Volume 29, Number 4, Winter 2007


Contributing to Indiana's Memory

Robin Crumrin, Collections and Information Access, IUPUI University Library

IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis) University Library is involved in numerous collaborations to build collections pertaining to the rich heritage of Indiana. Funding for a number of these collaborations was provided through the Indiana State Library's digitization grant program. The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) digitization grants are distributed annually by the Indiana State Library through federal support provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The intent of the Indiana State Library is to build collections of Indiana history and culture that will either be hosted and/or indexed in its digital library, Indiana Memory, currently scheduled for release in late fall/early winter 2007.

IUPUI University Library played a critical role in providing technical expertise and consulting on the development of policies and procedures for the implementation of Indiana Memory through my involvement in the program. Last year, I had the good fortune to receive a sabbatical leave to work at the Indiana State Library assisting them with the installation of CONTENTdm as the backbone for Indiana Memory. I worked with the library's implementation team, aided by OCLC implementation services manager Laurie Gemmill.

LSTA funding provides the drive and momentum for the creation of content that will become part of Indiana Memory. Collaborations are encouraged for applicants. Within my own organization, we have collaborated with the Indiana State Archives, the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, the Indianapolis Marion County Public Library, the Indiana Historical Society, the Indiana Historical Bureau, and the Indiana State Library on digitization projects that will either become part of the hosted content of Indiana Memory or hosted at IUPUI and indexed by the Indiana Memory project.

A collection that is receiving a great deal of attention is Livin' the Life of Riley: The James Whitcomb Riley Collection. IUPUI University Library partnered with three diverse organizations with a common interest, celebrating the works of James Whitcomb Riley—the Hancock County Public Library, the Riley Old Home Society, and the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home. James Whitcomb Riley, known as the Hoosier Poet, achieved a height of fame that few literary figures ever attain. His poems reflected memories of childhood and nature and were quite popular. Poems such as "Little Orphant Annie" were written in the "Hoosier dialect.” The collection provides access to manuscripts, personal letters, photographs, early edition books, and artifacts that represent the Hoosier Poet. The launching of the collection was celebrated by “The Riley Poetry Slam” at the Marilyn K. Glick School of Art in Indianapolis. The digital collection was highlighted with two veteran performers of Riley's poetry, Kim Manlove and Henry Ryder, delighting the audience with renditions of Riley's poetry. It was a novel and entertaining way to launch a digital collection.

Digital collections like Livin' the Life of Riley ensure that Hoosier heritage continues to be archived and accessed and preserved for many generations to come.

For more information on Indiana Memory, contact Connie Rendfeld, Indiana State Library or Robin Crumrin, IUPUI University Library.