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Friday, December 3, 2021

Digital Encyclopedia Indianapolis launches

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When the Encyclopedia of Indianapolis was published in 1994, the Indianapolis Colts played in the RCA Dome, Market Square Arena was a hotspot for concerts and Mayor Stephen Goldsmith was running for reelection.

Clearly, the authority of Indianapolis history needed an update, and that’s where the digital update comes in. Launched Nov. 18, the digital Encyclopedia Indianapolis allows users to toggle through the decades, learning about everything from Indiana becoming a state in 1816 to events as recent as the renaming of Banker’s Life Fieldhouse to Gainbridge Stadium.

 Part of the city’s Bicentennial Commission, the online encyclopedia also provides detailed histories of neighborhoods and cultural hubs, including Ransom Place and Indiana Avenue.

“This encyclopedia helps us take the past with us as we move into the future,” Indianapolis Public Library interim CEO John Helling said during the launch party at Central Library.

Historian, author and great-great granddaughter of Madam C.J. Walker A’Lelia Bundles was the featured speaker at the event. Notably, she said, the encyclopedia doesn’t shy away from some of the “ugly chapters” in the city’s history. In her virtual address, Bundles said the encyclopedia provides a fuller picture of local and national history than her history textbook when she was a student at North Central High School in the 1960s. Moreover, the encyclopedia being online and frequently updated provides residents with an accessible resource to learn about the city.

“This encyclopedia shows us, simply put, who we are, who we were and what we plan to become,” Mayor Joe Hogsett said.

The digital Encyclopedia of Indianapolis is available online at indyencyclopedia.org.

Contact staff writer Breanna Cooper at 317-762-7848. Follow her on Twitter @BreannaNCooper.

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