Indiana Biography Index

(Materials published before 1990)

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Indiana Biography Index  

This is the online version of the card file Indiana Biography Index located in the Great Hall on the second floor of the Indiana State Library.  To search the database, type in the last name of the person you want to find.  You will receive results that look like copies of the index cards, in the order they appear in the card file index.  There are approximately 250,000 names in the index, each with a minimum of one citation to a book, magazine, or other printed source.  

The cards are arranged alphabetically by the name of the person.  Birth and death dates are included, whenever possible.  Abbreviated citations to books and periodicals with biographical information about that person are listed on the card, with page numbers.  Sometimes call numbers for the item are included as well. The list of sources contains complete titles and call numbers for the abbreviated citations found on the card file images.

If using the database within the Indiana State Library, call slips are needed to request the name of the book or periodical, the call number, and if it is a periodical, the volume and issue numbers.  To request a copy of the item cited by mail, please contact the Indiana Division using our Ask A Librarian service, or call (317) 232-3670 during our regular business hours.

There are hundreds of titles that are indexed in this source.  Some of the indexed publications include:
Journal of the Indiana State Medical Association, Indiana Alumni Magazine, Purdue Alumnus, Who's Who in the Midwest

There are two major collections indexed by the Indiana Biography Index:

Indiana Biography Series:  The IBS (which is indexed heavily in the Indiana Biography Index card file) was ninety-seven volume scrapbook set created by staff in the Indiana Division from 1922 to 1989. Obituaries and other articles about people with Indiana connections were clipped and pasted into the scrapbooks.  Most of the material is obituaries from the Indianapolis Star and the Indianapolis News.

Citizens Historical Association Biographies:
The Citizens Historical Association was an Indianapolis company which, for a fee,  prepared  biographical sketches for its members from information supplied by them.  The sketches usually included genealogical information on one or more generations of each member's ancestors.  The company was founded in the 1930s and went out of business in the 1950s, at which time they sold the biographical sketches they produced to the Indiana State Library.
Obtaining Copies

Once you have a citation, you can locate the articles.  The Indiana State Library's Indiana Division has all of the necessary titles available for use within the library or you can request a photocopy of the item for your research use.

If there is a full citation (name of paper, date of paper, page, and column number), you may also request  a photocopy of the article through our Ask a Librarian service.  You may view our current photocopy cost list to determine the charges for your photocopies.  Please allow ten working days for response requests.