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Indiana kindergarten photographs

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: SP078

Scope and Contents

This collection includes photographs relating to kindergartens in Indianapolis, Mishawaka, Richmond, and Terre Haute, Indiana ranging from circa 1900 to 1925 regarding school children, some of whom were immigrants, teachers, classrooms, school activities, and buildings.


  • circa 1900-1925

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.

Historical Note

The first free kindergarten in Indianapolis opened in 1882 in the Friendly Inn on West Market Street under the leadership of kindergarten teacher and organizer, Eliza Blaker. Operated under the Indianapolis Free Kindergarten and Children's Aid Society, the number of kindergartens grew rapidly, totaling 23 in 1900. The society selected Blaker as its first superintendent, a position she held until her death in 1926. Most kindergartens were operated within churches, rented houses, and charitable institutions, which included settlement houses, orphanages, and hospitals. The society continued to add new kindergartens each year, its programs serving thousands of children between ages 3 and 6 each year, until the late 1940s when Indianapolis Public Schools assumed control of the program.


Cierzniak, Libby. "Indianapolis Collected: The Indianapolis Free Kindergarten Society.", April 13, 2013. Accessed October 15, 2021.

Gobel, Erin J. "Three Necessary Things: The Indianapolis Free Kindergarten and Children's Aid Society, 1880-1920." M.A. thesis, Indiana University, 2010.

Taylor, Robert M., Jr. "Eliza Ann Blaker." Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, 1994. Revised February 2021. Accessed October 15, 2021.


0.03 Cubic Feet (2 folders)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

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


No further additions are expected.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digitized material from this collection is available online in the ISL Digital Collections:

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2021/10/15 by Brittany Kropf. EAD finding aid created 2021/10/15 by Brittany Kropf.
Indiana kindergarten photographs
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.