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Ball State University Archives and Special Collections: Home

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Contact Us

Main Phone: (765) 285-5078


Mailing Address: 

Ball State University
Archives and Special Collections
Bracken Library, Room 210
Muncie, IN 47304

Website: Archives and Special Collections

Meet the Team

Sarah M. Allison
Head of Archives User Engagement

Oversees Public Service, Reference, Outreach, Collection Development and Management 

Becky Marangelli
Archives Specialist

Manages public services operations which includes providing instruction, reference services, exhibit curation, graduate and student assistant management, and collection processing. 

Mindy Shull
‚ÄčArchives Records Specialist
Manages record transfers, donations, processing projects, digitization preparation, and long-term collections maintenance for the University Archives. 

Lindsey Vesperry
‚ÄčArchives Collections Specialist 

Manages donations, processing projects, digitization preparation, and long-term collections maintenance for the Stoeckel Archives of Local History, Middletown Studies, and Special Collections.

Rebecca Torsell
Archivist for Architectural Records

Oversees all operations of the Drawings and Documents Archive including instruction, reference, collection processing and care, and outreach.

Ely Sheinfeld
‚ÄčArchivist for Electronic Records & Digital Collections

Provides management and direction of ASC processes related to collection digitization, electronic records management, and web archiving

Michael Szajewski
Assistant Dean for Digital Scholarship and Special Collections 

Archives and Special Collections is currently open by appointment to Ball State University affiliates and the general community. We are happy to provide in-person or digital access to resources in our collections.  The following guidelines are in place:

  • Appointments should be scheduled 24 to 48 hours in advance. 
  • Reading room/public space capacity has been reduced in accordance with physical distancing best practices and we can only accommodate 4 researchers at a time.
  • A mask or face covering must be worn during visits to the Libraries.
  • No materials will be retrieved within 30 minutes of closing.
  • For quarantine and disinfecting guidelines, Archives Staff will gather collection materials 10 minutes before closing.

Please contact the department via email, by phone 765-285-5078, or through the Ask An Archivist chat box if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment. 

Mission Statement

The mission of the Archives and Special Collections is to collect, preserve and provide access to archival, printed and digital resources that support research and instructional needs of students, faculty, scholars and the general public.

University Archives

The University Archives collects, preserves, and makes accessible the records of Ball State University.  This historically valuable material documents the academic and administrative responsibilities of the University as well as the experiences of its students, alumni, officers, faculty, staff, and benefactors. 

Ball State University Archives offers a wide range of records, papers, photographs, printed material, and audio-visual material that document campus life.  Finding aids to archival and manuscript collections and digital resources are available through the links below.

Stoeckel Archives of Local History

Named for former Ball State history professor Althea L. Stoeckel, the Stoeckel Archives contains documentation on Muncie and Delaware County, Indiana, including records of business and industry, churches, clubs and organizations, education, genealogy, government, personal and family papers, photographs, and oral histories.

The Stoeckel Archives of Local History offers a wide range of research documentation generated by various studies, projects, publications, and documentaries concerning Muncie and Delaware County, Indiana. Finding aids to archival and manuscript collections and digital resources are available through the links below. Books on Muncie and Delaware County history are located in Archives and Special Collections and can be found in the University Libraries` online catalog.

Drawings and Documents

The Drawings and Documents Archive is a unique resource dedicated to preserving and disseminating the history of the built environment of Indiana for the purpose of fueling revitalization efforts and supporting education and research. The collections contain over 130,000 original architecture, landscape, planning, and engineering projects including drawings, photographs, documents, models, and building remnants that serve as a record of Indiana’s built heritage.

ARCHIVE IMPACT: These resources fuel our community projects and enrich the research of our faculty, students, and community partners. The projects and literature that has emerged from many of our centers and institutes are featured within the archive.

Key Features of the Archive

  • Records about Indiana’s historic sites, structures, and districts
  • Biographical information about Hoosier’ leading architects, landscape architects, planners, engineers, and builders
  • Photographs and business records of more than 40 Indiana firms and agencies
  • Reference materials used throughout the history of the professional practice
  • Maps, atlases, and aerial photographs
  • Professional equipment, tools, and trade catalogs
  • Drawings and specifications related to Ball State University

Online Collections and Resources
Project Database–search our projects by architect, address, project name, or designer
Digital Collections–hint: select subject, and architecture to view our 30+ digital collections
List of Collections–view information on all of our collections including the scope of the collection and biographical information on designers and researchers
How to Research the History of Your House–resources and guidance to help you research building history
Historic Bridges in Indiana–resources, and guidance to help you research building history
Drawings + Documents Archive Guide for Instructors–information on instructional sessions and curriculum support

The Archive is located in Ball State University’s Architecture Building, room 120 and is open to students, faculty, staff, and the general public. 

For reference, appointments, or instructional sessions, please contact:
Rebecca Torsell
Archivist for Architectural Records
Office: (765) 285-8441

Middletown Studies

In the 1920s, Robert and Helen Lynd conducted a sociological study of Muncie, Indiana, that was published in 1929 as Middletown: A Study in American Culture. The Lynds examined trends in the life of a small American city and identified six areas: "Getting a Living," "Making a Home," "Training the Young," "Using Leisure," "Engaging in Religious Practice," and "Engaging in Community Activities." Robert Lynd returned to Muncie in the later 1930s to conduct a follow-up study titled, Middletown in Transition, which was published in 1937.

A Middletown III research project was funded by the National Science Foundation from 1976-1981, followed by Middletown IV in 1999-2000. A six-part documentary series titled Middletown was filmed in the early 1980s and broadcast by the Public Broadcasting Service. These studies were just the beginning of a continuing series of articles, books, documentaries, and other examinations that would make Muncie as Middletown one of the most studied communities in America.

Archives and Special Collections holds a wealth of research materials on Muncie as Middletown. Records collected fall into two categories: Records of Middletown Research, which consist of documentation generated by various studies and projects on Middletown; and collections on Muncie in the Stoeckel Archives of Local History

For more information about Middletown Studies, please visit the Center for Middletown Studies.

Special Collections Info

Special Collections holdings range from illuminated manuscripts to material from the late twentieth century. This collecting area includes manuscript and pamphlet collections, first editions of American and British works, fine press printings, broadsides, historic children books, and publications and ephemera from diverse social organizations.  Subject matters include broader Indiana history and American history and culture including John Steinbeck. Books within Special Collections are located in Archives and Special Collections and can be found in the University Libraries’ online catalog