AIRS Resource Portal

Experimenting with an American Indian Resources and Services Portal

Indiana University houses significant American Indian resources and research materials at various collecting and service-providing units across the Bloomington campus. These resources offer a wide array of media and programming and represent the history and heritage of recognized tribes from across the continent. Funded by a New Frontiers in the Arts & Humanities Experimentation Fellowship, this project allowed GBL researchers to assess holdings of materials and services offered by individual units with the idea of producing a landing page that would guide researchers to resources that they might explore. The team contacted both on-campus entities as well as potential users among federally recognized tribes.

Below is an initial summary of the inital results of this campus-wide survey of Native American resources, collections, and services at Indiana University Bloomington.

AISRI Contact Information

Laura L. Scheiber, AISRI Director

422 N. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47408

Phone: 812-855-4086
American Indiana Studies Research Institute

About the AISRI

The primary function of AISRI is to provide the institutional structure necessary to carry out research and educational projects, most of which are funded by outside sources including the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and American Indian tribal organizations.

Summary of AISRI Services

The AISRI has a one-year fellowship each year for a graduate student studying American Indian languages, cultures, or history.

Currently the AISRI has a collaborative project underway with the Mandan Tribe on the Ft. Berthold Reservation in North Dakota. Past collaborative projects have been with the Pawnee Nation, the Arikara Tribe, the Assiniboine Tribe, and the Red Cloud Indian School (Teton Sioux) on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

ATM Contact Information

Alan Burdette, Director

1165 E. 3rd St.
Bloomington, IN 47405

Phone: 812-855-8631
Archives of Traditional Music Website

Summary of ATM Collections

The Archives of Traditional Music has grown from its beginnings as the personal collection of George Herzog in 1948 to become one of the largest archives of its kind in the United States. Important historic collections encompass several thousand cylinder recordings of Native American music made by individuals who were among the first to make use of sound recordings to document the music and language of various cultures, including Franz Boas, George Amos Dorsey, and George Bird Grinnell. Over 30 years of research recordings by Franz Boas and his assistants are held at the Archives. Recordings made by anthropological scholars of later generations–Melville Herskovits, Frank G. Speck, Paul Radin, Natalie Curtis Burlin, and Harold Courlander–are also well represented.

ATM Collections Access

The ATM is committed to high levels of access to scholars, tribal groups, students, and the public. They provide listening copies for local and international researchers as part of their core set of services. While nearly all of their holdings are accessible by visiting the listening library, certain collections are restricted for specific cultural reasons. Also, some of the collections are owned by the American Museum of Natural History and other museums which have their own access protocols.

The ATM will seek appropriate permission from the depositor or tribal community prior to providing copies of materials to patrons.

Nearly all of the audio recordings are cataloged in the Indiana University Library cataloging system, IUCAT. About the half of the video recordings are cataloged there as well. Photographs and paper documentation about collections is organized but no finding aids yet exist.

Collections are actively being digitized with an anticipated completion rate of 95% by the year 2020. None of the digitized items are currently available online, pending consultation with Native American groups about appropriate online access to these materials.

Eskenazi Musuem of Art Contact Information

1133 E. 7th Street
Bloomington, IN 47405

Phone: 812-855-5445
Eskenazi Museum of Art's Website

Summary of the Eskenazi Musuem of Art Collections

The Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art's collection includes more than 45,000 works organized into nine curatorial areas. The permanent collections gallery includes Pre-Columbian American art. Pre-Columbian art, also sometimes called art of the ancient Americas, refers to artworks from the Americas before the coming of the Europeans in the sixteenth century. The museum's Pre-Columbian collection, though relatively small, includes outstanding examples of works from the major cultures of Mesoamerica (the area from northern Mexico to the Gulf of Nicoya in Costa Rica) and Peru, and a sampling of objects from the Intermediate Area, the region between Mesoamerica and Peru.

Eskenazi Musuem of Art Collections Access

The IU Eskenazi Museum of Art is currently closed for renovations. Renovations are expected to be complete by fall of 2019.

FNECC Contact Information

Nicholas Belle, Director

712 E. 8th St.
Bloomington, IN 47408

Phone: 812-855-4814
First Nations Education and Cultural Center Website

The mission of the First Nations Educational and Cultural Center (FNECC) revolves around four central goals:

  1. To build a Native community within the University.

  2. To provide educational opportunities that further awareness and recognize contributions of the First Nations people.

  3. To enhance the recognition and reputation of Indiana University in American Indian. Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian communities.

  4. To support and increase Native student recruitment and retention.

Summary of FNECC Collections

A reading library of books and other materials related to Native America are kept at the Center. Books deal with topics from prehistory to the present. The Center also includes materials related to art and music contemporary. 99.9% is not cataloged, though the plan is to do that this year.

Summary of FNECC Services

Regularly scheduled talks, artistic performances, art and craft gatherings, and communal meals are held at the center.

Space for meetings related to Native American events or projects is provided by the center. The Center has a well-equipped studio for Native American arts.

The center sponsors an annual Powwow that brings together artists and dancers from across the continent.

IGWS Contact Information

Todd Thompson, Director and State Geologist

611 N. Walnut Grove
Bloomington, IN 47405

Phone: 812-855-7636
Indiana Geological & Water Survey

Summary of IGWS Collections

The mission of the Indiana Geological Survey is to provide geologic information and counsel that contribute to the health, safety, and welfare of Indiana's citizenry. Since 1837, the Indiana Geological Survey has provided information for the wise stewardship and sustainable use of the energy, mineral, and water resources of the state while enhancing the natural environment. A number of digitized reports, presentations, and guidebooks on the geology and natural history of Indiana are available online through the IU ScholarWorks institutional repository. This includes annual reports of the Geological Survey of Indiana dating back to 1869.

IGWS Collections Access

IGS information, including reports, guidebooks, and other forms of grey literature can be accessed through IU Scholarworks. Additional access to a number of online services and databases, such as IndianaMap, is available from the IGS website.

IU Herbarium Contact information

Eric Knox, Director and Curator

Smith Research Center, Room 130C
2805 E 10th St
Bloomington, IN 47408

Phone: 812-855-5007
Indiana University Herbarium Website

Summary of IU Herbarium Collections

The Department of Biology administers the Indiana University Herbarium (IND). Founded in 1885, the herbarium houses about 150,000 specimens of vascular plants, including the collections of Charles C. Deam on which the Flora of Indiana is based.

IU Herbarium Collections Access

Visitors seeking to use the important research collections of the herbarium for monographic, floristic, or other plant taxonomic research are welcome and can be best accommodated by contacting the curator in advance of arrival. The IU Herbarium Digitization Project is also currently underway and is anticipated to be completed by June 2019. These digital resources will be made publicly available except for species of conservation concern. Based on state and federal laws regarding endangered, threatened, and rare species, they redact specific locality information for the species listed by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

NAGPRA Contact Information

Jayne-Leigh Thomas, Director

Student Building 318
701 E. Kirkwood Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405

NAGPRA Website

Summary of NAGPRA Collections

The IU Office of NAGPRA has no collections per se, but coordinates compliance efforts for repatriation of ancestral remains and cultural objects held by Indiana University under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. These collections can be found at four repositories at IU Bloomington, each of which works with the Office of NAGPRA at IU to enable communication and repatriation with federally recognized tribes. Collections were brought to IU via a combination of anthropological research during the 1940s-1980s, archaeological excavations, and donations. The Office handles the preparation of documents, files notices with the Federal Register, communicates with national NAGPRA officials and staff, and arranges repatriations.

The NAGPRA Project at Indiana University has the full support of the Provost and the administration. It is the University's desire and objective that by creating new partnerships, establishing new lines of communication, and developing fruitful relationships, ancestral remains and funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony will be returned to the appropriate tribal communities.

NAGPRA Consultation Services

The Office fields questions and inquiries and arranges and conducts meetings via telecommunications and in person with authorities from American Indian tribes, Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian organizations. Consultation may involve the transfer of documentation between the university repositories and tribes.

NAGPRA Repatriation Services

The Office assists in arranging repatriation of ancestral remains and cultural objects between the University and American Indian tribes, Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian organizations.

The Paleontology Collection Contaction Information

Gary Motz, Collection Manager

1001 E. 10th St.
Bloomington, IN 47405

Phone: 812-856-3500
IU Paleontology Collection's Website

Summary of the Paleontology Collection

The IU Paleontology Collection is public trust research repository for fossil material. Its 1.5 million specimens document past research projects and serve as a resource for new synthetic research on stratigraphy, paleoecology, evolution, and the biotic effects of climate change. With the exception of a handful of modern specimens in our teaching collection, nearly all geological/biological specimens in the collections are at least several million years old.

Paleontology Collection Access

The Paleontology Collection serves as a resource for paleontological research at Indiana University and the international scientific community. With permission from its curators, researchers may gain access to the Collection by visiting Indiana University or via loan. Approximately 5% of the collection is cataloged in a digital format. A digital inventory is also available at Formation Level Inventory of the IU Paleontology Collection that records information on a case-level (as opposed to specimen-level), giving data on the rock unit, geographic regions, and volume of material.

The Kinsey Institute Contact Information

Morrison Hall, Room 313
1165 E. Third Street
Bloomington, IN 47405

Phone: 812-855-7686
The Kinsey Institute's Website

About the Kinsey Institute

The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction is an institute dedicated to researching human sexuality and relationship, investigating the science of love, its connection to sexuality, and their collective impact on our humanity. The Kinsey Institute's library and collections chronicle more than 2,000 years of human history, with publications, objects, art, and data from around the world.

Kinsey Institute Collections Access/h3>

Any qualified researcher may request access, including university faculty, other scholars, professionals, and university students at least 18 years old, with demonstrable research needs related to human sexuality, gender, and reproduction.

All non-Indiana University Bloomington students as well as faculty and other researchers not affiliated with Indiana University Bloomington must contact the library in advance ( to confirm admittance, dates and times of visits, and collection use. The summer schedule, in particular, fills quickly and users will be scheduled on a first come first served basis. All first-time users must show photo identification and fill out a registration form upon arrival.

Use IUCAT and Archival Scholarly Works, located on the Kinsey's website, to search their collection of art, artifacts, books, journals, archives, manuscripts, film and videos and other materials.

Lilly Library Contact Information

1200 East Seventh Street
Bloomington, IN 47405

Phone: 812-855-2452
The Lilly Library's Website

The Lilly Library Collections Summary

Lilly Library holdings include about 400,000 books, more than 100,000 pieces of sheet music, and more than 7.5 million manuscripts. American Indian collections make up roughly 10,000 books and manuscript materials covering the 15th to the 21st centuries.

Lilly Library Collections Access

Access to these items is provided through IUCAT, the card catalog, and other printed and electronic finding aids. About 50% of these materials are findable online. A finding aid for Indians of North America–related manuscript collections is also available on their website.

Prior arrangements are not necessary before coming to the Library, however, patrons from out of town are encouraged to communicate with the Library in advance of their visits to ascertain availability of materials. Those wishing to use the Library should create an account in the Lilly Library Request System.

NAIS Contact Information

Brian Gilley, NAIS Interim Program Coordinator

Department of American Studies
1020 E. Kirkwood Ave.
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405

Phone: (812) 855-7718
Native American and Indigineous Studies Website

About NAIS

Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) is a vibrant field that incorporates perspectives from American Studies, Anthropology, Folklore, History, Literature, Law, Political Science, Visual and Expressive Arts, and other areas of study. Students can expect to learn a broad range of basic historical facts about the Native American and Indigenous peoples of the Americas, to think logically and analytically, to make critical observations, and to formulate interdisciplinary interpretations of the history, literature, art, music, law, politics, and culture of Native American and Indigenous peoples; to globally and comparatively formulate a conception of indigeneity, while understanding the persistence of localism in Indigenous culture; and to gain new perspectives on globalization, sustainability, and cultural and environmental preservation.

Students who pursue the PhD minor in Native American & Indigenous Studies will focus their interdisciplinary study on the histories, cultures, art, folklore, politics, and literatures of Native American and Indigenous peoples, chiefly in the Americas, but also, where appropriate, globally. This is one of a very few programs in the United States that focus explicitly on Native American and Indigenous Studies at the graduate level, and that place the study of American Indians within the context of a broader, more sweeping and international inquiry into the nature of political power, colonial settlement, and global contact.