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  • Writer's pictureJoey Amato

New Book from IHS Press Showcases Asian American Voices in Indiana


The newest book from the Indiana Historical Society (IHS) Press, “Asian American Voices in Indiana,” made possible by a generous grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., shares the contributions of Asian Americans to Indiana and beyond.


In 2016, IHS initiated a multicultural collecting project to begin filling the gap of historically underrepresented voices in the IHS’s archives, including those of Asian American Hoosiers. Nicole Martinez-LeGrand, curator of multicultural collections and coauthor of “Asian American Voices in Indiana,” along with Daniel Gonzales, director of exhibitions curation, combed the IHS collection for records about and/or donated by Indiana’s Asian American residents or those with connections to them.


Martinez-LeGrand interviewed and recorded the life stories of 21 individuals who also donated photographs and other items to the IHS collection. Using select interviews and archived materials, the IHS opened its exhibition, “Be Heard: Asian Experiences in Indiana,” in 2019. The exhibit shared diverse ethnic heritage of the various Asian American groups in Indiana and also brought to light experiences of these groups as foreign nationals, native-born U.S. citizens and Hoosiers.


Building upon the 2019 exhibit, “Asian American Voices in Indiana” is organized by the most prevalent Asian cultural communities in Indiana over the past century. Each chapter about a particular Asian community starts with an overview, including the group’s migration story, settlement experiences and cultural institutions founded. The chapters are replete with individual anecdotes and interview excerpts that discuss what it has been like to be Asian in the Hoosier State and share the contributions of Asian Americans to Indiana and beyond.


“Asian American Voices in Indiana” is available through IHS’s Basile History Market and other places books are sold. For more information about the book or the IHS Press, call (317) 232-1882 or visit www.indianahistory.org.


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