Collections FAQ

How Can We Help?

How do I donate materials?
Thanks to the generosity of people such as you, History Nebraska has built a world-class collection of museum and library/archives materials. We must be thoughtful and careful in accepting donations that adhere to our mission, avoid duplication, and assure the best use of our resources to safeguard Nebraska history. If you have something you would like to donate, please fill out our Collections Donation Form.
Why wasn’t my donation accepted?

All potential donations must go through a review process that is overseen by experts who are qualified to assess the relevance and suitability of items in relation to the overall collecting policies and current holdings of History Nebraska. Because it is expensive to care for and provide access to collection items, not all potential donations are accepted.

What types of items are you looking for?

History Nebraska collects a wide variety of historical materials, including:

  • Artifacts with strong Nebraska ties
  • Art
  • Books and periodicals
  • Historical Objects
  • Manuscripts
  • Government Records
  • Maps and architectural drawings
  • Film
  • Photographs
  • Audiovisual material

The History Nebraska Collections Management Policy gives further information about collecting practices. See also our Collecting Plan for more detailed information about what we will collect, what we won’t and why.

What types of items are not likely of interest?

The type of items not usually accepted into our collections include:

  • Artifacts with little or no ties to Nebraska
  • Unidentified photographs
  • Encyclopedias, National Geographic, and other general interest magazines
  • Homestead and other general certificates (marriage, baptism, confirmation, membership)
  • Spanish-American, WWI, and WWII uniforms
  • Pre-1970 baby clothes
  • War souvenirs from the Philippines, Japan, and Germany
  • Organs and pianos
How do I find out if you already have an item?

The History Nebraska Photograph & Artifact Collections Database is a great place to start. Our database is a work in progress and is constantly growing. Please check back frequently as new items are added often. If you do not find what you are looking for, please contact [email protected].

How do I care for my family treasures?

The Gerald Ford Conservation Center, a division History Nebraska, has created helpful Conservation Resources for tips about preserving these items.

Does History Nebraska loan objects from their collections?

Yes, History Nebraska loans objects from the collections to qualified institutions for exhibit, research, or other interpretive purposes. Loans are reviewed by the Collections Committee. Considerations of rarity, intrinsic and historical value, conservation needs, and display status determine what may be available for loan. For additional information and requirements, please read the Outgoing Loan Procedures.

Can you appraise or authenticate my object?

The staff of the History Nebraska Collections Department cannot appraise or authenticate artifacts.

Our policy regarding appraisals is outlined in the History Nebraska’s Institutional Values and Code of Ethics.

For additional information, please download the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center Appraiser Information resource.

Do you have any jobs, internships, or work study?

Internships, work-study positions, and volunteer opportunities are often available in the Collections Department and Archives. Please visit our Volunteer and Internship Opportunities page for a list of opportunities currently available along with their job description. For additional information about sharing your time with History Nebraska, please visit our Get Involved page.

How do I do research?

Our Research and Reference Services will help you connect to the material we collect and preserve. You can contact us by email if you have questions.

What kind of genealogy resources does History Nebraska have?

History Nebraska holds a wide variety of resources to help you in your genealogy research. Our Research and Reference Services would be happy to assist you. Or submit your question with the Online Reference Request Form.

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Online Services

Online Collections Search

Online Collections Search

History Nebraska Library Search

History Nebraska Library Search

Newspaper Inventory

Newspaper Inventory

Government Documents

Government Documents

More Research Resources

More Research Resources

Video Collection on YouTube

Video Collection on YouTube

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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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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.