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Indiana Historical Society presents IU Northwest Professor Emeritus James Lane with 2012 Dorothy Riker Hoosier Historian Award

The noted researcher, teacher and author receives one of IHS’s highest honors

Wednesday Dec 05, 2012

Indiana University Northwest Professor Emeritus of History James B. Lane, Ph.D., was awarded the Indiana Historical Society’s (IHS) 2012 Dorothy Riker Hoosier Historian Award on Monday, Dec. 3.

The award is presented to a historian who has made distinguished contributions to the field of historical scholarship and/or the affairs and activities of IHS.

Lane, a notable Northwest Indiana historian, has dedicated decades to researching, teaching and publicizing the unique history of the Calumet Region.

Though Lane retired from the classroom in 2007, he remains ever-present on the Northwest campus as co-director of the IU Northwest Calumet Regional Archives.

“Even in retirement, Professor Lane continues to research and publish valuable historical works disseminating the history of Northwest Indiana,” said Steve McShane, archivist and curator for the Calumet Regional Archives. “I'm delighted the IHS has honored Jim with the Riker Award, for he certainly deserves it, and I offer my heartiest personal congratulations!”

For nearly 40 years, Lane also has annually produced a local historical periodical, Steel Shavings, which recounts the social history of Northwest Indiana's Calumet Region and features articles by IU Northwest students based on oral history interviews. Lane is expected to release the 42nd edition in the near future, based on his blog: Northwest Indiana Historian James B. Lane.

Lane has also authored several books focused specifically on the City of Gary, including, Gary: A Pictorial History, and his first book, City of the Century: A History of Gary, Indiana, which served as the first comprehensive history of the city since its founding.

His most recent book, Valor: the American Odyssey of Roy Dominguez, is an autobiography of the former Lake County Sheriff, as told to Lane by Dominguez.

Roy Dominguez’s “rags to riches” life story had intrigued Lane ever since the 1980s, when the two met through the Latino Historical Society. When Dominguez, a 1979 IU Northwest graduate, approached Lane about a book project, Lane agreed to help him compile his life journey into an autobiography.

As co-director of the Calumet Regional Archives, Lane had also wanted to preserve Dominguez’s personal papers as part of the history of Hispanics in the region.

“I am deeply honored to receive the Riker Award,” Lane said. “I believe strongly in the importance of Indiana’s history and, in particular, the social, cultural, political, and ethnic history of the Calumet Region. The main purpose of my scholarly work has been to broaden the parameters of that field of study.”

 About Indiana University Northwest

As one of seven Indiana University campuses, IU Northwest leads the region as the premier, urban campus dedicated to serving the needs of more than 6,000 students from the state’s most diverse and industrialized region. Committed to helping its local Northwest Indiana communities thrive, IU Northwest is best-known for providing a personal, quality and affordable education close to home.  IU Northwest positions its students to be leaders with more than 70 undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional degree options available from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Health and Human Services, the School of Business and Economics, and the School of Education. The campus is also host to IU School of Medicine-Northwest, which actively involves students in research and local healthcare needs through its four-year medical doctorate program. For more information, please visit

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