The Central Library: History, Creativity, and Knowledge in Downtown Indianapolis

The Central Library of the Indianapolis Public Library is the main repository for information in Indianapolis. Located a few blocks north of Monument Circle and the Veterans Memorial Plaza, the downtown branch of the Indianapolis Public Library, commonly known as the Central Library, is a hallmark of Indianapolis education. Its mix of beautiful architecture, vast educational opportunities, and helpful staff make this library one of many great Indianapolis attractions.

Inside the Central Library downtownThe Central Library is housed in the Cret Building on St. Clair Street in downtown Indianapolis, which was built in 1917. It is a beautiful example of Greek Doric architecture, and is one of the most stunning library buildings in the United States. It is built of sturdy Indiana limestone as a testament to the great solidarity of Indianapolis history, and the limestone is one of the reasons the building is still strong after nearly 100 years of service.

The Central Library is a great reservoir of Indianapolis culture. The Nina Mason Pulliam Indianapolis Special Collections Room is a detailed archive of works by local Indiana authors, adult and children’s fiction and non-fiction, manuscripts, Indianapolis pictures, old newspapers, and much more. The library is dedicated to preserving these materials for future generations, but they are also emphatic about today’s residents learning about our great heritage.

Video about the Meet the Artists gala at the Central Library in downtown Indianapolis


For those who thrive on history, the Central Library also has an extensive microfilm and newspaper collection. Users can browse through decades worth of local and national newspapers and microfilm, including current issues.

The Central Library also has a great collection of Indianapolis music, and they are not limited to CD’s and vinyl. The music collection also features audio books and sheet music to be used by the general public.

Video about a mural on display at the Central Library in downtown Indianapolis


The Learning Curve

In addition to all the standard features of a big-city library, the Indianapolis Public Library offers Indianapolis kids a unique learning opportunity: The Learning Curve. The Learning Curve at the Central Library is a fast-paced, interactive environment that seamlessly fuses technology and education.

This groundbreaking learning experience, exclusive to the Indianapolis Public Library, seeks to unlock children’s creative potential through the use of digital cameras, high-powered computers, and multimedia software.

Stop motion video tour of the Learning Curve area of the Central Library in downtown Indianapolis


These activities are meant to help kids gain valuable interpretation and information gathering skills that can be used for a lifetime.

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Indianapolis Central Library
40 E Saint Clair St
Indianapolis, IN 46204

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