Discover the Audiovisual Collection

October is Archives Month

You may know History Nebraska for its outstanding collections of photographs, manuscripts and public records, library materials or museum artifacts. But did you know that we also house a large collection of audiovisual materials? Moving images and sound recordings of various formats take up a big chunk of our storage stacks, and their numbers are impressive; For example, we have over 22,000 reels of motion picture film, 10,000 videotapes, 6000 audio tapes and 500 audio discs – all about, or products of, Nebraska! That’s over 4000 viewing hours of film alone!

What makes audiovisuals special is that they can only be accessed by the machines that play them. So HN keeps a stock of now-obsolete playback machines. And audiovisuals can be delicate, so in order to protect them we digitize them for public use. This is a big job – one that may never be complete. But little by little, we are creating a digital repository from our original audiovisuals.

How can you find out what treasures our audiovisual collections hold? Some information is now on-line, through our Digital Collections portal. And we’re adding more data all the time. Excerpts from a number of our audiovisual collections are available for viewing on History Nebraska’s YouTube channel

Paul Eisloeffel in AV stacksAudiovisual Curator Paul Eisloeffel cares for History Nebraska’s impressive collection of reels of motion picture film. 

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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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