Top Stories from 2015

The NSHS had a big year in 2015! Listed below are just a few of our big accomplishments and best moments. Nebraska History Museum. Just because the museum has been closed doesn’t mean its staff has been resting! Our museum staff has been working tirelessly to get the new facility ready for visitors in April 2016. Between redesigning the space, managing construction, maintaining collections, and creating new exhibits, they have kept busy. We can’t wait for you to experience all of their hard work once the museum reopens in just a few short months!

The Nebraska History Museum will reopen to the public on April 1, 2016!


Nebraska Historic Tax Credit (NHTC). The State Historic Preservation Office allocated $14,960,178 for 46 projects under the new “Nebraska Historic Tax Credit” (NHTC) program. This is the first year that funds were allocated. The statutory limit of credits available in one year is $15 million. The office received 58 applications requesting $17,508,708. State legislation, the “Nebraska Job Creation and Mainstreet Revitalization Act,” provides a 20 percent state income tax credit (up to a limit of $1 million for a single project) for eligible expenditures made for rehabilitating qualified historic buildings. The program is administered by the State Historic Preservation Office and the Nebraska Department of Revenue. NSHS Publications. The NSHS published two books in 2015: Rodeo Nebraska by Mark Harris; foreword by Candy Moulton. This large-format hardcover features contemporary photos and stories of Nebraska’s small-town rodeos. “After eighty-two events in sixty-two separate Nebraska locations, Mark Harris has created a captivating tribute to rodeo like no other.” – Joel Sartore, National Geographic photographer. Fort Robinson, Crawford, Nebraska: Self-Guided Driving Tours, by Thomas R. Buecker. This revised and expanded edition of our popular guidebook was written by the fort’s premier historian, our late colleague Tom Buecker. It contains maps and 28 photos showing the fort as it grew and changed over the years. Both of these books are available for purchase at the Landmark Stores! Quilts for a Cause. Thousands of children visited the NSHS headquarters this year on class trips, for Hour at the Museum, or at Free Family Fun Days. Many of them worked to create hand-tied quilts while learning about Nebraska’s history. By the end of the year, 36 quilts made by these children had been sent to communities in distress to provide warmth and comfort during hard times.

In 2015 children visiting the Nebraska History Museum sent 36 quilts to communities in distress.


Collections. Our collections team has been adding to and digitizing the artifacts that the NSHS protects for the state of Nebraska. They recently acquired a rare early map of Nebraska, Sally Ganem’s inaugural ball gown, Ernest Haight’s sewing machine, a UNL marching band director uniform, and a large amount of square dance materials. Further, more than 43,000 records are now in the Past Perfect Online database, including 64,443 images! Underrepresented Cultures in Nebraska. The State Historic Preservation Office hosted a research assistant to conduct a statewide study on Japanese-American settlement in Nebraska. The project included co-sponsorship of a weeklong photography exhibit, a seminar and a full-day conference on the subject. The office also successfully received a grant to study adobe houses in Scotts Bluff County, a project to recognize the culture and traditional construction practices of Mexican-Americans who settled in the area. The 50/50 Building. Our Archaeology Division moved to their new home at the end of 2015 and our collection of government records will be physically moved over to join them over the next several months. The new facility is state of the art, providing a safe space for historic records and archaeological collections and all the necessary lab equipment for our archaeologists who continue to discover and care for artifacts from Nebraska’s ancient history.

The Archaeology Division is enjoying its new curation facility.


Marker Mondays. Our social media team launched a new and engaging blog series called “Marker Mondays!” Each Monday, a new blog post is published, highlighting one of Nebraska’s hundreds of historical markers, all scattered around our great state. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to get up to the minute alerts! As you can see, 2015 was a very productive year (and those were only some highlights). We are all looking forward to building on this momentum and seeing what 2016 brings! If you have any questions or would like more information on any item listed above, please email [email protected].

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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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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.