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Merica Evans Hoagland papers

 Collection — Folder: S664
Identifier: S0664

Scope and Contents

This collection includes an autographed, signed letter from Nelle Davis in France during February 1918 regarding life in Europe during World War I, and from Merica Evans Hoagland in Indiana; an eclipse observation in 1925, extracts from the enrollment book of the Library Institute of Winona Technical Institute from 1906-1908, a description of a party in 1928, and an appreciation of May Wright Sewall in 1933.


  • 1918-1933

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

Merica Evans Hoagland was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana on April 7, 1858 to Pliney (a businessman) and Merci Hoagland, one of seven children. Her mother died when Merica was 3. She attended the Vassar College preparatory class of 1875-76. In 1894 she held the position of secretary of the Fort Wayne Public Library Committee. She attended a summer course at Melvil Dewey's New York State Library School in 1898 and viewed libraries as an agent for social change. She organized libraries in Ironwood, Michigan; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Joliet, Illinois. She moved to Indianapolis to become the first Organizer of the Public Library Commission of Indiana, which was founded in 1901, and she served until 1906. It was merged into the Indiana State Library in 1925 (with the Legislative Reference Bureau and the Historical Bureau), as the Extension Division, now known as the Library Development Office. She served as director of the library school in Winona Technical Institute, Indianapolis, from November 15, 1905 until 1908, when it closed due to financial difficulties. She was able to obtain new financial backing, including that of Andrew Carnegie and reorganized it as the Indiana Library School through 1913, when it closed. She advocated for a state supported library school but was unsuccessful. She founded the Indiana branch of the Business and Professional Women's Club. She wrote a book called Bits of Indiana History, which was published in 1915. After leaving the Public Library Commission, she was employed by the Diamond Chain and Manufacturing Company in Indianapolis as Director of Girl Employees, Director of Welfare and Director of Mutual Service. She died August 16, 1933 and is buried in Fort Wayne.

Bailey, Joanne. "Indiana's First Library Educator". Indiana Libraries vol. 6 no. 2 1986:2-9. Print.

"Hoagland, Merica [America]". 1860 United States Federal Census. Retrieved 2014/05/30.

"Hoagland, Merica [Marica]". 1870 United States Federal Census. Retrieved 2014/05/30.

"Hoagland, Merica". U.S., Find a Grave Index, 1700s-Current. Retrieved 2014/05/30.

"Merica Evans Hoagland". Library Occurrent October - December 1933:127-128. Print. Passett, Joanne E. (1994). "Hoagland, Merica Evans" In The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. (p. 693). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. ISLI 977.201 M341Ien

Warren, Hazel B. "The Indiana Public Library Commission". Library Occurrent January - March 1931:31-36. Print.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions of the Merica Evans Hoagland papers are available electronically in Indiana Memory:

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2014/06/02 by Edythe Huffman. EAD finding aid created 2014/06/02 by Edythe Huffman.
Merica Evans Hoagland papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

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