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Indiana State Capitol competition drawings collection

Identifier: L620

Scope and Contents

This collection includes drawings from entrants in the competition for the design for the Indiana State Capitol. There may be drawings from Josse A. Vrydagh of Terre Haute, Indiana and another architect during 1877-1878 regarding the Indiana State Capitol building in Indianapolis, Indiana.


  • circa 1877-1878


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

A competition of architects was held in 1878 to produce a winning design for the new Indiana State Capitol building, the third site in Indianapolis, Indiana to house the General Assembly. The architects' drawings were marked by number and received a name to maintain anonymity; the entrants included Isaac Hodgson, Josse A. Vrydagh, Elijah Myers, and Edwin May, as well as at least twenty others. Edwin May was the architect selected by the Board of State House Commissioners (created in 1877) and his plan was called "Lucidus Ordo", Latin for "a clear arrangement". There were several lawsuits after May's design won, instigated by politicians and losing architects. Construction began in October of 1878 and the exterior was completed on July 3, 1886, with the interior finished soon thereafter. Edwin May died in 1880 and his associate, Adolph Scherrer, oversaw the completion of the construction.


May, Edwin. (1878). "Description of the New state house for the State of Indiana to be erected at Indianapolis." Indianapolis, IN ISLO 725.11 no. 7

"The Indiana State Capitol". (1888). ISL) 725.11 No. 4

"The Indiana State Capitol Building: A Centennial Restoration 1888-1988". ISLO 725.11 no. 22

"Indianapolis Collected: There's no place like dome". Historic Indianapolis. Retrieved 2017/05/03.

"State House". (1994). Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. Bloomington, IN:Indiana University Press. ISLI 977.201 M341ien Print.


3 Cubic Feet (1 extra-large oversize box, 1 large oversize box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a records transfer from the Indiana Division during 2016.


No further additions are expected.

Related Archival Material

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Rare Books and Manuscripts Division and the Indiana Division, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN: L574: Indiana State House S2566: Paul A. Davis, State Capitol copper roof tiles ISLI 725.1 M466G: General description of design for the Indiana state capitol by Edwin May ISLO 725.11 no. 22 : The Indiana State Capitol Building : a centennial restoration, 1888-1988 ISLO 725.11 no. 2: Description of plans for new state capitol of Indiana : signed, "Il Capitole" by Chas. Eppinghousen ISLO 725.11 no. 6: An act for erecting a new state house and creating the State House Commissioners : approved March 14, 1877 ISLO 725.11 no. 7: Description of the new state house for the state of Indiana to be erected at Indianapolis by Edwin May [f] ISLI 725.1 I385N: New state house for Indiana. Re-letting of unfinished work. Notice to bidders [and schedules of specifications]

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2017/05/DD by Edythe Huffman. EAD finding aid created 2017/05/DD by Edythe Huffman.
Indiana State Capitol competition drawings collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

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