Image depicts the bicentennial logo over the words "festival of favorites, 200 items celebrating IU Libraries collections

This color-coded map reveals the changing face of Indianapolis by highlighting which neighborhood blocks were predominantly African American before 1950, during the period of 1950 through 1960, and from 1960-1967, as well as which integrated blocks had become mostly white as of 1967. 

Exceedingly rare. Profoundly influential. Fascinating. Peculiar.

The items selected for our Festival of Favorites span many centuries and represent works from across the globe. Dozens of librarians and archivists from the IU Libraries handpicked these materials, which represent myriad disciplines. Faculty at Indiana University were invited to suggest their own favorites. 

Some of these items are exceedingly rare, some have profound cultural or historical influence, and some are just plain fascinating, if not downright peculiar. They exemplify the vast collecting breadth of the Libraries and the ways in which the Libraries' collections act as both an important cultural institution and as a tremendous resource that expands scholarship and public knowledge in innumerable areas. 

 

Call Number: G4094.I4 E1 1967 .I53

Location: Wells Library - EastTower2 - Rare Maps

The face of many cities changed in post World War II America. Federal housing policies encouraged construction of new houses outside of city centers. Improved access to loans made it easier for families to invest in home ownership. Investment into roads and other infrastructure effectively created a “pro-commuter” landscape where people could now live further from their jobs. 

Millions of Americans took advantage of this transformation and moved to new housing stock in the suburbs or neighborhoods away from the metropolitan core. Not all Americans, however, shared equally in these postwar benefits. 

Racist real estate practices were common, including “redlining,” in which maps were literally drawn with red areas that delineated the divide between where realtors would guide white and black homebuyers. Often newly constructed neighborhoods were mapped so that only white buyers would have access to the most modern housing stock, while black families would have access to less sought after neighborhoods. 

Banks were more likely to approve a home loan to a white family than a black family, further entrenching racial segregation and concentrating poverty into certain areas of the city. Developers and city leaders, quick to take advantage of construction opportunities, created urban renewal campaigns that more times than not targeted poor, non-white neighborhoods for demolition (deemed “blighted” to justify their destruction) with little thought given to rehousing the displaced populations. The effects of this history can still be seen across many American cities, including Indianapolis, to this day. 

The Indiana Civil Rights Commission put these complexities of segregation into sharp relief via mapping. 

This color-coded map reveals the changing face of Indianapolis by highlighting which neighborhood blocks were predominantly African American before 1950, during the period of 1950 through 1960, and from 1960-1967, as well as which integrated blocks had become mostly white as of 1967. 

Map from Wells Collection. Placeholder image not connected to content.
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