May 9th, 2015
Archiving Our History


Indianapolis Public Library and Meridian~Kessler Neighborhood Association are partnering to create a digital archive of a vast trove of MKNA newsletters.

Through the last 50 years, the MKNA newsletter has served as a vital source of news to neighbors. In the not-so-distant days before websites, email and Facebook, the newsletter was the chief communication tool to inform and engage residents, local businesses, churches and service organizations. Browsing through past issues reveals the evolution of the volunteer association, the civic and economic challenges of the day, the climate and texture of the business community and the identities of neighborhood personalities. An online archive of the newsletter would provide a special resource to those interested in researching local history. 

The digital collections of the Indianapolis Public Library began in 2004 with the Artifacts at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis collection. Over the next ten years the Public Library Digitization Team developed the collections, adding collections including recordings of James Whitcomb Riley reading his poems, videos and photographs from the Firefighters Museum and the Indianapolis Postcard Collection.

In 2012, the Library launched the Community Digitization Project as an exploratory partnership between the Indianapolis Public Library, Indiana Historical Society, IUPUI University Library, and the Indiana State Library. Since late 2014, Meaghan Fukunaga has served as Digitization Manager at the Indianapolis Public Library.  Meaghan develops the digital collection by adding materials from the Indianapolis community as well as drawing on the Public Library’s own collections, engaging in outreach services, and redesigning the digital collections website.

The purpose of these collections is to provide access to digital images and recordings of cultural and historical interest to Indianapolis residents as well as students, researchers and others. The Library offers these collections to allow free access to digital versions of increasingly valuable, fragile and hard-to-use originals. These originals are scanned adding identifying information such as a title, description, and date to facilitate search.  Then the scans are made freely and publicly available through the library’s website. Begin exploring the digital collections.


From the April 1990 MKNA News

In 1990, MKNA distributed 6,500 bins launching the first weekly neighborhood-wide recycling program. Under the leadership of Terri Brown, MKNA secured grants including $10,000 from Indianapolis Department of Public Works for the start-up fees. 5,000+ hours of volunteer time were invested and $50,000 of in–kind contributions were collected. The program was cited in the IPS 4th grade social studies textbook. The Mayor, Governor and news media lauded MKNA’s initiative.

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