Message from the Dean

This August civic leaders in nearby Nashville unveiled an official State of Indiana historic marker celebrating Hoosier photographer Frank Hohenberger. In remarks at the event it was noted that in his diary, housed at our Lilly Library, Hohenberger once wrote “primitive things are fast disappearing, and we should be on the alert to photograph them as soon as we learn of them.”

In the early 1900s, Hohenberger used a camera to preserve history.  At IU Libraries we use a different set of tools.  Many of these are new technologies, sometimes developed by us for the rest of the world.  As you will see in this report, it has been a tremendous year for building and using the technology tools of the future — the reputations of our librarians, our collections, and our University have paved the way for unprecedented campus and grant-funded support. But even as we celebrate this incredible momentum, we recommit ourselves to the idea that technology itself can never be the single answer. Instead, it will be our personal and organizational commitments to supporting teaching and research, to pervasive access, and to careful conservation of our own “primitive things” that will help us mobilize the third century of learning at Indiana University.

At the Lilly Library 17,000 of Hohenberger’s early 20th century images are in our safekeeping, examined by scholars for decades in our soon-to-be-renovated Reading Room. In our general collections is a 1993 book published by our IU Press as an academic exploration of this photographer’s impact on Indiana.  In the months to come, grant funds will republish it as an open access digital edition — opening up the stories inside to not only a new generation of researchers, but to anyone online.  Internet access already allows on-demand browsing of the 9,000 Hohenberger images we scanned and described for our digital collection.  

In all of these ways we fulfill our role as an enduring source of knowledge, and our vision to make it available to more people in more ways every year.

Are primitive things fast disappearing? Not at IU Libraries.

Carolyn Walters
Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries


Pages 2–3  International Dimension of EXCELLENCE “Precious” 1940s recordings travel back to Brazil Pages 4–5  An Excellent EDUCATION Cream and crimson collection connections Pages 6–7 Excellence in RESEARCH A front-row seat to history Pages 8–9 Building for EXCELLENCE Grant gives Lilly Library “recognition it deserves” Pages 10–11 Excellence in RESEARCH Leading research in the information age Pages 12–13 Excellence in ADVANCEMENT Herman B Wells finds better luck the next time Pages 14–15 An Excellent EDUCATION Assignments that live beyond the semester Pages 16–17 Facts and Figures IU Libraries at-a-glance