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George S. Cottman papers

Identifier: L039

Scope and Contents

This collection includes correspondence, research, newspaper articles and drafts of speeches, and articles from George S. Cottman in Indianapolis, Indiana ranging from 1872 to 1937 regarding Indiana history, business and family business, and articles by other writers concerning history.


  • 1857-1937, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

George Streibe Cottman was born on the square opposite the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Indiana on May 10, 1857 to John A. and Julia A. Wilkins Cottman; he was one of three children. The family moved to a farm in Beech Grove when he was young. From 1873 to 1877, he was an apprentice printer at the Indianapolis Sentinel, then returned to the farm and began writing. He married Vida C. Tibbott on July 5, 1900 in Irvington, Marion County, Indiana, and they had one son, Evans, born around 1902.

He worked as a printer in Irvington, beginning in 1888, and also farmed. He was the founder and publisher of Indiana Quarterly Magazine of History in 1905, then the Indiana Historical Society assisted him with it from 1907 until 1913, when Indiana University became the publisher. He was the author of numerous articles and pamphlets on Indiana history and nature study, and of "A Centennial History and Handbook of Indiana" and "Indiana, Its History, Constitution and Present Government." He died May 18, 1941 at the home of his son in Madison, Indiana.

Sources: "George [H]Cot[t]man." 1880 United States Federal Census. Accessed May 20, 2015. "George S. Cottman." 1910 United States Federal Census. Accessed May 20, 2015. "George S. Cottman." Indiana, Select Marriages, 1780-1992. Accessed May 20, 2015.

"Cottman, George Streibe." In Indiana Authors and Their Books, 1816-1916: Biographical Sketches of Authors Who Published During the First Century of Indiana Statehood, with Lists of Their Books, pp. 72-73. Crawfordsville, IN: Wabash College, 1949.


1.6 Cubic Feet (5 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from George S. Cottman on 1934-1937, the Cottman estate 1941/06/05 and Maurice Thompson on 1950/01.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2007 by Barbara Hilderbrand. EAD finding aid created 2015/06/03 by Edythe Huffman. EAD finding aid revised 2024/05/11 by Brittany Kropf.
George S. Cottman papers
Under Revision
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.