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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.

 

Collections Department Frequently Asked Questions

Collections

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

Collections FAQs

Storage Methods for Ethnographic Collections

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

How to Order a Photograph

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 Research Resources & Databases

 

 

The Moving Image Collections held by the Nebraska State Historical Society contain over 6 million feet of motion picture film and thousands of vintage videotape formats, all relating to Nebraska by virtue of their content or production. Moving images date from 1900 to the recent past. The collections contain many genres, such as home movies, sponsored and promotional works, public service films, local television news footage, and Nebraska-made “local talent” films. The content is particularly rich in agriculture and ranching activities, town scenes, domestic life, Native Americans, aviation, railroads, and Nebraska businesses.

 

Access to the collections is accomplished through consultation with the Curator of Audiovisual Collections. Moving images are digitized on demand, and there may be a cost. See Fees for Duplication and Special Access for details.  Media producers may be required to pay use fees; see Fees for the Use of Moving Images and Sound Recordings for more information.

 

For examples from the moving image collections, see the NSHS Youtube Channel’s archival moving image playlist.

 

Artist Recording music in a studio

The Sound Recording Collections held by the Nebraska State Historical Society contain over 10,000 vintage audio tapes and other sound media formats, all relating to Nebraska by virtue of their content or production. Sound recordings date from the early 20th century to the near past. The collections contain many genres, such as radio advertisements, oral history interviews about communities and events, music, educational classroom recordings, political speeches, and local radio news coverage.

 

Access to the collections is accomplished through consultation with the Curator of Audiovisual Collections. Sound recordings are digitized on demand, and there may be a cost. See Fees for Duplication and Special Access for details. Media producers may be required to pay use fees; see Fees for the Use of Moving Images and Sound Recordings for more information.

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

Hours:

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

Location:

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

Contact:

Additional information about NSHS Research and Reference Services.

Yearly memberships start at $32

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