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Irvington Oral Histories Added to Indy Library's Digital Collection

November 08, 2011

The story of Indianapolis' historic Irvington neighborhood as told by its residents from as long as 40 years ago is on display through the expanding digital library of The Indianapolis Public Library.

Irvington Oral Histories

The Library has launched a collection of 74 digitized materials that include recorded interviews of Irvington residents conducted in the 1970's and 1980's, their written transcripts and other miscellaneous items that reflect on life in Irvington throughout the 1900's. The interviews were part of an oral history project sponsored by the Indiana State Library. The Indianapolis Public Library partnered with the IUPUI University Library and the Irvington Historical Society to digitize the materials. Funding was provided by The Library Fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation.

Those who shared their stories include community leaders, firefighters, authors, artists and ordinary people to create a snapshot of how everyday life was lived and enjoyed in the distinctive east side Indianapolis neighborhood. In addition to the recorded individual oral histories, visitors to the Library's digital site will find such unique offerings as audio from the Irvington centennial dinner in 1970, audio from the 50th anniversary luncheon of the Irvington Union of Clubs in 1976, an audio geographical tour of Irvington businesses from early in the 20th century, and transcripts of presentations made to the Irvington Historical Society in 1965 and 1966. Many transcripts throughout the collection include photographs of Irvington families and individuals.

To access the Irvington Oral History collection, click on the "Digital Library" link on the Library's home page. Then click on "The Irvington Oral Histories" link on the photograph of an oral history interview, or select "Irvington Oral Histories" from the search or browse menu options.

In addition to this latest project, the Library's digital offerings include the Indianapolis Firefighters collection of historic photographs, Shortridge High School yearbooks from 1898 to 1968, the Indianapolis Postcards collection, the May Wright Sewall Papers, a World War One poster collection, programs from the English's Opera House, and actual recordings of poems read by beloved Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley.