History Nebraska

Research, Reference, & Genealogy

Reference Services

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

The Reference Room is located at 1500 R Street, Lincoln, Nebraska, and is open on Fridays, 9 am – 4 pm.

The Reference Room is also available by appointment on Tuesday mornings, 9 am – 12 pm, and Wednesday afternoons, 1 pm – 4 pm. To schedule an appointment, please contact us via email. When making an appointment request, please be as specific as possible about the resources you request to see (titles of newspapers or library items; collection titles and box numbers of archival collections; etc.).

Please note: We ask that you submit an appointment request at least two business days before your requested appointment. We cannot guarantee appointment availability with less than two business days’ notice. Some government records collections are stored off-site. Requests for these collections may require up to five business days before the materials will be accessible in the Reference Room.

Paper copies from our microfilm readers and computers are no longer available. If you would like a scan, you can save it on a flash drive or send it through email. Please either bring a flash drive or be sure you know your email password so you can access you email account from a reference room computer.

Reference Room Rules
  • Patrons are required to register daily at the Reference Desk.
  • Coat racks and lockers are available to secure your belongings.
  • No briefcases, purses, or bags may be taken into the Reference Room.
  • Only pencils are allowed. Any other writing utensils are strictly prohibited.
  • No food or drink is allowed.
  • Laptop computers are allowed in the Reference Room. The use of personal scanners and copiers is strictly prohibited.
  • Staff produced photocopies and scans of documents are available for a fee upon request.
  • The use of personal cameras is allowed on a LIMITED basis.
Requesting Library and Archives Collections
  • Most of the library and archives collections are stored in secure stacks closed to the public.
  • Our reference staff can pull requested items from the stacks in time for your appointment, but you must arrange that with them ahead of time. Only items requested ahead of your appointment will be pulled.
  • Our collections are cataloged with specific catalog IDs. We have finding aids for many collections on the website that you can find by using our search function. If you are unable to find the catalog ID, our reference staff will be able to help you.
Copy Services
  • Photocopy services are available for all but a few oversize or fragile items.
  • Original manuscripts, public records, photographs, and maps must be copied by staff.
  • Library staff will be happy to explain how to order copies from these collections.
  • Most copies cannot be made immediately upon request, but Copy Orders will be filled as soon as possible depending upon the size of the order and copy staff availability.
  • Patrons may either pick up their order or make arrangements to have the material mailed.

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Help Shape History

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Being a member is the easiest way to be involved in our mission to preserve and share our state's rich history. Find out how!


Volunteers work with History Nebraska staff members to support our mission

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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.
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.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

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

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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.

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.