In between working on the Ostrom project and the IU Orla History Archive project, I’ve tackled some small issues with other finding aids. Everything from alphabetizing interview lists to rewriting scope and content notes. In doing this, one thing I’ve noticed is just how different Bloomington was as recently as the 1960s
For example, in an interview with a then new faculty member in the 1960s, the interviewee noted when they arrived in town there were lots of signs outside of houses that read, “For Sale- Modern House.” The new faculty member was coming from the West Coast where the term modern house meant a particular architectural style so when seeing common, ordianry houses in Bloomington described as “modern” they were rightly confused. A fellow faculty member let them in on the secret- “modern” in Bloomington meant the house had indoor plumbing, nothing at all to do with style!
There are countless anecdotes like this in the archive about the shock of coming to Bloomington from much larger cities. However, most of these interviewed went on to stay in Bloomington and commented about the beauty and tranquility present both on campus and in town.