URGENT! – Indiana State Library Genealogy Department in Jeopardy

HB 1001 put forth by the Indiana State House Ways and Means Committee is putting the Indiana State Library’s Genealogy Department in jeopardy. The budget proposes cutting over $1.8 million from the ISL’s funding, including $400,000 for the Genealogy Department. This budget, if approved, would close the Indiana State Library’s Genealogy Department.


I am asking my Indiana readers to write immediately to their local Legislators. I say “immediately,” because the committee meets again tomorrow, and they are voting on this issue. You can find your legislator at this link:

For more information about this issue, see also

Please don’t just Like this post. Please write to your Indiana Legislator, and if you do not live in Indiana, write to Rep. Tim Brown, Chair of the Ways and Means Committee.

Pass the word. Share this (after you write to your House Representative). Write the message. It only takes a few minutes, and you can do it directly from within the Representative’s page when you go there.

Here is the letter that I email to Rep. Sue Errington today.

Dear Representative Errington,

I am writing to you today as a voter in your district and an extremely concerned citizen. I have recently learned of the proposed budget cuts to the Indiana State Library and would like to ask you to make a concerted effort to communicate with your fellow Representatives on the Ways and Means committee about the urgency of not cutting funding to this vital resource.

There has been significant social outrage about this, but we know that is not enough.

I realize the voting is tomorrow, but I also know that things can happen quickly in politics, and when I voted for you, I had, and still have, faith that you consider the best interests of the people of Indiana.

I am a genealogist, and naturally, the closing of the genealogy department is my primary concern. The ISL has materials that are unique; many of the materials are not found anywhere else and are not online. These materials fall outside of the scope of the Indiana State Museum and the Indiana Historical Bureau. The Indiana Historical Society is a private entity. The Indianapolis Public Library is a local institution and has already declared that they will not spend resources on maintaining a genealogy collection.

My understanding is that the proposed reduction of funding is as follows:

INSPIRE $1,340,783
Genealogy Department $400,000
Public Library Standards & Certification $150,000
Total: $1,890,783

These are VITAL programs that are offered only by the Indiana State Library. They will disappear if you do not intervene, so please, please intervene!

Sincerely and with trust,

Elizabeth Ballard

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