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12 Hoosier authors featured at History Center

Ray E. Boomhower

Ray E. Boomhower, author and senior editor of the Indiana Historical Society Press, shares this press release about a new authors exhibit at the Indiana Historical Society:

"12 Indiana Authors You Should Know" is currently on view at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.

The exhibit, located in the Lanham Gallery, explores 12 Indiana authors who wrote about themes such as westward expansion and travel, women’s rights, social reform, historical writing, children’s literature and war experiences. Inevitably, the Hoosier authors displayed in the exhibit were influenced by Indiana’s culture, nature, politics and society, but their writings also shaped local and national literature. Visitors will be able to view a selection of books written by the authors as well as photos and documents that display their careers.

Mary Ritter Beard preserved women's history. (IHS Photo)

One author who had a major influence on local and national politics was Mary Ritter Beard. Born in the midst of the debate about women’s rights and suffrage, Beard’s writings were heavily shaped by society. During the early 1900s, she participated in and organized movements, wrote articles, lectured to audiences, and testified in front of Congress to advocate for women’s suffrage. After women gained the right to vote, Beard focused on including women in her books about American history as she recognized the need to preserve women’s history. In addition to her writings and activism, Beard also created the World Center for Women’s Archives.

Ernie Pyle was a war correspondent. (IHS Photo)

Similar to Beard, the writings of journalist and author Ernie Pyle would both be shaped by and influence culture and society. As World War II became more pervasive in American life and politics, Pyle found a career in writing about his observations of the war.

As a war correspondent, he covered events such as the Battle of Britain in 1940, the war in North Africa in 1942, the D-Day invasion and more. His writings gained him national acclaim, and he was recognized for his humanistic approach during the deadly world war.

For Etheridge Knight, his profound writing career began in prison. In 1960, at the age of 29, Knight found himself an inmate at the Indiana State Prison. During his eight-year stay, he wrote poetry and inspired other inmates to write as well. After his release, he published “Poems from Prison” in 1968 and “Black Voices from Prison” in 1970.

The other nine authors in the exhibit are Susan Wallace, Joaquin Miller, Juliet Strauss, Ambrose Bierce, Emma Lou Thornbrough, Evaleen Stein, Norman Bridwell, Theodore Dreiser and Edward Eggleston.

"12 Indiana Authors You Should Know" runs through June 3, 2023. For more information about these exhibits and other IHS offerings, call (317) 232-1882 or visit

The Indiana Historical Society collects and preserves Indiana’s unique stories; brings Hoosiers together in remembering and sharing the past; and inspires a future grounded in our state’s uniting values and principles. IHS is a Smithsonian Affiliate and a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.

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