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Scholarship named after local historian Wilma Moore

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If there’s anyone who loved history — specifically Black history locally and beyond — as well as scholarship, it was Wilma L. Moore, longtime archivist at the Indiana Historical Society.

Moore’s passion about the stories of the past are well known to the Indianapolis community so it’s only fitting that she have a scholarship named in her honor.

The Department of Library and Information Sciences at the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI has established the Wilma Gibbs Moore Graduate Scholarship.

The scholarship is intended to pay tribute to the vast contributions Moore made to the historical record of African-Americans in Indiana, said Andrea Copeland, Ph.D. and chair of Library and Information Services at IUPUI. Copeland worked with Moore on several archiving projects.

“Wilma dedicated her life to building a more inclusive history and this scholarship seeks to continue her efforts by building a more inclusive profession in her memory,” Copeland said.

According to Copeland, there is a lack of diversity in the library services and research profession as less than 10 percent of Indiana industry professionals are minority.

Moore received her Bachelor of Science in sociology and master’s in library science from Indiana University. She worked at Indiana Universities Libraries and Indianapolis Public Library before retiring from the Indiana Historical Society after 30 years.

“This scholarship will allow Mrs. Moore to continue her legacy of supporting and mentoring students in the profession of research and archiving which she loved so much,” Kisha Tandy, associate curator of social history for the Indiana State Museum, said. Tandy worked with Moore as an intern and later as a colleague at the Indiana Historical Society.

Moore archived dozens of historical collections including a collection for the 123-year-old Indianapolis Recorder newspaper.

“Mrs. Moore was instrumental in uncovering the truth of Indiana’s history, and preserving and presenting our stories for public education,” Shannon Williams, former Recorder vice president and general manager, said. Williams is now senior vice president of community engagement at The Mind Trust.

The scholarship committee held the inaugural reception for the Wilma L. Moore Memorial Graduate Scholarship on Aug. 9 at the Black Center for Literature and Culture at Central Library.

“Wilma had an astounding ability to work with people from all walks of life to research and document their history or the history they took an interest in,” said Suzanne Hahn, vice president of Archives and Library at the Indiana Historical Society and fellow co-worker of Moore for more than 20 years. “She never received an inquiry that she didn’t follow up on.”


For more information or to donate

Those who want additional information about the Wilma Gibbs Moore Memorial Graduate Scholarship or wish to donate should contact Stacy Zearing, School of Informatics and Computing Director of Development at 317-274-7518.

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