March 2, 2021: We continue to hear from concerned citizens about the legality of what’s happened in the CSH cemetery. We are also very upset about the situation and appreciate hearing your concerns, but our understanding, as explained to us by the Indiana DNR Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology (DHPA), is that no laws have been broken.

DHPA explained that the laws that would make these actions illegal for most property owners do not apply to the City and certain other exempted entities. Because the land on which the cemetery sits is owned by the City of Indianapolis’ Department of Metropolitan Development and leased to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, we have been advised that nothing can be done to hold either party accountable or to prevent this from happening again.

DNR has not issued an official statement, but questions and concerns about this incident or about cemetery laws, what they mean, and to whom or what entities they apply can be directed to DHPA Director Beth McCord at bmccord@dnr.in.gov.

February 13, 2021: Tune in to Hoosier History Live at noon to hear IMHM Executive Director Sarah Halter talk with host Nelson Price about new projects and all of the exciting things happening at the Museum, especially updates on our cemetery project and other efforts to "rehumanize" and memorialize the patients who lived and sometimes died at Central State Hospital.

December 1, 2020: "Uncertainty For Graves At Central State Hospital Site" Taylor Bennett, WFYI

December 1, 2020: "Dehumanization, Dignity, and Development: Contemporary Cemetery Preservation" by Paul Mullins on his blog Archaeology and Material Culture

November 29, 2020: Letter to the Editor "IMPD showed disrespect in disturbing Central State gravesite" Dorothy Pratt, PhD, Indianapolis Star

November 27, 2020: The IMHM Board sent letters to Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and head of the IMPD K9 Unit Lt. Robert Stradling urging them to work with us to ensure the future preservation of the CSH Cemetery.

November 25, 2020: "Utility work for new IMPD K-9 facility unearths human remains" Mary Milz, WTHR

November 25, 2020: "Human remains at Central State 'mangled' in IMPD facility construction, museum says" Indianapolis Star

November 25, 2020: "Central State Human Remains 'Mangled' by Police Construction" US News & World Report


November 25, 2020: "Central State Human Remains 'Mangled' by Police Construction" Associated Press

November 24, 2020: We have a heartbreaking update to share about recent incidents in the Central State Hospital Cemetery, Section I. Click here to read the update.

September 26, 2020: "Indiana museum traces shuttered mental hospital’s unmarked graves" North State Journal

September 22, 2020: "Indiana Medical History Museum, Ball State team up on patient burials" video, the Indianapolis Star

September 19, 2020: "Remembering the forgotten: Museum enumerates Central State Hospital's unmarked graves" Jordan Erb, the Indianapolis Star

September 3, 2020: "Indiana Medical History Museum Working To Identify Those Buried In Central State Cemetery" Jill Ditmire, WFYI

February 3, 2020:  We've launched a crowdfunding campaign in partnership with Ball State University to fund the needed ground-penetrating radar in the cemetery. Working with the archaeologists at BSU's Applied Anthropology Laboratories, we can identify where the burials are in the cemetery and determine the boundaries of the cemetery, which are suspected but not known.

Learn more about the project and how you can help.

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