About History

"history, n....The branch of knowledge that deals with past events; the formal record or study of past events, esp. human affairs. Also: this as a subject of study." Oxford English Dictionary

History of the (History) Collections

Collections supporting the study of history at Indiana University have been built continuously since the founding of the university in 1820. Much of the collection originally acquired to support other academic programs is now of interest to historians. Thanks to consistent support for library collections and a preference for preservation rather than weeding collections, the Indiana University Libraries have acquired a rich and broad collection of primary resource material for the study of all areas of history.

Strengths of the Collections

The greatest strength of the collections is their breadth, reflecting the Department of History's commitment to a broad curriculum and the diverse research interests of many generations of Indiana University faculty members. Complete runs of both popular and scholarly eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth-century periodicals, massive collections of archival materials, both original and in digital or microform facsimile, and in-depth collections of materials acquired from outside the U.S. by dedicated area studies librarians all contribute to the extent of the history collections. The collections are further supported by other collections on campus, including Government Information, Maps and Microform Services, the Office of Archives and Records Management, and the rare books and manuscripts of the Lilly Library.

Location of the History Collections

The majority of the newer materials in the collections are located on the fifth and sixth floors of the Herman B Wells Library (D, E, and F in the Library of Congress call number system). Most pre-1923 publications are housed in the Auxiliary Library Faciility (ALF). Microform collections are in Government Information, Maps and Microform Services on the second floor. 

Getting help with research in History

Ask us anything! You can also browse our research guides for history (most were created for specific courses, but may be helpful if you're researching a related topic).