The Indiana State Library has served the citizens of Indiana since 1825. The ISL is just a few steps away from the Indiana Statehouse and open to the public for a variety of needs including but not limited to; genealogy, Indiana history, preservation, rare books and manuscripts, reference and government services, Talking Books and Braille library, as well as the State Data Center. It also serves as a free facility for meetings and special events available to state agencies and the community (some fees apply to non-agency events).
The magnificent limestone building housing the Indiana State Library and the Indiana Historical Bureau was dedicated in 1934. Within the building are beautiful stained glass windows, colorful murals, walnut-paneled walls, brass accents, and wood carvings. The building is a showcase in itself, an incredible example of early 1930s American architecture constructed with Indiana limestone, sandstone, and walnut.
Visitors get a breathtaking view of the Great Hall as they stand at the bottom of the grand staircase located at the Senate Street entrance. To the north of this entrance, there is a variety of exhibits on display that feature Indiana history, rare books and manuscripts, as well as a wealth of information on genealogy. As you ascend the Grand Staircase or "Stairs of Knowledge", you look upwards to the expansive Great Hall that boasts the incredible stained glass and hand-painted murals depicting Indiana history.
Once in the Great Hall, visitors can make their way to the History Reference Room that is available for special events and weddings, as well as the Author's Room which can accommodate smaller groups. The History Reference Room includes beautiful walnut bookshelves, bronze carvings, and hand-painted artwork. It is the largest room available for events. Next to that is the Author's Room. The Author's Room features paned glass book cases made of Indiana walnut, as well as a staircase that ascends to a loft area with more walnut shelving. This room is perfect for smaller groups to host meetings or special events.
So the next time you are visiting Indianapolis, be sure to stop by and take a free tour of the Indiana State Library.
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