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Alvin W. Holmes Collection on Covered Bridges

Identifier: DADA-039

Scope and Contents

Documentation of covered bridges and other engineering structures in Indiana and other states created or collected by Alvin W. Holmes. The collection includes approximately 300 black and white photographs, 150 color slides, 12 color photographs, 145 postcards, 4 manuscripts and typescripts, 1 drawing, and 5 brochures about covered bridges.


  • Creation: 1931 - 1972


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Drawings and Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Drawings and Documents Archive.

Biographical Note

Alvin W. Holmes was born in Logansport, Indiana in 1901. He graduated from Logansport High School in 1919, and then attended Purdue University, where he obtained a B.S. degree in chemical engineering in 1923. He was a member of Tau Beta Pi and Phi Lambda Upsilon, national honorary organizations in engineering and chemistry. Upon graduation he married Mary Schaen, also of Logansport.

Mr. Holmes came to Muncie, Indiana, in 1924 to join Indiana Steel and Wire Company. He remained with that firm for 42 years until his retirement in 1966 as Director of Research and Engineering and Director of Patents. During his career, Mr. Holmes wrote several U.S. and British patents and was a member of the American Society for Metals, British Iron and Steel Institute, American Chemical Society, and the National Association of Corrosion Engineers. After retiring, he served as consultant to Indiana Steel and Wire Co. and to General Cable Corp. on uses of steel wire for electric power transmission and for the telephone industry.

Mr. Holmes actively pursued several hobbies, one of which was building his covered bridge collection. He gathered printed information and used his engineering background to measure, diagram, record and photograph structural details of dozens of covered bridges in Indiana and other states. He combined his interest in travel and in photography to document as many bridges as possible before they disappeared. Mr. Holmes died in 1988.


1.2 Cubic Feet (3 manuscript boxes, 1 small box)


Alvin W. Holmes Collection on covered bridges is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

Alvin W. Holmes Collection on covered bridges was received by Drawings and Documents Archive as a donation from Jack Buckles and Betty J. Martin on 2002/4/11 and 2002/8/13.


No additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed. Finding aid created 2005/4/28; revised 2011/11/1 by Julie Edwards; revised 2012/2/21 by Carol Street.

Alvin W. Holmes Collection on Covered Bridges
Revised by Julie Edwards in 2011 and by Carol Street in 2012.
Created 2005/4/28; revised 2011/11/1, 2012/2/21
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Andrew Seager Archives of the Built Environment Repository

Architecture Building, Room 120
Muncie IN 47306 USA
765-285-3726 (Fax)