Collection ID: MSS134
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Special Libraries Association. Indiana Chapter and Special Libraries Association
After several years of efforts on the part of its founders, the Indiana Chapter of the Special Libraries Association was created in 1941 to address the needs of special libraries in the state, recruit new professionals to the field, establish standards and provide a venue for professional discussion and cooperation, and host programs and annual meetings for library professionals. This collection houses the records of the organization from its earliest beginnings in 1936, through its founding and operation into the late 1990s.
14 cubic feet (27 cartons, 2 oversized boxes, 2 document boxes, 3 audio tapes)
Materials are in English .
Preferred citation:

Cite as: Indiana Chapter of the Special Libraries Association Records, 1936-1998, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.


Biographical / Historical:

For over fifty years, the Indiana chapter of the Special Libraries Association has promoted the work and interests of library specialists in a multitude of diverse fields and emphasized professionalism in library work. A broad membership of academic, business, government, and law librarians participates actively in the chapter. In 1936, a small cadre of Indiana libraries, under the leadership of Irene Macy Strieby and Ethel Cleland, began a series of meetings in Indianapolis that focused on common professional concerns and offered the participants a chance to learn about other libraries in the state. The group continued to meet periodically for several years, and the success of its activities reached a peak when it hosted the Special Libraries Association's national annual meeting in Indianapolis in 1940. As the convention came to a close, the success of the small group in organizing the meeting was clearly evident. It was also apparent that the state could support a chapter of its own in its capital city. Strieby and Cleland began to organize the Indiana chapter by seeking membership status from the national Special Libraries Association, which was granted on June 15, 1941.

In September 1941, the chapter drafted its constitution and bylaws, which have been revised and amended several times since 1950. The chapter began publishing a newsletter, SLANT, in October 1943. By 1950, the chapter had published two guidebooks, the Procedures Manual and Indiana Chapter Manual, which established policies and standards for its operation. It also published compilations of union lists to promote interlibrary cooperation, including the following: Directory of Special Libraries of Indiana (1943); Union List of Serials (1943); Organized Groups in Indiana (1944); Hoosier Librarians (1960); and Indiana Chapter's Speaker's Guide (1981).

During the 1940s, the chapter began the tradition of holding the annual business meeting and special program meetings in conjunction with its other activities. These included the recruitment of new professionals into the special libraries field, the promotion of high professional standards and management skills, and the utilization of new technologies in library settings.

By the mid-1950s, an ever increasing number of library professionals showed a keen interest in computers. During the 1960s and 1970s, the chapter conducted seminars and workshops on computer applications in library work. By the late 1980s, special librarians began using computerized information networks and online cataloging on a regular basis, developments that the chapter endorsed and advanced in its special programs and at conference sessions. The chapter also worked to foster good working relations among the diverse group of libraries in the region. In 1967, several joint conferences of the Indiana and Michigan chapters addressed the subject of regional libraries and its implications for special libraries. Individiaul divisions within the chapter have been an important facet of the organization. The chapter has two divisions, consisting of the medical librarians group that meets at the Indiana University Medical School in Indianapolis, and the Science-Technology group.

Officers of the chapter serve for a year's term and are elected to their posts. The chapter has a list of distinguished librarians who have served as officers. Among the most notable include Ethel Cleland, who was director of the business branch of the Indianapolis Public Library and became one of the co-founders of the chapter. Irene Macy Strieby, from Eli Lilly & Co., co-founder of the chapter and one of the organizers of the Special Libraries Association Indianapolis Convention in 1940, served as president in 1941-1942. John H. Moriarty, head of the Audio Visual Center at Purdue University-Lafayette, gave 45 years of service to the chapter and was president in 1947-1948. The chapter created distinguished service awards in the names of both Strieby and Moriarty for their leadership qualities.

Special projects and programs for professional development are important components of the chapter's work. Program and award meetings were held at least four times a year, and special projects were usually conducted annually. In the decades leading up to the 1990s, the chapter's special events focused on themes such as recruitment into the profession, an emphasis on managerial skills and professional development, and the promotion of information technology through the use of computers and electronic databases. These programs emphasized the need for special librarians to adapt to rapid change to accommodate the explosion of information in modern society.

Scope and Content:

The records of the Indiana Chapter of the Special Libraries Association, 1936-1998, include the files of the chapter's officers, paper's documenting the chapter's activities, copies of the newsletter SLANT, publicity news articles and brochures, committee reports and correspondence, publications and membership directories, reports from associated organizations, audio tapes and oversize posters, and national records of their parent organization, the Special Libraries Association. The records (27 letter-sized document boxes, 2 oversized boxes, and 2 larger document boxes) are arranged by series as follows: Series 1. InSLA Officers' Records This series consists of the files of the officers of the Indiana Chapter of the Special Libraries Association. It includes executive board meeting minutes, memoranda, agenda, and reports from the board's quarterly meetings; and reports and correspondence of the president, secretary, treasurer, and other officers.

Series 2. Chapter Materials This series contains general chapter records including the chapter's constitution and bylaws; three chapter histories and a listing of the chapter's presidents; membership lists, reports, and memoranda; award memoranda, biographical sketches, certificates, and correspondence for the Hall of Fame award, the H. W. Wilson Award, the SLA professional award, and the John H. Moriarty Award; materials from the annual business meeting such as speech drafts, memoranda, correspondence, minutes, and program materials; obituaries for former officers and members; identified and unidentified photographs of officers, meetings, and seminars; procedure manuals and guides for chapter activities; and publicity materials such as flyers, news articles, brochures, cards, and posters.

Series 3. Committees This consists of the chapter's committee reports and corespondence, arranged chronologically. It includes yearly committee reports, meeting minute and memoranda, and correspondence relating to committee activities.

Series 4. Chapter Groups The records of groups affiliated with the chapter include those of the student chapter at Indiana University-Bloomington, as well as the hospital and medical librarians group, a subgroup of the chapter.

Series 5. Special Projects This series contains the records of the chapter's special programs, conferences, workshops, and surveys.

Series 6. Associated Organizations This series contains the records of assicated but separate organizations that dealt extensively with the chapter: the Indiana Library Association (1970s) and the Indiana Library Council (1980s).

Series 7. Publications This group includes the chapter's quarterly newsletter, SLANT, published from 1944 to 1994, as well as membership directories and other articles and brochures of the chapter and special libraries.

Series 8. National Records This series contains national records of the Special Libraries Association, including board meeting materials, annual reports, bylaws, financial statements, directories, membership lists, publications, and conference materials.

Series 9. Audio Tapes This series contains three reel-to-reel audio tapes of SLA conferences held during the 1960s.

Series 10. Oversize Posters These are oversize publicity posters for the "Information Fair," held in 1986.

Acquisition information:
Presented by association members, 1994.
Rules or conventions:
DACS-Describing Archives: A Content Standard
General note:

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Cite as: Indiana Chapter of the Special Libraries Association Records, 1936-1998, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

IUPUI University Library
755 West Michigan Street
Room 0133
Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, United States