Researchers are now able to search historic records of thousands of Indiana National Guardsmen through the Indiana Digital Archives. The Indiana National Guard Collection indexes records of Hoosiers who served our nation from 1898 through 1940. The database includes the soldier's name, the date enlisted, and the town or county from which he or she enrolled. Soldiers who joined around the time of the Mexican Border War in 1916 or the World War I era will have additional records such as physical exams, enlistment papers, and service cards.
"The addition of this popular collection will enable users to instantly search for records online, saving them and Archives staff hours of research," said Jim Corridan, State Archivist and Director of the Indiana Commission on Public Records. "The National Guard database coupled with existing Digital Archives resources provides a useful and comprehensive collection of Indiana soldiers' records from the Civil War up to World War II."
The National Guard database is the second major addition to the Indiana Digital Archives this summer. In June, the online portal introduced the Indiana Civil War Soldiers Database, which includes over 213,000 individual records containing soldiers' age, muster in and out dates and location, company, regiment, and any additional available notes. Both the National Guard and Civil War databases, like all records in the Digital Archives, have several search features designed to enhance the customer's experience. The People Search feature allows patrons to enter a surname and search through over 2 million records in 20 different collections in just seconds. More targeted research can be performed by choosing one of several variables and data limiters available through the "Detailed Search" option.
The completion of the Indiana National Guard database is due in large part to the Friends of the Indiana State Archives' volunteers who spent hours organizing the records of 66,851 soldiers. They first unfolded the enlistment papers and other records, placing them in acid free folders, then interfiled their service record cards to create actual files for each individual. Next, every individual was entered into a database, which is now available on the Indiana Digital Archives, a project made possible by a grant from the Library of Congress/NDIIPP and the Washington State Archives.