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About Us

The NSHS Collections Division collects, preserves, and provides access to materials that document the human history of Nebraska. 


Materials held by the Collections Division include museum objects; artwork; archeological materials; books; newspapers; maps; government records; records and papers from private businesses, organizations, and families; photographs; moving images; and sound recordings. 


NSHS Collections are available to the public through museum exhibits, public programs, publications, and through our Reference Services department.


Mosaic Tile

-three-dimensional objects (artifacts) and paper items

-relating to the history of the people of Nebraska


The Museum Collections Department is responsible for the care, growth, research and use of the museum collection. 


Search the Museum Collections

Additional information about the Department

Photograph of old pottery

-clearinghouse for archeological activity within the state.  

-master file of all archeological projects conducted and sites discovered in the state

-primary records from NSHS research and that of others Archeology staff

-management and analysis of archeological collections recovered through NSHS and other fieldwork


Professional archeologists and students may be allowed access to archeological records and collections by appointment only.


Additional information about the Archeology Office

Photograph of Full Bull

-nearly a million images, representing all aspects of Nebraska and Great Plains life from the later 1800s to the present.

-formats include daguerreotypes, tintypes, studio portraits, glass plate negatives, slides, "circuit" panorama photos, snapshots and albums.

-particularly rich in portraits, town scenes, buildings, and images of Native Americans and Prairie life. 


Only a small portion of the photo collections are currently available online, but we add more on a daily basis.


Search the Photograph Collections


Additional information about the Department

Blueprint of an airplain

-nearly 3,000 collections constituting over 12,000 cubic feet of archival material gathered from private sources -- anything other than a government agency

-records of businesses, organizations and associations, churches, as well as political papers, and the personal papers of individuals and families.


Manuscript Inventories

Image of a paper map of Nebraska and Kansas

 -about 80,000 volumes including state publications and periodicals  

-3,000 maps and atlases  

-3,532 cataloged Nebraska newspapers


The Library collections are especially strong in general Nebraska and Great Plains history, local town and county history, Nebraska newspapers, Nebraska authors, and Nebraska and regional maps of the Great Plains.


Search the Library Collections


Additional information about the Library



 -6.5 million feet of film and some

-1,000 hours of videotape, all relating to Nebraska by virtue of their content or production

-many genres: home movies, Nebraska-made "local talent" films, public service films, daily local TV news footage

-dating from 1900 to the near past

-particularly rich in images of agriculture and ranching activities, town scenes, domestic life, Native Americans, aviation, railroads, and Nebraska businesses; home movies also contain scenes of travel destinations outside the state.


Moving images on YouTube


Additional information about the Department

Artist Recording music in a studio

-over 2,500 recordings, dating from 1898 to the present

-formats and genres:  radio advertisements; Native American music; oral history interviews about neighborhoods, communities, and events; political speeches and debates; lectures; local radio news coverage

-all connected to Nebraska through content or production


Additional information about the Department

Nebraska State Capital

-about 20,000 cubic feet of paper records   

-close to 100,000 rolls of microfilm  

-from the smallest village to the largest federal agency

-1854 to the present   

-available for research in the Reference Room with advance notice


The Nebraska legislature designated the Nebraska State Historical Society as official custodian of all state and local government records of historical value in 1905. NSHS was designated the state archives in 1969.


Government Records Inventories

Women and men sitting at a library

Reference Room


  • Tuesday - Friday, 10:00 - 4:00
  • Saturday, 10:00 - 4:00, limited service
  • Closed on Sunday and Monday, all state holidays, and on some holiday weekends.


  • Library / Archives 
  • Nebraska State Historical Society
  • 1500 "R" Street
  • P.O. Box 82554
  • Lincoln, Nebraska 68501


Using the Library

Yearly memberships start at $32

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