Indiana University South Bend Archives and Special Collections

Indiana University South Bend Archives and Special Collections

Schurz Library
1700 Mishawaka Avenue
PO Box 7111
South Bend, Indiana 46634, United States
Visit Indiana University South Bend Archives and Special Collections
The Indiana University South Bend Archives and Special Collections is the official home for records that document IU South Bend’s origins and development, as well as the activities of its officers, faculty, students, and alumni. In addition to university records, the IU South Bend Archives is home to the collections of the Civil Rights Heritage Center, documenting Michiana’s civil rights history with an emphasis on African American, LGBTQ and Latinx experiences; as well as rare books, special collections, and collections documenting the history of the Michiana area.

Our Collections

Brookins v. South Bend Community School Corporation (SBCSC) collection (Civil Rights Heritage Center), 1954-2013, Bulk 1980-1983

This collection contains documents related to South Bend, Indiana attorney David W. Albert's involvement as the legal representative for Brookins, et al. in the lawsuit of Brookins v. South Bend Community School Corporation (SBCSC) starting in 1980. The Brookins party alleged that the SBCSC and its representatives had engaged in various acts of discrimination with the intent and effect of segregating students and faculty on the basis of race in the South Bend, Indiana public school system. After the SBCSC decided on a desegregation plan, the Brookins party argued in court that the proposed plan would involve closing schools in the system that were racially integrated or could be easily integrated, therefore working against the goal of desegregation. The collection includes legal documents from the proceedings of the case itself; research files utilized by Albert to gather and present statistics and data about racial distribution within the South Bend community and schools in the SBCSC; and research into legal precedent established by prior cases related to school desegregation. The collection also includes minutes from SBCSC Board of Trustees meetings from 1977-1987 and documents related to the SBCSC Community Advisory Committee that was formed to provide community input on the formation of the desegregation plan, including Albert's participation in the Facilities Subcommittee in the early 1980s.

Campus Bulletin collection, 1915-2021

This collection contains academic campus bulletins outlining degrees and classes offered at Indiana University South Bend, as well as early Indiana University extension courses offered in the South Bend-Mishawaka area before the establishment of IU South Bend as a stand-alone university, from 1915 to the present day. Campus bulletins contain information about the curriculum at Indiana University South Bend, as well as administrative leadership, academic policies, and general information about the campus. Campus bulletins are an excellent resource for tracing the history of degrees and classes offered at the university over time.
Collection ID: SB004

David James papers (Civil Rights Heritage Center), 1960-2017

David James was involved in the activist and music scenes in and around South Bend, Indiana, for most of the forty years that he lived in the community. A constant champion of civil rights, labor rights, and unions; a constant advocate for peace and protestor against war, David James spent much of his life actively fighting for the issues he believes in while performing and promoting the folk music he loved.
Collection ID: CRHC.JAMES

Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts records, 1934-2020, bulk 1962-2020

The Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts at Indiana University South Bend is home to five academic departments offering bachelor's and master's degrees: Communication Studies, Fine Arts, Music, Integrated New Media Studies, and Theatre and Dance. This collection includes paper records documenting the administrative functions of the school; biographical files about faculty and staff; publications by and related to the school, including Aspire Magazine, IU South Bend's arts magazine; photographs of theatrical performances; newspaper articles and press releases; event programs and posters; and an extensive collection of audio and video recordings of performances hosted by the school.
Collection ID: SB005

Helen Pope papers (Civil Rights Heritage Center), 1935-2004

The Helen Pope papers document the life of South Bend, Indiana resident and community activist Helen Pope (1916-2004). Helen Pope was a lifelong civil rights advocate and health care professional in the South Bend area. She was an active volunteer in many community organizations, earning several awards and distinctions for her service, including being inducted into the South Bend Hall of Fame in 1992. The collection documents her professional and service activities, as well as her personal life with her husband of over sixty years, James S. Pope.
Collection ID: CRHC.POPE

J. Chester and Elizabeth Fletcher Allen papers (Civil Rights Heritage Center), 1860, 1928-2005

Mr. J. Chester Allen and his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Fletcher Allen, were prominent African American attorneys in the South Bend, Indiana area. The Allens lived a relatively privileged lifestyle; however, they were very aware that their privilege necessitated a responsibility to help other African Americans who suffered injustices – social, economical, and educational. As lawyers, they worked within the system and with such groups as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Urban League (among others) to bring about positive social change. Their efforts brought an end to the Engman Natatorium's exclusion of African Americans, and they helped bring equity to war contracts in Michiana industries for both African Americans and women during World War II. Their family law practice often took on pro-bono cases for those who could not afford lawyers of their caliber.
Collection ID: CRHC.ALLEN

LGBTQ collection (Civil Rights Heritage Center), 1940-2017

The Indiana University South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center LGBTQ Collection contains materials relating to the experience of people in and around South Bend, Indiana, who describe their sexual and/or gender identity as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, or queer, as well as people who consider themselves allies to the LGBTQ community. South Bend and neighboring cities in north central Indiana and south central Michigan, like so many cities in the United States during the second half of the 20th century and first quarter of the 21st, has experienced a radical transformation in attitudes towards the LGBTQ community. For much of the 20th century, South Bend's LGBTQ community was closed and closeted. With a stronger Catholic and Christian culture than other cities (as evidenced in places like the predominately Catholic University of Notre Dame as well as significant Polish and Eastern European immigration), South Bend had been described as a less welcoming place than larger cities with higher percentages of "out" LGBTQ people and stronger gay cultures, such as San Francisco or New York City. Without the promise of acceptance by their families or protections against discrimination in their workplaces, people often did not identify as LGBTQ publicly. Many felt they could publicly identify only within the few gay-friendly public spaces, such as the Sea Horse Bar and Cabaret. Like much of the United States, South Bend underwent significant changes in the first quarter of the 21st century through the efforts of countless "out" individuals and straight allies. By 2012, those efforts helped make South Bend one of the few cities in Indiana to add LGBT protections to its human rights ordinance. In 2015, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg publicly came out as well, becoming the highest ranking government official in Indiana to do so. The IU South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center LGBTQ collection — the first of its kind in the city — helps all people understand and reflect upon the major advancements in LGBTQ acceptance over the last fifty years, and how this one Midwest city moved from a place where many people felt they needed to hide their identities into a more welcoming and more open community.
Collection ID: CRHC.LGBTQ

Streets family papers (Civil Rights Heritage Center), 1880-2006

The Streets family papers document the life of South Bend, Indiana residents Dr. Bernard and Odie Mae Streets, and their families in previous and subsequent generations. Both Dr. Bernard and Odie Mae Streets were life-long community activists in South Bend and beyond, and Dr. Streets was the first African American dentist in the city. This collection of personal papers and photographs documents both their service to and activities in the South Bend community over several decades. The Streets were key figures in community activism on many levels, bettering South Bend's underserved populations and neighborhoods. The Streets family also was active in national non-profit and religious-based organizations.

Student Newspapers collection, 1950-2018

This collection contains newspapers created by and related to the students of Indiana University South Bend, spanning a date range from 1950 to the present. Noteworthy titles in the collection include The Preface (1969-present), the university's preeminent and longest-running student newspaper, and IU Center News (1950-1962), the university's first student-run publication. The collection includes several other shorter-lived IU South Bend student publications, as well as other area newspapers that have been collected because of IU South Bend student, faculty, and/or alumni involvement.
Collection ID: SB002