Chesterton Tribune

State historical society acquires personal papers of late Senator Anita Bowser

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The Indiana Historical Society recently acquired a collection of materials owned by the late State Senator Anita Bowser.

This collection will be accessioned and made available to the public in the near future through the William Henry Smith Memorial Library of the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St., in downtown Indianapolis.

A veteran lawmaker, Sen. Bowser was widely respected as a constitutional scholar and the conscience of the Indiana State Senate. A retired political science professor, Bowser was an outspoken advocate for civil rights, fair and free elections and the rights of workers.

First elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1980 and then to the State Senate in 1992, Bowser served on several standing committees, including: Pensions and Labor, Ethics, Judiciary, Corrections, Criminal & Civil Matters and Elections and Civic Affairs.

Bowser's many accomplishments include being the first woman to act as House Speaker (Deputy Speaker Pro-Tempore) in the history of the State and she served as a member of the National Democratic Platform Committee. She was also a founding member and the first female to be hired to teach at Purdue University North Central. She resided in Michigan City.

The Sen. Anita Bowser Collection, which measures 14.5 cubic feet, contains personally related materials rather than government records and documents. The collection covers many topics relating to the Indiana General Assembly from the 1970s through the early 1990s.

The majority of the materials are scrapbooks including newspaper clippings that center on her role (and other politicians' roles) in a variety of legislative issues dealt with in the General Assembly. There are also several audio and video cassettes relating to the General Assembly, as well as plaques and awards received during her lifetime.

The IHS Collections Department, in its William Henry Smith Memorial Library, makes accessible the premier archival repository of material on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest, which includes more than 1.6 million photographs, 45,000 catalogued printed items, 5,000 processed manuscript collections, 14,000 pieces of sheet music, and an abundance of other unique resources.

Skilled librarians and archivists at this state-of-the-art facility are on hand to assist both the novice and professional researcher.

For more information about the collections of the Indiana Historical Society or how to donate items, call (317) 232-1882 or (800) 447-1830.

Information is also available at



Posted 5/12/2008