David Hess, Indiana Room Librarian
Rules and Regulations
- The Gary Public Library began collecting local history items sometime between 1907-1922, when the library’s first director, Louis J. Bailey, was in charge. These materials included books published during the early days of Gary and/or Northwest Indiana, maps, pamphlets, etc. The Local History department (now the Indiana Room) was given a room of its own in the early 1940s. Since then, the collection has continued to grow and now includes thousands of items.
- Indiana Room materials can not be checked out for home use. Copies can be made from the pages of any Indiana Room item, but patrons may only make copies of up to 20 pages from any single Indiana Room item. Many of the items in the Indiana Room are very old and fragile, and must be handled with care. Please do not re-shelve materials used. Check with librarian for more information.
- The Indiana Room is open for public use during the hour the library is open. To contact the Indiana Room librarian, please call the number above.
- The Indiana Room collection includes books, maps, newspaper clippings, newspapers, magazines, newsletter, microfilms, blueprints, photographs, government documents, and various other items that pertain to Gary, Northwest Indiana, the state of Indiana as a whole, and the Chicago metropolitan area.
- The books available are Indiana related or are either written by an author who is or was from Indiana. Subjects covered by books within the collection as a whole include Indiana history, sports, law, education, science, religion, literature, business, and many others.
Gary and Northwest Indiana
- access to hundreds of blueprints for the part of Gary (mostly north of 9th Avenue) that was developed by the Gary Land Company.
- City directories, phone books, and high school yearbooks.
- Yearbooks are available from every present and past public high school in the city of Gary including a large number from Emerson, Horace Mann, and Wirt. Some yearbooks available from Froebel, Andrean, as well as Chesterton and Hobart, Indiana University Bloomington, Purdue University West Lafayette, Valparaiso University, some middle schools in Gary; and some yearbooks from nursing schools in the area.
- Thousands of newspaper clippings arranged in alphabetical order by subject. (1970s - current)
- Indexes for Gary-area newspapers
- Books on the subject of genealogy
- Family histories
- WPA Index of local newspapers (1907-1939). Search for your family name.
Historical Map Collection
- Northwest Indiana (late 1800s and early 1900s)
- Recent maps of sections of Indiana, Indiana, and a section of Illinois.
- Newspapers from Gary, Chesterton, Hobart, Crown Point, East Chicago, Griffith and Lowell. Some of the newspapers on microfilm date back to the 1880s.
- Early Gary (1906-1910)
- Recent photographs of Gary, Northwest Indiana, and other parts of Indiana
United States Census from 1820-1920
- Most of Indiana for 1820-1840, and Lake, Porter, and LaPorte counties for 1850-1920, except for 1890
- Environmental reports, both private and governmental, that concerns U.S. Steel and other areas of Gary, government documents that have been put out by the City of Gary and by the State of Indiana, reports put out by Northwest Indiana regional planning commission reports
- The Indiana Room accepts donations to its collection including yearbooks and photographs which relate to Gary, N.W. Indiana, or the Chicago metropolitan area.