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Program collection

Identifier: L658

Scope and Contents

This collection includes programs from throughout Indiana ranging from 1836 to 2017 and undated regarding the following subjects:

Series 1: Music- Includes programs related to concerts, recitals, and music schools.

Series 2: Religion- Includes programs related to religious services, conferences, and events.

Series 3: Art- Includes programs related to galleries and exhibits, art schools, antiques, and architecture.

Series 4: Dance- Includes programs related to dances, dance performances and recitals, and dance schools (Subseries 4.1) and dance cards from balls and proms (Subseries 4.2).

Series 5: Land, Conservation, and Agriculture- Includes programs related to state and local parks as well as land and agriculture organizations.

Series 6: Government, Politics, and Military- Includes programs related to national, state, and local government (Subseries 6.1) and military organizations and associations (Subseries 6.2).

Series 7: Industry- Contains programs related to various types of businesses and trades including banking, law, journalism, and technology (Subseries 7.1); programs related to physical and mental health organizations and social welfare conferences (Subseries 7.2); and programs related to the opening of new streets and highways (Subseries 7.3).

Series 8: Education- Contains programs related to schools and universities including academic societies, conferences, and commencement programs (Subseries 8.1) as well as programs related to library and museum events and organizations (Subseries 8.2).

Series 9: Recreation- Contains programs related to festivals and amusements including fairs, local festivals, zoo, and circus programs (Subseries 9.1); programs related to sporting events (Subseries 9.2); radio, television, and film programs including radio station schedules and movie theater playbills (Subseries 9.3); and programs from public lectures on travel and world events (Subseries 9.4).

Series 10: Clubs, Organizations, and Societies- Includes programs related to various social clubs including fraternal organizations and women's societies (Subseries 10.1) as well as programs from historical clubs and societies (Subseries 10.2).

Series 11: Theater- Includes programs related to plays, musicals, and operas performed at theaters in Indianapolis and throughout the state (Subseries 11.1) as well as programs from vaudeville, burlesque, and minstrel shows (Subseries 11.2).

Series 12: Subject files- Includes invitations (Subseries 12.1) and menus (Subseries 12.2) as well as cards, tickets, and related items (Subseries 12.3).

Series 13: Oversize materials- Includes oversized programs related to various subjects.


  • 1836-2017, undated

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights resides with the creators of the documents or their legal heirs and assigns. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Historical Note

The program collection contains over 25,000 programs and related materials that provide information and details about events occurring in Indianapolis and other cities throughout the state. These programs offer insight into the histories of organizations of all sizes and subjects including the fine ats, religion, agriculture, politics, business, educational institutions, recreation, and socal clubs and societies. The programs contained within this collection not only help tell the histories of various organizations, they also chronicle changes in entertainment and social engagements, printing styles and methods, and the use of advertisements.


50.5 Cubic Feet (50 cubic foot boxes, 1 oversize box)

Language of Materials



Arranged in the following series and subseries:

Series 1: Music, 1850-2016, undated

Series 2: Religion, 1857-2016, undated

Series 3: Art, 1886-2016, undated

Series 4: Dance, 1872-2001, undated

Subseries 4.1: Dances and dance performances, 1909-2002, undated Subseries 4.2: Dance cards, 1906-1973, undated

Series 5: Land, conservation, and agriculture, 1881-2001, undated

Series 6: Government, politics, and military, 1872-2017, undated

Subseries 6.1: Government and politics, 1900-2017, undated Subseries 6.2: Military and war, 1905-2015, undated

Series 7: Industry, 1894-2016, undated

Subseries 7.1: Business and trade, 1901-2016, undated Subseries 7.2: Health, medicine, and social welfare, 1901-2015, undated Subseries 7.3: Transportation, 1939-1980

Series 8: Education, 1947-2017, undated

Subseries 8.1: Academic institutions, 1900-2017, undated Subseries 8.2: Libraries and museums, 1903-2016, undated

Series 9: Recreation, 1873-2016, undated

Subseries 9.1: Festivals and amusements, 1900-2016, undated Subseries 9.2: Sports, 1900-2010, undated Subseries 9.3: Radio, television, and film, 1924-2002, undated Subseries 9.4: Public lectures, 1908-1969, undated

Series 10: Clubs, organizations, and societies, 1968-2014, undated

Subseries 10.1: Clubs and organizations, 1900-2004, undated Subseries 10.2: Historical societies and associations, 1907-2014, undated

Series 11: Theater, 1863-2017, undated

Subseries 11.1: Plays, 1899-2017, undated Subseries 11.2: Vaudeville, 1899-1985, undated

Series 12: Subject files, 1836-2016, undated

Subseries 12.1: Invitations, 1900-2015, undated Subseries 12.2: Menus, 1904-2016, undated Subseries 12.3: Cards, tickets, and miscellaneous, 1901-1991, undated

Series 13: Oversize materials, 1881-1999

An item-level description is available for a portion of the collection by request.

Custodial History

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


The repository continues to add materials to this collection on a regular basis.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2018/05 by Kristin Lee. EAD finding aid created 2018/06/01 by Kristin Lee. Addition processed and EAD finding aid revised 2023/09/11 by Brittany Kropf.
Program collection
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.