The Indiana State University (ISU) Archives Reference Collection consists of newspaper clippings, photographs, commencement programs, student publications, and faculty records. ISU archivists created the collection in response to commonly asked questions and research topics at the archives. The collection draws upon a wide variety of sources from university records to student publications to publications and resources outside of ISU. The collection is organized into the following series:
The Buildings and Architecture series contains information and publications about specific ISU buildings and structures past and present. Depending on the building, the quantity of records can vary widely with some building files holding many more related records than other buildings. Records may include original dedication programs, listings of services available, departmental publications, and newspaper clippings related to the building's use and/or destruction.
The General Subjects series covers a variety of historical events and traditions related to ISU. Records include copies of the Indiana House bill 119 authorizing the construction of the Indiana State Normal School, publications and university records related to student demonstrations and protests, descriptions and recipients of university awards, university-wide policy statements, student and homecoming traditions, and iterations of ISU's master plan for development.
The Commencement Programs series houses all of the programs and some related materials for every graduating class from 1872 to today. The series is useful in verifying if an individual graduated from ISU and lists the recipients of honorary degrees and some university awards.
The President Records series contains a small selection of records related to each of the ISU presidents up to Lloyd Benjamin. Materials include presidential inauguration invitations and programs, transcripts of speeches, annual reports, and photographs.
The Retired Faculty series contains biographies, curriculum vitae, and other press releases. Originally, the Office of Information Services used the records for publicity purposes.
The Photographs series arranges photographs related to many ISU subjects. General Photographs cover a broad range of subject matters not covered by the other subseries. The Commencement subseries provide a visual glimpse at commencements in ISU's history. The Homecoming subseries contain images of many of the student-constructed floats for the parades as well some photographs of the homecoming game. The Theatre subseries depict some of ISU's theatrical student productions. Lastly, the Building subseries contain images of most of the buildings standing or previously built on campus.
The Larry Bird series has a variety of items related to when Larry Bird played ISU basketball leading up to the 1979 NCAA championship. Materials include copies of magazines discussing Bird at various points in his college and professional career, photographs of games, a "horrible hanky" distributed to fans to show support for the team, a video of the NCAA championship game, and other materials.
The Greek Life series holds materials related to the Greek fraternities and sororities on the ISU campus. Basic information related to the founding or membership rolls for specific years is available for every Greek organization which operated in ISU student life from the earliest local fraternities to chapters of nationwide Greek organizations. In addition to a selection of photographs of selected Greek houses and group photos of chapter members, records from the Inter-Fraternity Council and the Pan-Hellenic Council are present as well including the constitution and policy statements.
The President Photographs and Faculty Photographs series contain photos of some of the presidents and faculty of ISU. Depending on the president, there may be further subdivisions based on similar content matter of the photographs. Group and individual photographs of faculty members are present mostly covering the 1950s through the 1970s.
The ISU Bulletins and Catalogs describe the academic programs and requirements of entry to ISU. The publications list the required student fees for the upcoming academic year as well as abbreviated forms of codes of student conduct. The earliest bulletins and catalogs also contain the names of students in attendance for the previous academic year as well as student attendance statistics. Lastly, the bulletins and catalogs print the names of the ISU's faculty and their associated department or college.
The Student Publications series is a chronological collection of the Normal Advance journal and Sycamore yearbooks from 1895-1993. The earliest student publications contained articles on a variety of subjects from educational theory, news from around town, jokes about and by the students, and announcements of on and off campus organizations. The final issue of the academic year was dedicated to the graduating seniors of whom many were pictured in the journal along with the faculty in the style of a yearbook. In 1915, the Normal Advance switched from being a monthly journal to being a weekly newspaper with a separate annual edition as a dedicated yearbook still being called the Advance. The yearbook would be renamed the Sycamore in 1924 and the newspaper would be renamed to the Indiana Statesman in 1929. The Student Publications series also contains the University School, previously known as the Laboratory School, yearbooks.
Alumni Directories contain several printed editions of official Indiana State University directories with the first edition from 1930. These publications are another resource to double-check if an individual has graduated from Indiana State.