Indianapolis Public Library celebrates centennial

October 24, 2017 by  

The Indianapolis Public Library turned 100 years old recently, and celebrated the anniversary by opening a time capsule that had been buried in 1917. Some of the contents of the capsule are from the 1860s, and they were displayed at the celebration.

The capsule, which is a cornerstone box made of tin and copper metals, was buried in a wall on the southwest corner of the building. The celebration was held in the Simon Reading Room, which is two floors above the spot where the box was buried. When the box was opened, it was found that many of the contents were in excellent shape, because the box was sealed tightly, then covered with charcoal.

The library’s CEO, Jackie Nytes, said it was difficult to find the capsule, so a professional from Sonar was called in.

Among the more intriguing items found in the box were a copy of the March 22, 1916 edition of The Indianapolis Star, with the headline ‘Cyclone Overturns Fast Train Near Marion’. The team also unearthed blueprints of the library designed by the architect Paul Cret, and a March 18, 1916 edition of ‘The Indianapolis Freeman’. Established in Indianapolis in 1888, the Freeman was the first African-American newsletter to feature illustrations.

Events like this are interesting to many people, and library officials could work with a booklet printer to create booklets about the materials.