The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis is a home for knowledge about the Circle City’s past and present. Its entries, timelines, interactive atlas, in-depth features, and more tell the stories of the people, organizations, place, and events that define Indianapolis and its metropolitan region.

A legacy project of the Indianapolis Bicentennial Commission, the encyclopedia is developed by the Polis Center at IUPUI in collaboration with the city’s major cultural and heritage institutions. It is sustained by The Indianapolis Public Library as a civic resource.

Updated continuously, the encyclopedia aims to provide information to help citizens participate more effectively in developing the city. We encourage users of the encyclopedia to suggest entries, contribute information and materials (e.g., photos, documents, etc.), make corrections, and help the editorial staff improve this resource. You can contribute your ideas, knowledge, photos, and documents here.

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This encyclopedia builds on the success of the 1994 Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, also developed by the Polis Center at IUPUI. Planning began in 2018 among a coalition of Indianapolis heritage, cultural, and educational organizations.

Three goals emerged from this process:

  1. Create an innovative digital platform to serve as a sustainable, dynamic, and reliable source of information about the city and region.
  2. Develop a collaborative framework among the city’s heritage, cultural, and educational institutions to support the encyclopedia’s growth.
  3. Involve citizens in developing accurate, inclusive, and comprehensive content, with special attention to traditionally underrepresented voices and experiences.

Content creation began in January 2019, with a variety of citizens’ advisory groups guiding the work, while the Polis Center developed the platform. Beta testing began in January 2021, with the public launch in November 2021. In January 2022, Indianapolis Public Library became community trustee of the encyclopedia.