Renowned author Kurt Vonnegut took an unflinching look at the world, tempered with a satirical eye and sardonic sense of humor.
In honor of his wit and wisdom, the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library champions the literary, artistic, and cultural contributions of the late writer, artist, teacher, and Indianapolis native Kurt Vonnegut. The library and museum serve as a cultural and educational resource unique to the nation.
Sit hunched over the same model typewriter Kurt Vonnegut pecked away on, and we’ll Tweet your musings to our supporters.
See Vonnegut’s drawings and doodles, his actual typewriter, Purple Heart, and other intimate belongings generously loaned by his family.
View photos from family, friends, and fans that reveal Vonnegut as he lived: lounging, laughing, and languidly contemplating the universes inside his head.
Browse items from the Kevin Scherr Collection: First editions of every Vonnegut novel, several signed editions, adapted films, and more.
Ponder rejection letters Vonnegut received from editors. One even claimed that Vonnegut’s Dresden firebombing account was “not quite compelling enough.”
Rest a spell and listen to what friends and colleagues have to say about Vonnegut and his work on our large touch screen.
Thanks to generous and kind donors and volunteers, the library continues Kurt Vonnegut’s fight against censorship and supports language and visual arts education through programs and outreach activities such as:
- Teaching Vonnegut
- Kurt Vonnegut and Jane Cox Vonnegut Writing Awards
- Banned Books Week
- So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library
- Night of Vonnegut
- Vonnegut Sessions
- School tours and partnerships
- Original exhibits and art shows
- Traveling speakers and a traveling exhibit that you can request for your own local venues.
We also honor Kurt Vonnegut’s military career and his honest portrayal of war in novels by reaching out to veterans through writing workshops, Reclaim Armistice Day panels, a veterans’ book discussion group, exhibits by soldier-artists, and more.
“Slaughterhouse Five and Man Without a Country were the two texts I have used; however, this workshop has opened my eyes to the brilliance of the other works.” –Teaching Vonnegut Attendee (survey)
Unique Cultural and Educational Resource
“The library/museum is housed in a downtown building called the Emelie, built in 1902 and listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The staff are not only curators of Vonnegut’s work, but advocates of his ideals. In addition to their collection of his drawings, books, papers and letters (some of which are original publisher rejection letters), there is a recreation of the writer’s personal work space, a reading room, and a small art gallery. They see themselves as a unique cultural and educational resource, reaching into the hearts of readers, Hoosiers and beyond. Maybe that’s the best description of Vonnegut himself.” –Atlas Obscura
Captures the Vonnegut Vibe
“It’s not a very big place, but it does capture the Vonnegut vibe and is a good place to spend a little time if you are a fan of Vonnegut’s writing. The gift shop offers copies of his novels and a highlight for most people is getting to type at the little blue typewriter in the office replica and reading the framed rejection letter. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable which adds to the experience. There are often special exhibits and events scheduled at the museum as well. This is certainly another gem for the city of Indianapolis.” -Jill J. (Tripadvisor)
An Excellent Memorial
“I felt I was walking on hallowed ground. This is an excellent memorial to a great Hoosier and one of our finest American authors. Loved it. Highly recommend.” – David Cooley (Facebook)
A Dedicated Nonprofit
“Outside of its role as a museum, the KVML is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting literacy and battling censorship. Fans who are particularly dedicated will find this something of an emotional experience, and you could easily spend an hour and a half giving the place a thorough look.” -Andy Polhamus (Facebook)
Banned Books Week
“Having buy-in from the city at that level really solidified the importance of both Banned Books Week and the Vonnegut Library.” –Anonymous (survey)
Night of Vonnegut
“We are anxious to have the opportunity for our students and professors to learn from an author with such an impressive body of work, who continues to be a prolific writer by drawing on history, culture, religion, politics, and contemporary ideas. And he has lived a courageous life that demonstrates that the pen is mightier than the sword.” –Gregory Hess, President of Wabash College
“I enjoyed the variety of presentations and the clear expertise and knowledge of the presenters. I got lots of great ideas, not only things I was expecting (like text/practice ideas) but also things I didn’t expect at all (like wanting to create a literary garden even though I am not a gardener).” –Teaching Vonnegut Attendee (survey)
Love this Place!
Love this place! The curator Chris is an incredibly nice guy and very knowledgeable. The art is incredible, the selection of books is great and the history is awesome. Highly recommend checking it out!” –Brian Grimes (Facebook)
Heavily Involved in Banned Books Week
“I am a member of the library because I love KV’s work but also because the library is heavily involved in Banned Books Week every year. I would say that they are the leader in the area when it comes to this, always very cool stuff, provocative stuff and it seems that a lot of people who work and volunteer there wear their geek heart on their sleeve. I feel KV is the closest thing Indiana got to a Mark Twain, witty and insightful.” –Thomas Childress (Facebook)
VonnegutFest – ‘So It Goes’ Release Party
“Everyone seemed to have a good time, and the overflow crowd added to the excitement of the event. I was very impressed with the quality of the presenters—an opinion that has not been diminished by reading the journal from cover to cover. Well done!” –Greg Troxell
Every Indiana Dweller Should Come Here
“I could kick myself for how many times I had walked right past this place without going in. Every Indiana dweller should come here. I’m very grateful to have visited while the curator of the library was there. He was enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and eager to share his Vonnegut wisdom with me, just as I was eager to hear it.
The place is smaller than I imagined, but clean and quaint, making my heart swoon a little. There are books for sale, and group emails or clubs available to sign up. I learned a lot, read an excellent book at the result of my visit, and thoroughly enjoyed my time with the staff, who made me feel like family.” –Kayla V. (Yelp)
A Pilgrimage Destination
“Fantastic space. A pilgrimage for anyone who’s read Kurt’s work.” -Simon R. (Facebook)
A Living, Breathing Tribute
“If you’re a Vonnegut fan, you MUST see this living, breathing tribute to him. You’ll love it. If you are not a Vonnegut fan or don’t even know who he is, take this opportunity to make yourself aware. This is a nice space. It’s very manageable, it’s comfortable, and it’s well done. It’s free entry, but of course it’s nice to leave a donation/tip and help support the arts. There’s a bookstore where you can purchase some cute Vonnegut souvenir items.” –Tracy A. (Yelp)
“The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library gets a lot of monetary support from memberships, so consider checking out those options and giving back if you’re a Vonnegut aficionado. Otherwise, just a cool place to stop in! I’m inspired to learn more about Vonnegut’s life now.” –Katie U. (Yelp)
Keeping the Flame
“Since 2011 the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library has been keeping the flame of the famed author, war veteran, pacifist, free-speech advocate, critic, counter-culture icon and Indianapolis’ favorite son…If you’ve never read any Kurt Vonnegut at all, this small library and museum is determined to show you why you should.” –Atlas Obscura
“The KVML is a must see for anyone who has been affected by the work of great American writer, Kurt Vonnegut. The store is stocked with the latest prints of all of his works, the walls are lined with some of his screen printing, and every member of the staff is a well versed expert on all of his works.” –Addie Lipson (Facebook)