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Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
1200 E. Seventh St.
Bloomington, IN 47405-5500
Materials are in English.
The Cycling mss., ca. 1879-1978, consist of materials pertaining to the growth of bicycling and the bicycling industry in the late-19th and early-20th century.
This collection is open for research.
The modern bicycle made its first appearance in the United States around 1880, becoming very popular in the state of Indiana. Indianapolis was home to several bicycle manufacturers. What could have been a fad became instead an integral part of American life. Women became as passionate about cycling as men, recognizing that the bicycle was a liberating force that would help them on their journey down the road to equal rights. Since 1951, Bloomington and Indiana University have hosted the annual Little 500 bicycle race. Modeled on the Indianapolis 500 and described as the "World's Greatest College Weekend," the race was the inspiration for the 1979 film Breaking Away.
Collection consists of photographs, one tintype, glass slides, a diary recording a cycling tour of Germany, a bound volume of newspaper clippings detailing cycling accidents, a glass negative, correspondence, bill headings, postcards, cycling club ephemera, bicycling catalogs, broadsides, sheet music, news clippings and business records all related to and documenting the sport of cycling in in the U.S. in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The collection also contains one small contemporary artist's print depicting a cyclist dated 1978.
Photocopying permitted only with permission of the Curator of Manuscripts, Lilly Library.
Completed in 2013