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
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
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