Lecture Series

Established in 1972, the Cornelius O’Brien Lecture Series supports Indiana groups and organizations (including cities, counties, and towns) by sharing the costs of bringing expert speakers to share their knowledge of historic buildings and landscapes.

Speakers must be recognized authorities in their subjects and legally reside outside of Indiana. Their presentations must be free and open to the public. A complete description of requirements and responsibilities as well as application forms are available here.

Cornelius O’Brien (1883-1953) was a banker, manufacturer, and farmer who purchased a historic house—Veraestau, in Dearborn County, Indiana—and passed on his interest in history and historic preservation to his wife and daughters. An early advocate for historic preservation, O’Brien was among “the first to realize,” in the words of former O’Brien Committee Chair Dean Eunice C. Roberts, “the need for preserving Indiana’s historical structures and sites.”

He was a longtime member of the Indiana State Library and Historical Board and served on the executive board of the Indiana Historical Society. The O’Brien Lecture Series was funded in his honor by his widow, Anna Cook O’Brien (1883-1953) and daughter, Mary O’Brien Gibson (1915-2007).

Indiana University is proud to sponsor the Cornelius O’Brien Lecture Series as part of its commitment to education and service to the people of Indiana.