The Historic Wylie House

Wylie House
If you’re looking to get in the holiday spirit (and possibly take a break from final projects and exams), look no further than the Wylie House Museum. Located on Second Street at the very edge of campus, the museum is one of the IUB Libraries’ and Bloomington’s best-kept secrets. Originally the home of IU’s first president, Andrew Wylie, generations of the Wylie family actually inhabited the house until 1913. Today, it offers visitors a snapshot of nineteenth-century life and houses a number of historic artifacts from collections of family letters and photographs to antique furniture and other textiles.

The museum offers numerous opportunities for visitors interested in local history. Guided tours of the house are available March-November from friendly docents familiar with the house and family’s history. Classes from IU and local schools are welcome to visit for field trips and class projects. An outdoor interpreter, with the help of volunteers, maintains an heirloom garden on the grounds to promote seed saving–an activity in which visitors are welcome to support. Other activities include live music, exhibits, and even quilt shows.

Staff and volunteers at the Wylie House have been busy preparing for the holiday season. The current exhibit, located in the Wylie House Barn, is called “Christmas in the Nineteenth Century” and features excerpts from family letters and diaries, historic Christmas cards, and photographs to highlight holiday traditions at the Wylie House and in Bloomington during that time period.

Another tradition includes the annual holiday open house, “Wylie House by Candlelight” which will take place this Saturday, December 7 from 5:00-8:00 pm. The event will offer live music performed by IU affiliates, holiday crafts and period games, docents and volunteers dressed in period attire, and of course, refreshments! If you have a chance, stop by to take part in the holiday festivities.



Give a Little…

With the recent disaster in Japan, charitable giving is at the forefront of many people’s minds. As summer rapidly approaches, it’s a good time to consider opportunities to spend your summer giving back to those in need.

The Herman B Wells Library has a number of books that can give you some ideas on volunteering.

Worldwide Volunteering by Roger Potter provides a number of volunteer opportunities that can be completed within a predetermined period of time.

World Volunteers by Fabio Ausenda focuses on humanitarian volunteering opportunities around the world, offering insight on how to pick a program suited to your interests, age, and time availability.

How to Live Your Dream of Volunteering Overseas is an authoritative guidebook written by three founders of volunteer organizations and provides guidance on achieving the goal of volunteering abroad.

The Peace Corps is a well-known and respected volunteer organization. As most people know, the application process is rigorous and many more people apply than are chosen. Paul Backhurst here provides you with some alternatives to the Peace Corps, tips on choosing a program, and budgeting, as well as an extensive resource section.

International Voluntary Work is a comprehensive listing of thousands of volunteer programs worldwide that vary in time commitment as well as type of work.

If your interests are more specific, check out Archaeo-volunteers, which will give you information on archaeological volunteer opportunities.

Not able to travel abroad but still want to help out? Check out the City of Bloomington Volunteer Network, which provides links to opportunities in a variety of categories in and around Bloomington.

Additionally, IU has its own page of community volunteer opportunities available for browsing.

So take some time and give a little this summer!


Give back to Bloomington

Walking around Bloomington in the Autumn brings out a sense of amazement and thankfulness.  Something about the vibrant leaves, brisk mornings, and the addition of apple cider on local menus induces feelings of gratitude. Bloomington is a beautiful city!  Why not take a few hours to give back and channel these warm-fuzzies into action?    By volunteering, you become an important resource to the community; plus, you can develop skills that are directly relevant to your major or future career.  A resume booster and community booster in one! 

Some Bloomington and nation-wide volunteer networks keep up-to-date postings: 

City of Bloomington Volunteer Network

Herald Times Online: Volunteer Opporurtunities in the Bloomington Area

Indiana University Bloomington Community Connection


Volunteer Match

If you are looking for more volunteer ideas, check out the Career Reference Collection.  Located in the IC, many volunteer books offer suggestions for cool volunteer vacations or professional-building volunteer opportunities.  Browse the HN call number in the Career Reference Collection for ideas.