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Historic Chamber of Commerce Newsletters Added to Indy Library Digital Collection

January 28, 2013

An intriguing glimpse into the history of Indianapolis as documented in newsletters of the Chamber of Commerce is available in a newly-added digital collection of The Indianapolis Public Library found at

Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce Activities 1922

The collection contains thousands of images from Chamber newsletters during the years 1921-1942 which focused on interests of the Chamber that extended far beyond the business community. Although the primary focus was local business, the Chamber actively promoted the arts and campaigned for urban beautification, road improvement, fire prevention, and a hospital for veterans. It even championed the role of women in business and community life.

The newsletters, titled "Activities of the Chamber of Commerce" and "The Bulletin," include such images as Marmon and Stutz automobiles, Bush Stadium (known then as Perry Stadium), Union Station, the Indiana War Memorial Plaza, and the Indianapolis 500 race, among many others. Viewers also will find articles contributed by such Indianapolis authors as Booth Tarkington and Meredith Nicholson, as well as advertisements for Hoosier favorites Velvet Ice Cream, Haag's Drugs, Prest-O-Lite, Taggart Baking Company, and Kingan's Reliable Meats.

The Chamber newsletters provide an excellent resource for documenting the newly-emerging local aviation industry and the construction of many now-familiar landmarks and businesses. Visitors to the Indy Library site can click on individual images to view their contents, or search for topical information by selecting from the categories of automobiles, buildings, clubs, culture, education, sports, transportation and women.

"This collection reflects the great work the Indy Chamber has done in building our business community and fostering pride in our economic achievements," said Scott Miller, Chamber President and CEO. "Preserving the heritage of both the Indy Chamber and the city of Indianapolis is an important way to celebrate our successes and build momentum for the future."

Digitized from the collection of hard copies found in the Nina Mason Pulliam Indianapolis Special Collection Room at Central Library, the Chamber newsletters are the latest to be included in the Library's online collection of historic images and recordings which can be freely accessed. Other collections feature images from the Indianapolis Firefighters Museum, Tech and Shortridge High School yearbooks, the May Wright Sewall Papers, the Indianapolis Postcard Collection, Irvington oral histories, and recordings of poetry from James Whitcomb Riley.

Digital collections are made possible by The Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund and Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation and are developed in partnership with the IUPUI University Library.