Start Your Engines

August 25, 2018 — August 31, 2019

Harold Mauck lived life in the fast lane. The Plainview photographer and race car driver left a collection of photos documenting northeastern Nebraska’s post-World War II culture of stock car racing. His work is featured in a new exhibit at the Nebraska History Museum

Color Quest: Explore Nebraska's Colorful Quilts!

June 28, 2018 — March 2, 2019

What are your favorite colors? If you could design a quilt, what colors would you choose? Bright? Subdued? On-trend? Natural? Quiltmakers throughout Nebraska’s history made their own choices. But fashion and personal preference weren’t the only factors. Cost and technology limited some quilters’ choices. The durability of dyes also played a part in color selection. Find your favorites as you explore the beauty, fashion, and history of color in Nebraska quilts. Start your color quest now!  

Nebraska Unwrapped: Selections from the Collections

Through 2020

Almost 150 objects archeological and historic artifacts connect visitors to the stories of Nebraskans both notable and notorious. 

History Learning Center

Ongoing Docent Led 

Experience Nebraska History through our docent-led educational adventure! Discover more about the first Nebraskans, cowboy life in Nebraska, early pioneers, and much more. 

Historic Nebraska Mugshots

Mugshot photography revolutionized crime investigations after its adoption in the mid-1800s, replacing the usual drawings and descriptions. The Nebraska State Penitentiary began using mugshots in 1867 to record the likeness of the state's most infamous residents. Whether the people depicted were guilty or innocent, behind every photograph is a human story. Discover some of those stories with this selection of over 30 historic Nebraska mugshots.

Nebraskan Aerial Photographer's WWII Experience in the Pacific

Robert Merchant served in the Air Force from 1924-1945, working primarily as an aerial photographer. He documented several attacks, battles, and rescue missions both in the air and on the ground. This graciously donated collection of over 300 photos allow us to glimpse life in the Army Air Forces during World War II, all from the perspective of a young man from Wayne, Nebraska.

Revealing History: Using Digital Technology to Learn More about our Past

The photographs of Solomon D Butcher have been used to study the homesteading experience for 50 years, but now, advanced digital imaging technology offers us a way to see these photos like never before. Utilizing this technology, we have been able to uncover details that have not been seen since these photos were first taken. Look through this small collection of photos for examples of the incredible things we have been able to uncover.

Selections from the Solomon D. Butcher Collection

Nebraska photographer Solomon D. Butcher produced, over the course of nearly forty years, a record of the settlement of the Great Plains that is both unique and remarkable. This iconic collection comprises 3,300 glass plate negatives crafted between 1886 and 1912 has been used to tell the story of the Great Plains for nearly 40 years.

Merci Train: A Selection of Objects from the Nebraska Boxcar

The chaos of World War II brought devastation to France, but supplies from the United States helped to ease that pain somewhat. To show their appreciation for American generosity, French citizens gathered 49 boxcars -- one for each state at the time -- and filled them with gifts. Nebraska's boxcar arrived on February 13, 1949, and was filled with all sorts of toys, household items, art, and personal items.

Saving Memories: Items of Personal Remembrance

Hide paintings, ledger drawings, diaries, autograph albums, scrapbooks, photograph albums, memory quilts, and home movies from the collections of the Nebraska State Historical Society. 

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