Skip to main content

Richard Lieber papers

Identifier: L091

Scope and Contents

This collection includes correspondence, financial documents, photographs and drawings, invitations, naturalization papers, outlines of right and left foot, maps, pamphlets and publications, and other papers from Richard Lieber and others, including government agencies, in the United States and Germany, ranging from 1892 to 1958. Materials concern the Abraham and Nancy Hanks Lincoln, monuments, Lieber family matters, the National Park Service, Indiana State Parks, Thomas Hart Benton, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Indiana World's Fair Commission, and other subjects.


  • 1892-1958


Language of Materials

Materials in English and German.

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

Richard Lieber was a German-American businessman who became known as the father of Indiana state parks. He was born in Dusseldorf, Germany around 1869. Lieber later moved to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1891 and was naturalized on February 6, 1901. His first job was working as a reporter for the Indiana Tribune, and married the daughter of the newspaper's owner, Phillip Rappaport. Lieber and his wife, Emma had three children: Otto Walther, Ralph Willard, and Dr. Maria Jeannette Lieber.

Lieber became affiliated with conservation after several trips to Yosemite National Park and the Rocky Mountains of Idaho and Montana. Working with President Theodore Roosevelt, Lieber promoted conservation efforts in the United States.

In 1916, Lieber identified the need for Indiana to have a state park system. He encouraged Governor Samuel M. Ralston to start a committee with himself as the chairman. The first two parks acquired were McCormick's Creek and Turkey Run, opening in December 1916. As the Conservation Commission chairman until the early 1930s, Lieber created ten state parks and five memorials in Indiana.

Lieber died in 1944 while visiting McCormick's Creek's Canyon Inn. His ashes, as well as Emma Lieber's, are buried at Turkey Run State Park.


5.1 Cubic Feet (14 manuscript boxes, 1 small oversize box)


This collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1: Richard Lieber papers, 1896-1958, undated

Series 2: Richard Lieber oversize, 1892-1900

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation by the Indiana Department of Conservation on 1960/11/28.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2007/03 by Elizabeth Wilkinson. EAD finding aid created 2015/07/15 by Edythe Huffman. EAD finding aid revised 2024/05/21 by Brittany Kropf.
Richard Lieber 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.