Building a Nation: Indiana Limestone Photograph Collection

About Building a Nation: Indiana Limestone Photograph Collection

The Indiana Geological Survey recently rescued a collection of over 25,000 photographs from the early to mid-1900s; these photographs were used by the Indiana Limestone Company (Bedford, Ind.) for marketing purposes, namely, to illustrate architectural styles, limestone uses, and limestone types. The images reflect the urban transformation of the United States, but were hidden for decades in a dilapidated house on the outskirts of a quarrying operation in southern Indiana. The collection shows the extensive use of Indiana limestone in commercial, municipal, institutional, and residential building projects in nearly every state. Most of the black and white photos are 8 x 10 inches and are mounted on cloth; glued to the cloth backing are typed or handwritten labels that provide information on the location and name of the building, architect, date of construction, type and quantity of limestone, and other building details. The majority of the photographs were taken by professional photographers and the photos are stamped with the photographer’s name or company. Indiana University’s Office of the Vice Provost provided funding for this portion of the collection to be inventoried, catalogued, and scanned by the Indiana Geological Survey. The collection available here is of images from Indiana and Chicago and their corresponding data. NOTE: The ILPC project is currently unfunded; further work on this collection is suspended until such time as financial support is secured.

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