Sunday, February 10, 2013

214. Indianapolis Special Collections Room, IMCPL

             Tucked away on the east side of the sixth floor of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library's Main Branch on St. Clair Street, the Nina Mason Pulliam Special Collections Room houses an eclectic assemblage of Marion County and other materials.
            It's difficult to say what exactly is in there, as the materials are in a climate-controlled "Staff Only" area more like an archive than a library. You have to request items to be brought out from the restricted area to a user area at the Information desk, where presumably a librarian watches what you do. In several trips to the sixth floor, I have yet to see anyone actually doing this process.
            A flyer in the area says that they have an Indianapolis Collection, with histories, directories, yearbooks, biographies, and other items. They also store collections on Indianapolis Authors, Children's Literature, the Public Library, Fine Printing, and Cookbooks and Menus. Some of these are not about Indianapolis, but all are historically valuable. Some items are very restricted-use materials. The open shelves on the sixth floor also have some of these items, evidently ones that are not so rare and valuable.
            When you search the IMCPL Catalog, materials inside the SCR will say "Indianapolis Room Collection," as this sample--

Indianapolis, Ind. : The School.
Call number: 371.805 BRE

            You will just have to search the catalog to see if there is something you want to look over, and then request it at the Information desk and see what happens. Good Luck!
Enter through these double doors

Staff Only area

Samples of Collection materials

1 comment:

  1. We do have some materials that are good for genealogy, but it is limited to Marion County. The Indianapolis Room really houses more of the rare and important items and collections that have been given to the library since its beginnings in 1873. We have a large collections of Indianapolis authors such as Vonnegut and Riley -- most are signed -- as well as rare items like the 1632 Shakespeare Folio.

    We do take people into the room for tours, so if you are interested you can contact me -- Chris Marshall -- at We enjoy giving tours because it gives us the chance to show off our great materials.