Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis

History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) is one of the United States' oldest and largest historical societies and describes itself as "Indiana's Storyteller". It is housed in the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center at 450 West Ohio Street in Indianapolis, Indiana, in The Canal and White River State Park Cultural District, neighboring the Indiana State Museum and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art. In 2019, the center hosted 112,732 visitors. The Indiana Historical Society is the oldest state historical society west of the Allegheny Mountains.
A private, nonprofit membership organization founded in 1830, the IHS maintains a research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest. The IHS also provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups, publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; and provides youth, adult, and family programming, including Indiana's participation in the National History Day Competition series. Finally, it is responsible for appointing and training the state's 92 county historians. The Indiana Historical Society opened a new 165,000-square-foot (15,300 m2) headquarters in downtown Indianapolis in July 1999, built on the site of the prior Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Indianapolis.
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Indiana Historical Society reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
172 reviews
  • All of the staff were wonderful and so sweet. The museum itself is in a beautiful building. The historical actors were a nice touch and I'm sure are fun for kids. I went during COVID and most of the.....  more »
  • Came for the tree festival. Actually didn't know anything about it but we were staying at the Residence Inn across the street and saw that there was a Christmas Tree festival wrapping up that...  more »
  • This is a review about the 2020 Festival of Trees. Admission price was affordable for families...under 17 was $5, so yay. 50 trees this year and the theme was “Life Is A Gift”. If you’re just...  more »
  • The Cole Porter section was very cool with the player piano and the live singer, but the rest of the museum was underwhelming. The living history sections are a cool idea but I had no idea what to ask the historians. Maybe give the museum patrons a piece of paper with some interesting questions to ask to at least start a conversation.
  • My gosh does Indianapolis have some amazing history! The exhibits were very detailed and articulated well. The building was clean, and well kept. The staff were very welcoming, and eager to answer any questions you have. Anytime they are open is a good time to go. It was not very busy, which is a shame. More people should take advantage of such a fantastic gem, inside the city.
  • I went to the Historical Society Museum with my 19 and 10 yo granddaughters. Everyone had a very enjoyable time. My 19 yo was impressed by the scope of the exhibits and the 10 yo liked the hands on areas. Both girls are excellent students and enjoy learning. We also ate in the Stardust Cafe and the food was excellent. A great day was had by all.
  • Awesome amazing staff, very friendly and knowledgeable. I love the cafe downstairs, they have a unique menu and there signature sandwiches are amazing. Love the seating out by the Canal. My favorite time to go is for Concert on Canal and Tree Festival. My niece and nephews love it...don’t forget Circus Day! 💕💕💕
  • I have been a long-time fan of the Indiana Historical Society. However, the last couple of visits have been lackluster. Perhaps since I attended their free Thursdays in summer events, they didn't feel the need to provide a full program. However, this would be a great opportunity to gain new members. And, I am still hoping for the return of the Member Plus 1 membership.

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