Robert Fletcher Gilder, 1856-1940 [RG1025.AM]


RG1025.AM:  Robert Fletcher Gilder, 1856-1940

Papers:  1912-1968, mainly 1912-1928
Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska:  Archeologist
Size:  One folder


Born in New York in 1856, Robert Gilder settled in Nebraska in 1887 and established himself as a journalist, archeologist and painter.  He worked as a newspaper reporter for 32 years, and he produced hundreds of paintings that would become his legacy.  During his trips to the woods along the Missouri River bluffs to paint, Gilder discovered various shallow depressions dotting the top of the bluffs.  Despite having no formal training in archeology, Gilder started digging into the depressions and recorded his findings.  He published his findings in the newspaper, and later professional journals.  His initial observations and findings, along with later professional excavations, led to the establishment of the “Nebraska Culture,” or the Nebraska Phase.  Gilder continued to research and paint for the rest of his life.  Robert Gilder died in Omaha on March 7, 1940.  He is buried in Bellevue Cemetery at Bellevue, Nebraska.


The collection contains three letters and several articles by Robert F. Gilder. Gilder wrote two of the letters to A.E. Sheldon of the Nebraska State Historical Society to discuss their archeological research. A third letter, dated January 19, 1922, is to Eolia Marquardt of Avoca, Nebraska, in which Gilder gives an account of his scientific discoveries and research. The collection also contains several reprints of articles concerning Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota archeology. Photocopies of Gilder’s The Nebraska Culture Man are included.

See the photo component [RG1025.PH] for related images.


See the Library Catalog and the Nebraska History index for articles and publications by Robert Fletcher Gilder.


Letters, reprints, etc.

Subject headings:

Archeologists — Nebraska
Archeology — Iowa
Archeology — Nebraska
Archeology — South Dakota
Gilder, Robert Fletcher, 1856-1940
Indians of North America — Nebraska
Indians of North America — South Dakota
Marquardt, Eolia
Nebraska Culture Man
Nebraska Loess Man
Osage Indians
Otoe Indians
Pawnee Indians
Richardson County (Nebraska) — History
Sarpy County (Nebraska) — History
Sheldon, Addison Erwin, 1861-1943

Revised TMM          07-15-2009

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

The Woman on the White Horse

The Woman on the White Horse

The Silver Bugs of 1896

The Silver Bugs of 1896

Marker Monday: Japanese Balloon Bombs

Marker Monday: Japanese Balloon Bombs

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.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

History Nebraska Education

Learn more about the educational programs provided at our museums, sites, and online.

Education Digital Learning Resources

Find games, lists, and more to enhance your history education curriculum.

History Nebraska Programs

Learn more about the programs associated with History Nebraska.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Listen to our Podcast

Listen to the articles and authors published in the Nebraska History Magazine with our new Nebraska History Podcast!

Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

History Nebraska Services

Digital Resources

Find all of our digital resources, files, videos, and more, all in one easy-to-search page!

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.