Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 3:20 PM


WEBER, Licia A.1, PESSL, Elke A.2, THOMPSON, Todd A.3 and KEITH, Brian D.2, (1)Indiana Geological Survey, Indiana University, 611 N. Walnut Grove, Bloomington, IN 47405, (2)Indiana Geological Survey, Indiana University, 611 North Walnut Grove, Bloomington, IN 47405, (3)Indiana Geological Survey, Indiana University, 611 North Walnut Grove, Bloomington, IN 47405-2208,

Indiana Limestone (Mississippian Salem Limestone) is the trade name for a premiere building stone that is quarried in a narrow four-county outcrop belt of south-central Indiana. It has been used extensively in commercial, municipal, institutional, and residential building projects across the nation and in cities like Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C. Known for its strength, durability, and uniformity, Indiana Limestone has contributed to some of the most iconic works of American architecture—the Empire State Building, National Cathedral, Pentagon, Grand Central Terminal, and many state capitol buildings.

From the early 1900s through the 1980s, the Indiana Limestone Company, one of the largest limestone quarriers and fabricators in North America, maintained a collection of professional photographs. Used for marketing purposes to illustrate architectural styles and limestone uses, the photographs feature completed buildings, in-progress construction, and details of decorative carvings and finishings. The collection contains 10,000 to 12,000 7.5- x 9.5-inch black and white photographs mounted on linen with labels attached to the backing. These labels provide information on the location of the building, owner, date of construction, builder, architect and other aspects of the building, quarrier, and stone quality. The photographer’s name or company is noted on many of the photographs. Although they are in generally good physical condition, until recently the photographs were stored in a building without climate control.

Pending funding, the Indiana Geological Survey is planning to clean, stabilize, and scan the photographs. Metadata from the labels will be compiled to create a comprehensive geographic information system and interactive Web site. Scholars, researchers, architects and the public will be able to use the geospatial interface to view the photograph and location of each building as well as search the associated metadata by fields such as date, architectural style, limestone type, or building use. Moreover, this interface will enable in-depth analysis of the data and construction of “story maps,” documenting the pervasive use of Indiana Limestone through time and across the country.