IPS Oral History Featured in IndyPL Digital Collection

October 27, 2015

Memories from past and present students and families with experiences at Indianapolis Public Schools, township and charter schools comprise The Indianapolis Public Library's latest digital collection found online at www.indypl.org.

The collection, "Families Talk: Indianapolis Public School Oral Histories," includes audio recordings and transcripts of interviews with those whose experiences at IPS and other schools date as far as the 1920's. Narrators range in age from 15 to 94 and represent diverse ethnicities, communities and careers. Janitors, scientists, cooks, and teachers are among those whose stories illustrate how experiences varied among people, their schools and times during which they attended, resulting in a vivid record of eight decades of Indianapolis urban life that saw such issues as segregation, busing and school choice play out.

The stories also provide fascinating, first-person accounts of trends in K-12 education and show the impact of individual differences, prejudices, population shifts, social upheaval and other variables on local schools.

Local journalist Josefa Beyer created and was the chief interviewer for "Families Talk." Work continues on finalizing transcripts from many of the interviews to be added to the digital collection in 2016. Several transcripts will be included in Beyer's book, Schooled in Indianapolis, to be published in 2016.

Complementing the new IPS oral history collection is an existing IndyPL digital collection of historical yearbooks from all ten IPS high schools, as well as from Ben Davis, North Central and Warren Central high schools.

The Indianapolis Public Library and digitization partner IUPUI University Library present these digital collections of materials found in the Nina Mason Pulliam Indianapolis Special Collections Room at Central Library, along with other community collections published with funding provided by The Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund.

Collections can be accessed from the Digital Collections link on the Library's homepage or directly at http://digitallibrary.imcpl.org/.