Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Media Contacts

Diane Brown
University Communications IUPUI

Jennifer Johnson

Last modified: Thursday, September 8, 2011

IUPUI Library, Indianapolis Recorder partnership puts 106 years of black history online

INDIANAPOLIS -- A digitization project of the University Library at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, done in collaboration with the nationally recognized Indianapolis Recorder newspaper, makes available online 106 years of black history.

Indianapolis Recorder Publisher Emeritus Carolene Mays granted IUPUI University Library copyright permission to create a comprehensive online archive of the Recorder. The full-text searchable archive of the African-American newspaper is available at

The free and open access resource makes more than 5,000 issues of the community newspaper -- dated from 1899 to 2005 and captured from the microfilm version of the weekly broadsheet -- available through the Web.

"The Indianapolis Recorder is the single most important tool for researching the history of African-Americans in Indianapolis during the 20th century," said Wilma Moore, senior archivist of African-American History at the Indiana Historical Society Library & Archives.

To celebrate the launch of the Recorder digital archive, IUPUI University Library will host a public reception and panel discussion from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., Sept. 25, at the Indiana Landmarks Center, located at 1201 Central Ave. in Indianapolis. The event, which is open to the general public, will bring the wider Indianapolis community together to commemorate the rich history of the newspaper.

It is rare for newspapers to make their copyright backfiles available, and in most cases newspapers published after 1923 are not available on the Web, according to University Library Dean David Lewis.

"The Recorder was known for its local coverage of news that was important to the Indianapolis African-American community," Lewis said. "Because of the nature of the reporting done by the Recorder and the willingness to make the full backfile publically available, this is a special resource, especially for Indianapolis, but well beyond. It will be used by genealogists, students and researchers who are looking to learn more about their families, their neighborhoods and Indianapolis."

The digital product also provides a new opportunity for the Indianapolis community to help fill in long-lost issues of the paper. Missing from the historical record are Recorder issues published from 1917 to 1925, and January to April of 1932. Individuals with copies of -- or clips from -- the missing issues should contact Jennifer Johnson at 317-278-6709 for additional information.

Over the past 10 years, IUPUI University Library has partnered with Indianapolis organizations to produce more than 60 unique digital collections. Other collections that include Indianapolis black history are: The Indianapolis Public School Crispus Attucks Museum Collection 1928-1986; The Flanner House Records Collection 1936-1992; and the Ransom Place Collection.

To explore and learn more about the IUPUI University Library digital collections, go to Once at the site, browse the subject African-Americans.

Located at 755 W. Michigan St. on the IUPUI campus, IUPUI University Library is a public academic library, serving the people of Indiana as well as the university population. Any state resident with a valid I.D. is eligible for a borrower's card. Visit the library on the Web at