Picturing Madison County

children charlie and gertie

Anderson Public Library's Online Photograph Collection

Welcome to Picturing Madison County, the Anderson Public Library's Online collection of 505 Madison County images. To create this exhibit, the Indiana Room staff scanned the postcards, pictures and negatives we have collected over the last 30 years. Each picture has an identifying text which gives you some information about the subject and (when it could be determined) a little of its history. Click here to begin browsing these historical photographs!

The oldest picture in the group is a 1903 photograph of Madison County school children creating a "Living Flag" on bleachers set up on Courthouse Square. There is a fine collection of photographic postcards of the 1913 flood that show Anderson's Main Street, Ninth Street Bridge and Athletic Park besieged by the swollen White River. There are photographs of Amelia Earhart and of James Whitcomb Riley taken while they were visiting Anderson. There are two 1910 vintage Remy Electric Company advertising postcards praising the amazing reliability of the Remy magneto. There is a three-picture sequence showing the raising of the Warner Auditorium dome in October 1961. You will find pictures of 44 schools, 15 high school sports teams, 39 churches and 40 factories, as well as parks, businesses and street scenes.

Half of the images that make up this collection are photographs taken by Norm Cook.  Cook was the most prominent commercial and business photographer in the Anderson area from the 1940's through the 1970's. After his death in 1983, Ronda Cook, his widow, gave the Anderson Public Library several contact sheets of photographs taken in the early 1930's and a large collection of negatives. Cook specialized in aerial photographs and many of the pictures show downtown Anderson from the air.

You can view the collection two ways. You can browse the list of items. We encourage you to click on the thumbnail photograph or the title to see the full image. If you are looking for something particular, you can enter a name or a subject in the search field (in the top right corner) and click on search. You will then be shown all the images that match your entry.

View the Collection


"The online photographic exhibit was made possible by a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and administered by the Indiana State Library." The Picturing Madison County images are also part of the Indiana Memory Collection.