Archeology Services

Artifact Identification

SAO archeologists may be available to help identify archeological artifacts. If possible, send digital images of the artifact(s) to the Archeology Team. Archeologists may also be available to look at your items by appointment; however, it is not uncommon for staff to be out of the office doing fieldwork.

Nebraska State Site File Searches

Archeological records search for research or regulatory compliance is available for a fee. Please direct site file search requests to [email protected].

Cultural Resource Management and Research

The SAO offers a wide range of research and cultural resource management (CRM) services to other offices with obligations under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the Nebraska Archeological Resources Preservation Act, and other laws and regulations. Our primary client is the Nebraska Department of Transportation, but we provide services to other state or federal agencies and various consulting firms.

Contact State Archeologist Dave Williams for scope and rate information concerning:

• Archeological resource identification background research and field inventories.
• Historic architectural resource background research and field inventories.
• National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) eligibility testing and evaluation.
• National Register of Historic Places Nominations
• Archeological data recovery and architectural/structural recordation.
• Laboratory analysis of lithic, ceramic, and faunal materials.
• Cultural resources planning and management documents.


Curation Services

Artifact and Document Collections

For a fee (currently $7.83/ft3), History Nebraska may ensure the long-term curation and management of collections and records from archeological undertakings within the State. A Curation Request Form should be submitted to the Archeology Collections, preferably in the planning stages of the project. Approval of curation requests and final acceptance of collections is contingent upon several factors including space, legal title status, and adherence to History Nebraska curation standards.

Collection Loans

Archeology loans for research or exhibit purposes are handled by the Archeology Collections. View the History Nebraska Outgoing Loan Procedures for more information.

Donation of Collections

History Nebraska may be interested in acquiring unique or very significant archeological artifacts from Nebraska. Potential donations can be directed to the Archeological Collections. For more information, view the History Nebraska Collections Policy.

Discovery of Human Skeletal Remains

If suspected human bone is discovered in any circumstance, the first step is always to contact local law enforcement. If the remains are suspected to be of an archeological nature, law enforcement or the county attorney will contact the SAO to carry out provisions of the Nebraska Unmarked Human Burial Sites and Skeletal Remains Protection Act. The act directs the SAO to attempt to determine as specifically as possible who the remains are related to and work with descendants on repatriation.


On-Site Access to Files and Collections

Patrons wishing to conduct archeological research at the SAO should fill out our online contact form. Because of the restricted nature of archeological site locations, many of the archives housed at the SAO are not available to the general public.

Photocopies: $0.25 per page. Documents may be scanned and sent via email at no cost.


Nebraska Cultural Resources Geographic Information System (NCRGIS)

The SAO maintains the NCRGIS which stores spatial information for all recorded archeological sites and surveyed areas in Nebraska, in cooperation with the Nebraska State Historic Preservation Office (NeSHPO). The NCRGIS is not currently available online, but information about known sites and surveys may be obtained through a file search. The NCRGIS and the state site files are also open for on-site access by appointment. See below for more information.

The Nebraska State Historic Preservation Office maintains an architectural and structural resources GIS. Contact the SHPO Survey Coordinator for more information.


Documentation of New Archeological Sites

Patrons should contact the Archeology Collections for the next available site number. Here you can download the latest version of the Nebraska Archeological Site Form. A short version of the form also exists, intended for private landowners or other members of the public to report archeological finds.


Educational Services

Archeology staff members offer educational presentations to schools and other organizations. Availability is dependent on scheduling and support. Please contact State Archeologist Dave Williams for more information.

Image Reproduction

To request permission to use images from the History Nebraska Collections, please contact our Collections team.

For additional information on the use of History Nebraska images, including associated fees:

History Nebraska Use Policy

Fees for Duplication, Special Access, and Use

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
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