Local Recreation The Arts Historical And Cultural Museums And Venues

  • Monroe County and Bloomington have a variety of museums and other venues showcasing the history and culture of the community. From ancient archaeology to a Tibetan monastery, these museums and venues offer a look into the local past as well as other cultures.

    Luann D.

Web Resources

  • Located on the campus of Indiana University, the research center focuses on Indiana and Midwest archaeology. The center houses a large reference library which includes the Ohio Valley Great Lakes Ethnohistory Archive, a rare set of documents on Native American tribes of the Midwest.

  • John Hinkle first settled on the property in 1886. The Queen Anne style house was erected in 1892. The property was a working farm through two generations of Hinkle's, with outstanding potatoes and dahlias. The farmstead was donated to Bloomington Restorations by third generation daughter Daisy Hinkle Garton and placed on the National Register in 2007.

  • Part of the system of Indiana University, the Lilly collection contains 400,000 books, 100,000 pieces of sheet music ad 7.5 million manuscripts. The library promotes educational exhibitions and events, sometimes highlighting the rare books and manuscripts from the collection.

  • The Archives is the largest and most comprehensive source of information on the history and culture of Indiana University. Collections include many old photographs of the Bloomington campus and of Bloomington and Monroe County. Located in the Wells Library on the campus of Indiana University.

  • The Mathers offers research and training opportunities for Indiana University students, faculty and elementary and secondary school teachers. Located on the campus of Indiana University, this family friendly venue hosts a Halloween party every year. Artifacts from the entire world are stored, studied and exhibited throughout the year.

  • Housed in the former Carnegie Library building right off the square in Bloomington, the history center collects and preserves original county documents and records, has displays, a genealogy library and gift shop selling books and articles of local interest.

  • The Indiana Room collection contains the local newspapers on microfilm dating to the late 19th century, yearbooks for county schools, as well as Indiana University, old telephone books and city directories, general histories of Monroe County and many indexes to Monroe County vital records.

  • Established by the County Commisioners and labeled the "grave yard", Rose Hill Cemetery was established in 1819. In 1892 the Ladies Cemetery Association took over the maintenance of the cemetery. Many prominent Indiana University persons are buried here, as well as five Revolutionary War veterans, many Civil War veterans and other prominent Bloomingtonians including Hoagy Carmichael.

  • Located on the eastside of Bloomington, the Cultural Center welcomes visitors to learn more about this ancient faith. Monks are available for tours and to give demonstrations throughout the year.

  • Wonderlab is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide opportunities for people of all ages, especially children, to explore the world of science. Using handson exhibits and programs, Wonderland has wide appeal and it's fun.

  • Built in 1835, Wylie House was the home of Indiana University's first president, Andrew Wylie and his family. The Wylie House contains a collection of early to mid 19th century American furnishings, including many family artifacts.


  • Frances Gilliam
    IND GEN 977.2 IN M53 History Gil

    This book traces the history of African Americans in Bloomington up to 1965. Many prominent families are covered as well as the changes in attitudes of the community toward African Americans.

  • Laurel Sparks
    IND GEN 977.2 IN M53 History Spa

    Local author Laurel Sparks remembers when the Seminary Square area of town was the campus of Indiana University. She includes biographical sketches of some famous alumni and some well known drop outs.

  • Bloomington Restorations
    IND GEN 977.2 IN M53 History Blo

    Containing mostly old photographs with a brief description, this book features photos of places that are no longer standing.

  • Charles Blanchard, editor
    IND GEN 977.2 IN M53 History Cou

    Written to commemorate the nations centennial, the history of three neighboring counties includes the early history of Monroe County, the founders, the early industries, churches, schools and land transactions. Also included are elected officials from early days. Many personal biographical sketches of prominent citizens are included. A good resource for Monroe County genealogists.

  • Monroe County Retired Teachers
    Ind 371.009 Mon

    Descriptions, remembrances and some photos of now gone one room schools in Monroe County. Some principals, teachers and former students reminiscences are included.

  • IND GR 977.2 IN M53 History Ell

    Published in 1987 by the Ellettsville Sesquicentennial Association to commemorate Ellettsville's anniversary, this book has many old photos and remembrances of Ellettsville history, it's founding and prominent citizens.