Collection Descriptions

While any of the collections within the IUB Libraries may contain resources that would be useful to the genealogist, the primary collections with genealogy resources are listed below. The best access to these resources is through the use of IUCAT, the Libraries online catalog, which will provide the location and full information about access. IUCAT is a free resource open to all. The descriptions below provides a general overview of what each collection contains that might be useful for family historians.

Herman B Wells Library: Reference Services Department and Research Collections

The Herman B Wells Library has no Genealogy Department or special collection of genealogical materials. Resources that may be potentially useful for family histories are simply part of the Research Collections, acquired to support teaching and scholarly research. Such resources include county histories (especially for Indiana), parish registers , biographical dictionaries and directories, publications of state historical societies, newspaper indexes and population schedules. Print indexes are available to a number of periodicals, as is electronic access to indexes and full-text biographical information with a guest pass for workstations on the first floor of the East Tower. A number of volumes offer help to genealogical researchers, and some of them are in the Reference Reading Room. A search of IUCAT, our online library catalog, will turn up additional genealogical guides, some family histories, biographies, and both primary and secondary sources.

Herman B Wells Library: Government Information (East Tower 2 or ET2)

Government Information is located on the 2nd floor, East Tower of the Herman B Wells Library. In addition to the official documents described below, it houses the University's microform collections including microfilm of historical runs of newspapers and archival collections such as the Draper Manuscript Collection and the British Parliamentary Papers.
Online resources of particular interest to genealogists include:
Ancestry Library Edition
Online genealogy resource, including manuscript census records
ProQuest Congressional
Provides easy access to congressional publications since 1789 and some full-text of reports, bills, resolutions, and laws to the present. Includes Records of the War of the Rebellion, HUAC Hearings, Revolutionary War Pensions, among other historical reports.
House of Commons Parliamentary Papers
Indexing and full text of the British House of Commons Parliamentary Papers from the 18th to the 20th centuries


The IUB Libraries have extensive collections of primary and secondary sources related to Indiana and her localities but has never collected genealogical sources specifically. The documents collection includes copies of the Acts of Indiana, the Documentary Journals of the Indiana General Assembly, and annual reports of the various agencies which often included historical information related to development of counties and cities of Indiana. Secondary sources include county histories, publications of the Indiana Historical Society and several local newspapers on microfilm. All are listed in IUCAT, the Libraries' online catalog. Sources of particularly interest to family and local historians are listed in this guide, including links to the Indiana State Library which maintains extensive genealogy collections and services.

U.S. Federal

The Indiana University-Bloomington Libraries has served as a U.S. Federal Depository since 1881, receiving federal documents free from the U.S. Government Printing Office. Additionally, the Libraries have acquired earlier documents so the collection dates from 1774. Many of these published reports, studies, and documents provide information useful for family and local history.

In 2004, Kevin D. Motes prepared an extensive bibliography of these resources Genealogical Resources in U.S. Federal Depository Libraries. This was Updated and Edited on 23 July 2006 by Clifton Broadworth, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, US Government Information Divisions.

IUB Wells Library locations have been identified and included at: http://bl-libg-
Additionally unpublished records are often reproduced by the U.S. National Archives on microfilm, many of which have been obtained for the collections, including the manuscript census records for Indiana 1810-1930 for population and 1850-1880 for manufacturing and agriculture. Most of the microfilm is listed in IUCAT.

Foreign Governments

Public Records Offices and Archives hold information of great interest to genealogists. IUB Libraries selectively collect guides from foreign countries which are designed to assist people searching for ancestors. A keyword search in IUCAT which includes the name of the country or region such as Scotland, and terms such as “public records”, “genealogy”, and or “ancestors” may yield helpful guides. On the World Wide Web some national archives have supplied links to sources useful for family or military history. For example, see the UK website:
National Archives


IUB is fortunate to have a good collection of historic Indiana cartographic resources. Most popular with local historians are the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps because of the level of detail they provide for principal cities and towns from the late 1800’s thru the 1950s. As a federal depository, IUB also has extensive holdings of the U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps, useful for identification of churches, schools, and cemeteries. Maps showing boundaries, roads, railroads date from the mid-1800s. A few early land-ownership maps of various counties (not all) and plat books are available. Through a grant from the Indiana Humanities Council and the Indiana State Library, some of the resources have been digitized and included in our Historic Maps of Indiana which includes a link to the digital map site at IUPUI: Historic Indiana Maps
IUB Map Collection is hosued on the 2nd floor of the Herman B Wells Library (ET2), but extremely rare maps are at the Lilly Library. Check IUCAT for specific titles.

Office of University Archives and Records Management

E-460 Herman B. Wells Library
Phone: 812-855-1127
Fax: 812-855-8104

While the IU Archives is probably not the place for the genealogist researching his entire family tree, the Archives is a good source for information on IU faculty members and students.

There are federal laws in place that restrict much of the information we can release on students, but if available, we can share what is considered to be “directory information,” such as: Name, Address and phone number, Major, Dates of attendance, Admission or enrollment status, Campus, School, Class standing, Degrees and awards, Activities, and Sports.

We cannot share: Student identification number, Social security number, Grades, Hours completed, GPA, Current class schedule, Parent name and address, Date of birth (IU-specific restriction).
The Registrar’s Office maintains all student records. Any questions about obtaining a copy of student records should go to them, although again, due to federal laws, they may not be able to fulfill your request.

The Archives holds an index for the Indiana Daily Student covering 1867-1938, which is a wonderful resource for information on student and faculty activities. Additionally, the Archives has a full run of the student yearbook, the Arbutus, from 1894 to present day. Also available in the Archives is an extensive clippings file on IU faculty and select staff and alumni as well as a collection of nearly 2 million photographic images.

Finally, in addition to university records, the Archives collects the personal papers of IU faculty, staff, and alumni. Some of these include family trees, correspondence with family members, memoirs, etc.
Because the bulk of the Archives collection is stored off site, it is always wise to contact an archivist at least a few days in advance to allow time to research your query and to recall materials. It may also be that we can fulfill your request through the mail. The Archives can be reached at 812-855-1127 or

Lilly Library (Rare Books and Manuscripts)

The Lilly Library does not collect in the area of genealogy. However, some collections, such as the Grace Marks collection or the Hohenberger Photograph collection, may contain information useful for family history. The Lilly Library website ( may be searched to see if there might be information pertinent to your research.

The primary genealogy collections in Monroe County/Bloomington are:

Monroe County Public Library’s Genealogy Collection, located in its Indiana Room.
303 East Kirkwood Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47408

Monroe County History Center’s Genealogy Library
202 East Sixth Street
Bloomington, IN 47408
Phone: 812-355-5588

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
2411 E 2nd St.
Bloomington, IN
Phone: 812-334-3432 / (812) 332-0490

Also consult the resources available at:

Indiana State Library Genealogy Division
140 N. Senate Ave
Indianapolis, IN
Phone: 866-683-0008

Allen County Public Library
900 Library Plaza
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
Phone: 260.421.1200


LM/JG : last updated December 18, 2011


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