January 18, 2022

Indiana: Allen County Public Library’s Rare Treasures Getting Digital Access

A 1,000+ word article about the digitization work going on at the Allen Co. Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana at branch of the Internet Archive located inside the library.

From the The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne):

The vault houses the bulk of the library’s collection of rare photographs, books and artifacts. It sits against the far wall of the rare books room, under lock and key.

About half the vault is devoted to the Lincoln collection, and among its contents are photographs, newspaper clippings and the Mary Todd Lincoln insanity file – the only written record of Mrs. Lincoln’s 1875 insanity trial, which ended in her brief incarceration in the Bellevue Place insane asylum in Batavia, Illinois.


While access to the actual rare books and artifacts is limited, much of the material is available online for easy public access. A large portion of the Lincoln Collection – more than 13,000 books, newspapers, pamphlets and other documents, as well as more than 3,000 photographs – has been scanned and uploaded to the Web.

Digitization is done by Internet Archive, a nonprofit organization specializing in preservation and providing digital access to cultural artifacts. The branch at the ACPL is the only one of its kind in the Midwest, Ferverda said. The rest are on either coast or in countries like China

“As of today, we’ve digitized 106,183 books at this center,” said Jeff Sharpe, the Midwest regional digitization coordinator for Internet Archive. “That’s 31,631,046 images since 2007.”

Read the Complete Article

Access the Allen Co. Public Library Collection via The Internet Archive

Learn More About the Lincoln Collection Discussed in the Article

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.