Mapping the Hoosier State: Indiana History Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries
Today marks the 198th anniversary of Indiana’s admission to the Union on December 11, 1816. The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) is creating custom maps about Indiana’s rich history. The maps are geared toward the fourth-grade Indiana history curriculum and feature numerous people and places often neglected in the elementary social studies textbook.
Indiana’s political history is depicted on the map Whigs, Willkie, and the White House: Indiana Political History (above, click to enlarge). This map features prominent figures in the state’s rich political history, including the five U.S. Vice-presidents from Indiana. The map also includes lesser-known politicians like Eugene Debs from Terre Haute, who in 1920 became the only person to run for President while in prison and George Dale, a Muncie mayor who became an early proponent of civil rights.
The Mapping the Crossroads: Indiana Automobile History map (above) describes some of the people and car companies that called Indiana home. In its history, more than 50 communities in Indiana produced over 200 makes of cars, including Studebaker, Auburn, and Westcott. The Cole Motor Car Company in Indianapolis, for example, produced the first automobile for a U.S. President, William Taft in 1910. And Elwood Haynes built the first successful spark-ignition automobile in Kokomo in 1893.
Indiana’s history in the field of sports is also significant and is described on the map, Horsepower to Hysteria: Indiana Sports History. Indiana’s love of the game of basketball is depicted with hometown heroes like Larry Byrd of French Lick and John Wooden of Martinsville. But the state is also the home of David Boudia of Noblesville, an Olympic gold medal diver; Marshall “Major” Taylor of Indianapolis, the first Black world champion in any sport—bicycling; and Dan Patch of Oxford—a world record-breaking harness racehorse in the early 1900’s.
Other maps in the series include a map of Indiana’s music history, a map showing movies that take place in Indiana, a map of prominent authors from the state, a map of Indiana high school boys basketball state champions (before class basketball), and a map of Indiana points of interest.
The maps include photographs from the Libraries’ Digital Media Repository and from the Indiana Historical Society. The Indiana history maps are all available in the Libraries’ Cardinal Scholar repository. The maps may be printed and used in the elementary classroom or for research and learning projects.
For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.