letter was stolen along with other items from the Indiana State Library by Robert Bradford Murphy, who visited the Library sometime in 1962. Murphy was later apprehended in Detroit with $500,000 worth of documents he had taken from the State Library, the National Archives and other institutions. In 1963, Mrs. Hazel M. Hopper from the State Library testified at Murphy’s trial and was able to identify some of the items that were taken from the library. Many of the stolen items were returned, but the Grant-Colfax letter did not. Presumably, the letter was sold prior to Murphy’s apprehension by law enforcement officials.
The letter was written on Grant’s inauguration of his second term, and it is believed to be the first correspondence between Grant and Colfax after Colfax was no longer in office after losing the Vice Presidential nomination in 1872. Colfax was elected Vice President in 1868 and served along side Grant his first term as President. In the letter, Grant invited Colfax to join him for dinner. Later correspondence indicates Colfax declined his offer.
This letter may be viewed online at the State Library’s Website.
About Schuyler Colfax:
Schuyler Colfax was born in New York City on March 23, 1823 and moved with his parents to New Carlisle, Indiana in 1836. Colfax became interested in politics at an early age and was an avid newspaper reader. He was a supporter of the Whig Party, abolitionism, and the temperance movement. In 1845, Colfax scrapped together enough money to buy a local newspaper, The South Bend Free Press.
After losing his first election in 1851, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1854. The next election, he ran as a Republican. Colfax served in the House of Representatives until he resigned to become vice president in 1869, and he was elected Speaker of the House in 1863. Colfax as Vice President, along side General Ulysses S. Grant who was the presidential candidate, easily won the 1868 election. However, Colfax lost the Vice Presidential election in 1872 to Senator Henry Wilson of Massachusetts. Wilson went on to serve as Vice President during Grant’s second term in office.
Vice President Colfax did not escape the scandals that plagued the Grant administration. In 1872, he became caught up in the Credit Mobilier Scandal, which involved railroad companies overcharging millions of dollars for government contracts and the company’s directors bribing various government officials with company shares. Although Colfax was never convicted of any wrongdoing, he was not cleared either, and his political career effectively ended. After stepping down as vice president in 1873, Colfax retired and returned to Indiana. Leaving public life, he had a successful career as a public speaker. He died on January 13, 1885.
Eckhart P.L. LEEDs the Way for Eco-friendly Building
The Eckhart Public Library (EPL) was recently featured in Library Journal (Library’s Green Annex Brings Acclaim, Growth) for its groundbreaking “green” building efforts that earned EPL the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification. The project was the first of its kind in Auburn and one of the first eco-friendly, self-sustaining green building library projects in the state of Indiana.
LEED is an internationally recognized certification system that measures how well a building or community performs across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. LEED is flexible enough to apply to all building types – commercial as well as residential – and it works throughout the building lifecycle.
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Fort Wayne Daily News: Helmke Library receives digitization grant
Fort Wayne Daily News: Reading service celebrates 30 years
Fort Wayne News Sentinel: IPFW library receives grant
Huntington Herald Press: Andrews Library joins state-wide resource sharing program
Indy Star: Summer Reading Program returns to Hamilton East Public Library
Indy Star: IMCPL Vital to community’s growth, education
Kendallville News Sun: Frehse artifacts and library farewells
Kokomo Tribune: Government reform report start of discussion
Lafayette Journal & Courier: Librarian retiring after 36 years
Logansport Pharos-Tribune: Director expects library usage to continue climb
Muncie Star Press: Stock up on books at Friends Book Sale
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Newton County Enterprise: Kentland-Jefferson Township Public Library is growing!
South Bend Tribune: Post office mural earns time in spotlight
Terre Haute Tribune Star: Library hosts book sale this weekend
Please join State Librarian, Roberta L. Brooker, as she tours Indiana’s public libraries, meets Hoosier library professionals, and discovers the creative and innovative ways Indiana’s public libraries serve their communities. Highlights from her first tour stops at the Eckhart Public Library, Jeffersonville Township Public Library and Greenwood Public Library can now be viewed online.
This summer Roberta plans to rev up her tour by visiting several more libraries throughout Indiana. Please be sure to bookmark the Indiana Library Tour website and check back often for updates. If you would like to schedule a tour stop at your library, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to accommodate your request and timeframe.
INfo Express Maintaining Rates, Offering Incentives in ‘09
The Indiana State Library is pleased to announce that pricing for INfo Express will remain unchanged during the next service year (July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010). Considering the dramatic fluctuations in fuel prices and other economic conditions, we are pleased negotiations with Pillow Express resulted with these stable prices. The only significant change for next year will be that INfo Express payments will be sent and made payable to the State Library.
In addition to keeping prices low, the State Library has added an incentive to promote resource sharing throughout Indiana’s library community. Any library increasing its weekly delivery days AND participating as an active lender through OCLC’s WorldCat or as an Evergreen member library will be provided a special rate. These libraries (and libraries already at 5-days-a-week service) will receive a second day of delivery provided at the subsidized rate of $75 for the year, rather than the normal rate of $425 per weekly stop.
Please find the renewal form and instructions at infoexpress.in.gov. Renewal requests must be received by May 15, 2009. Please contact Mike Hicks at (317) 232-3699, toll free (877) 835-0014 or vial email at email@example.com with additional questions or for more information.
Historical Bureau Hosting Authors’ Event on April 25th
The Indiana Historical Bureau will welcome authors Scott Russell Sanders, Jim Hillman and John Murphy for a book signing event on Saturday, April 25, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m (EDT) at the Indiana State Library and Historical Building in Indianapolis.
Scott Russell Sanders’s recently released, A Conservationist Manifesto, shows the crucial relevance of a conservation ethic at a time of mounting concern about global climate change, depletion of natural resources, extinction of species, and the economic inequities between rich and poor nations. The important message of this powerful book is that conservation is not simply a personal virtue but a public one.
Jim Hillman and John Murphy co-authored Indianapolis Social Clubs which provides nearly 200 rare vintage photographic memories that capture the heart, soul, and history of the clubs. Defining Indianapolis, the clubs were stoic agents of power and segregation, providing clear historical snapshots of Hoosier pomp and circumstance. A display of images from the book will be shown during this event.
A Conservationist Manifesto is priced at $19.95 for paperback and $50.00 for cloth. Indianapolis Social Clubs is available in paperback only for $21.99. Libraries will receive a 25% discount on these titles if purchased for public use. Librarians and teachers receive a 20% discount if the books are for personal use. If you would like signed copies of either title, please contact Matt Allison at mallison@history.IN.gov or 317-232-2535 by April 20th.
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Fort Wayne Daily News: Libraries seek diversity fellows
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: Library diesel cleanup done
Greene County Daily World: It’s National Library Week
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Muncie Free Press: Donating Books Helps Libraries and the Environment
New Albany News and Tribune: Leadership Southern Indiana hosts panel which discusses local government reform in Indiana
Northwest Indiana Times: Terry Baer draws from nature, life for his drawings, paintings Warsaw Times-Union: Access Testing, Career Resources Through Inspire
Washington Times-Herald: Bower captures ‘Soul of Indiana’
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WebJunction Indiana’s membership grew to over 2,000 strong by the close of 2008 after 50 Indiana librarians and library staff members joined the online community last month. Indiana’s 2,047 members rank it among the top three largest statewide communities. Indiana membership has grown well over 300% since becoming an official WebJunction partner state in June of 2007.
Over the past 18 months, library professionals have taking advantage of hundreds of hours of free profession-enhancing coursework through WebJunction Indiana. These courses have varied from basic computer skills to advanced web design and from using the Internet to library management skills. Most courses also meet Library Education Unit (LEU) requirements for certification.
The State Library would like to thank WebJunction Indiana members for helping making our state’s online community one of the best in the nation.
If you have yet to register for WebJunction Indiana, doing so is free and easy. Simply log onto www.in.webjunction.org, set up your new WebJunction member account, and begin taking advantage of WebJunction’s resources today.
ALA Offers Six Tips to Preserve Your Election Collections
Release courtesy of the American Library Association
Across the nation, Americans are saving newspapers, posters, buttons, and bumper stickers to commemorate the historic election and inauguration of Barack Obama. Anne-Imelda M. Radice, Director of the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), encourages citizen-collectors to make sure that their presidential inauguration collections will be preserved long into the future.
“The election day newspaper–cared for properly–will still be there years from now to remind us and future generations of this singular moment in American history,” Radice said. “This is a great time to raise awareness of the need to protect election and inauguration-related items from common threats such as high temperature, humidity, and light exposure.”
This guidance was excerpted from Caring for Your Family Treasures by Heritage Preservation, IMLS’s partner in Connecting to Collections, a multi-year, multi-faceted initiative that aims to help museums and libraries save their collections from poor storage conditions, pest infestation, and exposure to light, humidity, and high temperatures.
Follow these simple preventive steps to keep your treasures safe and sound for the next generation:
For more information on preserving your collections, check out the Care For Collections section found in the IMLS’s Guide to Online Resources.
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Muncie Star Press: Two Muncie library branches to close
Muncie Star Press: Library circulation continues to climb
Shelbyville News: Thinkin’ Lincoln
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Sign up today for the 2009 Library Career Expo on March 5, 2009
This October, in celebration of Family History Month and American Archives Month, the Indiana State Library is hosting several family history-related events and activities. The State Library and Indiana State Archives will offer several FREE programs on a variety of family history topics, all dedicated to researching family history and exploring Indiana’s cultural heritage.
On Saturday, October 25, 2008, the State Library will host Family History Day. The all-day event will feature the following workshops and activities (all times Eastern):
Back To Basics: Beginning Your Family History Research Guidelines for the beginning genealogist and reminders for the experienced researcher.
Family History Research at the Indiana State Library
An introduction to family history-related materials located within the State Library’s collections.
11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Lunch (On your own)
Family History Resources at the Indiana State Archives
An overview of resources of interest to genealogists available at the State Archives.
Indiana State Library and Archives Q&A Panel Library and Archives staff will field questions regarding resource availability and research techniques.
Family History Tour Tour the many family history resources located at the Indiana State Library.
In addition to the five events on Family History Day, the State Library will offer five Family History Orientation Tours throughout October. These tours offer insight into the different family history resources located at the State Library. Tours are scheduled for the following dates (all times Eastern):
October 2, 2008 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
October 9, 2008 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
October 14, 2008 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
October 21, 2008 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
October 30, 2008 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
All programs are free and open to the public. Registration is required for all Family History Month activities. The deadline to register for Family History Day is October 22 and registration for individual events is allowed. Please call (317) 232-3689 or email augonzalez@library.IN.gov to register.
For more information on upcoming Indiana State Library events, visit http://www.in.gov/library/2374.htm.
IHB HOSTING BOOK SIGNING FEATURING RAY E. BOOMHOWER AND GEOFF PADDOCK
By Pamela J. Bennett, Director, Indiana Historical Bureau
The Indiana Historical Bureau Book Shop is hosting two Hoosier authors, Ray E. Boomhower and Geoff Paddock, on Saturday, October 4, 2008 from 11:00 A.M. to 1:30 P.M. The IHB is now accepting orders for each author’s latest title and is offering a 25% discount to libraries for signed copies of the books on all orders placed before September 29. Copies ordered can be mailed and billed after they are signed.
Ray E. Boomhower’s latest publication is Robert F. Kennedy and the 1968 Political Primary (Indiana University Press, retail price $21.95, cloth, ISBN-13:978-0-253-35089-3).
Also featured, is author Geoff Paddock and his book,Indiana Political Heroes (Indiana Historical Society Press; retail price $12.95, cloth, ISBN- 978-087195268-4).
To order, contact Matt Allison, 317-232-2535; mallison@history.IN.gov; FAX 317-232-3728; or write to Indiana Historical Bureau, 140 North Senate Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204-2296.
DNR WANTS STORIES, VIDEO OF STATE PARK VISITS
By Amy Lynn Johnson, Senior Archaeologist and Archaeology Outreach Coordinator
Work on a video history to commemorate the 100th birthday of Indiana state parks and reservoirs, which will be celebrated in 2016, has started. To connect that video with Hoosiers from all around the state, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of State Parks and Reservoirs is seeking stories and videos from those who have visited the properties over the years. The video, which will air in fall 2009, is being developed in partnership with WTIU, the public television station in Bloomington.
Items sought vary from old still photos to slides, film, videotape, and souvenirs from visits to any of Indiana’s 24 state parks. Examples include scenic black-and-white photos from the 1930s, 8mm film of family camping trips in the 1960s, postcards, buttons, pins or banners. Written descriptions of the items and any stories or memories associated with the object are encouraged.
Only images and memorabilia received before June 2009 will be considered for use in the production.
Items related to Indiana’s nine reservoir properties (Mississinewa, Salamonie, Roush, Monroe, Brookville, Patoka, Cagles Mill/Lieber, Cecil M. Harden/Raccoon and Hardy Lakes) will be collected, too, but at a later time.
Items may be loaned or donated. WTIU will create digital copies of loaned items, then return the originals to the owner. Items donated will be archived or curated for future use in a State Parks and Reservoirs Centennial collection.
Photos, film and other memorabilia submitted may also be used on the Web, in Outdoor Indiana magazine, and in exhibits, brochures and other interpretive media over the next few years, as the Indiana State Parks Centennial celebration starts to move into full swing.
Those who may not have photos or physical objects to contribute are welcome to contribute a memorable story or experience at an Indiana state park.
To contribute to this project, download and complete a release form at interpretiveservices.IN.gov, then mail it with your photos or other memorabilia to:
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Division of State Parks and Reservoirs
c/o Leslie Nocton, Historian
402 W. Washington St., W298
Indianapolis, IN 46204
If you would like to have the item(s) returned, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
To find out more about the Indiana State Parks Centennial, obtain a hard copy of the information and release form, or ask a question about donating, please contact Leslie Nocton at (317) 234-6442 or lnocton@dnr.IN.gov.
HAVE REFERENCE QUESTIONS? CALL THE STATE LIBRARY’S REFERENCE HOTLINE AT 866-683-0008 OR SUBMIT QUESTIONS ONLINE THROUGH e-REFERENCE
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Public libraries are invited to apply to host “Visions of the Universe: Four Centuries of Discovery,” a traveling exhibition developed by the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office in cooperation with the Space Telescope Science Institute Office of Public Outreach and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, to mark the International Year of Astronomy in 2009. The exhibit will travel to 40 selected public libraries from January 2009 through December 2010.
Applications are available at www.ala.org/visionsoftheuniverse and must be submitted to ALA by Sept. 19. Selected libraries will be announced in late October.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have provided major funding for the exhibit. Exhibit sponsors are especially interested in receiving applications from public libraries in small towns and rural areas that have limited access to NASA resources, as well as from public libraries in larger population centers. The exhibit requires just 150 – 200 square feet of display space. All libraries on the tour will receive $500 programming support stipends, $250 collection development stipends and additional materials to support library programming.
The International Astronomical Union has proclaimed 2009 the International Year of Astronomy as an opportunity to create awareness of astronomy’s contributions to society and culture, stimulate young people’s interest in astronomy and science, portray astronomy as a global peaceful endeavor and nourish a scientific outlook in society.
“Visions of the Universe: Four Centuries of Discovery” focuses on astronomy through the ages—from Galileo’s initial findings to the latest results of the Hubble Space Telescope. The exhibit vividly illustrates 400 years of growth in our knowledge of not just planets, stars, nebulae and galaxies, but also the size and scale of the universe in both space and time.
WEBJUNCTION INDIANA ONLINE COMMUNITY 6TH LARGEST IN NATION AFTER ONE YEAR
Since Indiana became a partner WebJunction state last June, nearly 1,000 Hoosier librarians and library staff members have joined the WebJunction Indiana online community. At 1,475 members strong, Indiana has the sixth largest WebJunction community nationwide.
Keep in mind, WebJunction will launch their new website, featuring many additional capabilities, at the beginning of August. They are transitioning many course subjects to new continued education providers and adding hundreds on new courses featuring improved content, new topics, and easier to use formats to better serve library staff in the pursuit of learning goals. WebJunction online coursework is eligible for Library Education Units (LEUs).
Registering for WebJunction Indiana is free and easy. Indiana librarians and library staff are encouraged to register today and start taking advantage of WebJunction resources.
SIGN UP TODAY FOR INLIBRARIES – A LISTSERV FOR ALL INDIANA LIBRARY PROFESSIONALS