Indiana Historical Society

The Indiana Historical Society, established in 1830, is found in the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center in downtown Indianapolis.  The organization strives to be “Indiana’s Storyteller”, and provides statewide publications, educational programs, activities and resources.


Hoosiers and visitors with Indiana roots may research their family history in the vast number of records available at the center.  Popular Indiana history, such as the state bird, flower and tree, is all available on the organization’s website.  Visitors to the site may also learn what happened “today in Indiana history”.

For the Central Indiana residents there is a huge section devoted to the history of Indianapolis, it tells the story of how our city has grown into the metropolis it is today. The Indiana Historical Society offers the best hands-on education in Indianapolis; where else can you learn about your history from the original documents that made history?

Besides the vast amounts of knowledge that is stored in their library, the IHS offers both its members and visitors other outlets of Indianapolis culture. On their website you can find a calendar of events in Indianapolis that  will tell you where you need to be and when. Besides dispersing this information the historical society is also host of a great summertime Indianapolis attraction itself.

Along with the long evenings of summer comes the Indiana Historical Society’s Concerts on the Canal series. Each concert is different from the last and the performers are usually local talents hailing from such Indy hot-spots as the American Caberet Theatre and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Collections contained in the society’s William Henry Smith Memorial Library include manuscripts, maps, paintings and artifacts, books, catalogs and photographs.  Several images are available online as well.  A Preserving Image Department is available to those who have old photos or documents in need of restoration or proper preserving treatments.

A special exhibit of the Indiana Historical Society is available for a hands-on step into historical times.  “You Are There: 1945 Hoosier Home Front” contains a historically accurate storefront based on an actual picture taken in 1945.  Complete with costumes and talk of World War II, store “employees” will help visitors choose their groceries, as well as allow them to take part in the tasks required to run the business.  Kids have a fun time learning how to fill out orders, take charge of store operations, and learn how to use a period-specific ration book.


The History Lab allows children to learn paper mending techniques through hands-on application and learning.  Kids are given specific tools to learn parts of the conservation process during their visit.  Another activity center, the INvestigation Station, gives them a way to research historical clues in order to develop theories about local people and places.

Visitors to Indianapolis enjoy making their trip an educational adventure by exploring local history and personal contributions from members of past generations.  Linking local and state history to national events provides a new way to explore Indiana’s many sights, attractions and historical buildings.  Learn a bit about the places you plan to visit during your stay to make it a culturally enriching experience!

Hours of Operation:

Sunday & Monday: closed
Tuesday – Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed on major holidays
You Are There: 1945 Hoosier Home Front Exhibit:
Wednesday – Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Café hours:
Monday – Saturday: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Indiana Historical Society
450 W Ohio St
Indianapolis, IN 46202

To see what’s new at the Indiana Historical Society visit their website today.