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Visitors to the memorial mall will find the Central Branch of the Indianapolis Public Library and its Indianapolis Special Collections Room at the far north end of the mall. The library was built in 1917, using Indiana limestone upon a base of Vermont marble. The city doubled the size of the library in 2001, combining the original neoclassical building with a modern glass structure featuring an enclosed glass atrium supported by a latticework of columnns. The Indianapolis Special Collections Room features rare photographs, scrapbooks, typescripts, manuscripts, autographed editions, letters, newspapers, and other one-of-a-kind items related to the city's history.


  • Indianapolis Public Library
  • Indianapolis Special Collections Room

The Indianapolis Public Library (formerly known as the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library) is the public library system serving the citizens of Marion County, Indiana, United States and its largest city, Indianapolis. The library was founded in 1873 and has grown to include a Central Library building, located adjacent to the Indiana World War Memorial Plaza, and 22 branch libraries spread throughout the county. The library attracts over four million visitors each year and circulates nearly 16 million items. The library's mission is to enrich lives and build communities through lifelong learning. Its vision is to be a center of knowledge, community life and innovation for Indianapolis.

The Central Library building was designed by architect Paul Philippe Cret, (with Zantzinger, Borie and Medary) and completed in 1917. A complete historic renovation and a major addition to the library was designed by Woollen, Molzan and Partners. The newly renovated Central Library building opened on December 9, 2007, ending a controversial multi-year rebuilding plan.

The Central Library also houses the Nina Mason Pulliam Indianapolis Special Collections Room containing a variety of archival adult and children’s materials, both fiction and nonfiction books by local authors, photographs, scrapbooks, typescripts, manuscripts, autographed editions, letters, newspapers, magazines, and realia. The collection features Kurt Vonnegut, May Wright Sewall, the Woollen family, James Whitcomb Riley, and Booth Tarkington.

Berry, S.L. Stacks: A History of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library. Indianapolis: Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library Foundation, 2011.

Downey, Lawrence J. A Live Thing in the Whole Town: The History of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, 1873-1990. Indianapolis: Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library Foundation, 1991.

Preer, Jean (2013). "Counter Culture: The World as Viewed from Inside the Indianapolis Public Library, 1944–1956". In Christine Pawley; Louise S. Robbins. Libraries and the Reading Public in Twentieth-Century America. Print Culture History in Modern America. University of Wisconsin Press.