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Indianapolis police and fire history goes online

More than 10,000 items digitized
Posted at 12:56 PM, Aug 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-26 13:04:20-04

INDIANAPOLIS—If you enjoy Indianapolis history, this is for you. A collection of materials from the Indianapolis Fire Department and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has been digitized and is available online.

The collection, which includes some items dating back 150-years, was unveiled Monday at the Central Library. There are log books, dispatch recordings, personnel records, newsletters, historical photos and prisoner mug shots

All of it is available at no cost online at:

A $1.8 million grant from the Lilly Endowment made the project possible. Over the last two-years, materials were identified, acquired and digitized. The collection adds to the nearly 4,700 items from the Indianapolis Firefighters Museum that are already digitized.

"We are very pleased and proud to share our history through the Library's Digital Indy collection," said IMPD Deputy Chief Michael Spears. "The City of Indianapolis has a police department of which it can be extremely proud. This collection is the most complete and definitive collection of documents, photographs, videos and other exhibits ever compiled."

"The Indianapolis Fire Department has a rich and proud 160-year history, and through our partnership with the Indianapolis Public Library, we are preserving that history for future generations," said Tom Hanify, Professional Firefighters Union of Indiana President.

Many of the physical materials from the police and fire collection will be on display as a special exhibit through November at the Central Library.