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William R. Overlease collection on Indiana State Parks

Identifier: L243

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of materials compiled by naturalist, William R. Overlease, regarding Spring Mill State Park, Brown County State Park, McCormick’s Creek State Park, and Turkey Run State Park. The collection includes correspondence, pamphlets, reports, notes, postcards, and some photographs ranging from

Materials are grouped by park.

There is also an oversize collection containing a Spring Mill Village State Park planting plan, dated May 1932 and a Bloomington, Indiana topography map reprint from 1950 (OBD033) and two volumes (V227): "A Study of a Pioneer Village: Spring Mill, Indiana" by William Roy Overlease created sometime in the 1950s and "Spring Mill: Hidden Valley Village" by Norman C. Evans, published in 1953.


  • 1914-1977

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

William Roy Overlease worked as a naturalist for the Indiana State Park system for five years in the 1950s. In 1963, Overlease became a professor of Biology at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. Professor Overlease is currently retired from teaching and living in Bloomington, Indiana.

Historical Note

The Indiana State Parks traces its history back to 1916. Colonel Richard Lieber, an Indianapolis businessman and German immigrant, recommended that a state park system be created as part of Indiana’s celebration of its centennial. Lieber became a national leader in the state parks movement and assisted other states in forming their own systems as well. He became the first Director of the Indiana Department of Conservation, serving for more than a decade.


Department of Natural Resources. “History and Culture.”

“Robert B. Gordon Natural Area for Environmental Studies.”


0.65 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box, 1 small manuscript box, 1 extra-large oversize folder, 2 volumes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from William R. Overlease on 1978/01/04.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2007 February by Elizabeth M. Wilkinson. EAD finding aid created 2007 February by Elizabeth M. Wilkinson. EAD finding aid revised 2015/11/14 by Laura Eliason; 2019/10/18 by Lauren Patton; 2022/07/26 by Laura Eliason.
William R. Overlease collection on Indiana State Parks
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.