Archives & Special Collections at UNO Criss Library is open to the public Monday-Friday 8am-5pm and by appointment.
Archives & Special Collections will be closed Monday, May 30, 2016.
Archives & Special Collections will be closed Monday, July 4, 2016.
We encourage all researchers to review online information about finding material in and using material from Archives & Special Collections in advance of your visit to Criss Library. Archives & Special Collections includes the Afghanistan Collection, the U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel Archives, University Archives, and Special Collections and Rare Books.
Research appointments are not required, but can ensure your research visit is as productive as possible. If you wish, contact us in advance of your visit to make an appointment.
Parts of Hagel Archives Open for Research
The Hagel Archives contains records from Chuck Hagel's career as U.S. Senator and U.S. Secretary of Defense and includes his legislative papers, artifacts, photographs, campaign records, and other material. Artifacts, Grant Files, Photographs, and Senate Schedules are now open for research. Visit our Find Material page for finding aids and more information.
History of the Hagel Archives
On October 8, 2008, at the kick-off of UNO's centennial celebration, Chancellor John Christensen announced that U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel would donate his U.S. Senate papers and artifacts to his alma mater. The materials from the office in Washington, D.C. and his state offices arrived in December 2008 and the work of archival processing (i.e. arrangement and description) began. The first set of materials opened for research in January, 2016. The rest of the collection remains closed as it is arranged and described.
Chuck Hagel was born on October 4, 1946 in North Platte, NE. The oldest of four brothers, he graduated from St. Bonaventure High School in Columbus, NE. He joined the U.S. Army and volunteered to go to Vietnam, serving from 1967-1968 in the 9th Infantry Division. He attained the rank of Sergeant. Chuck and his brother Tom were in the same infantry squad and saved each other's lives on separate occasions. He earned numerous military honors and decorations including two Purple Hearts.
Hagel graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1971. He worked for Nebraska Congressman John Y. McCollister in Washington, D.C. and Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. In 1981, President Reagan nominated Hagel to serve as Deputy Administrator of the Veterans Administration where he pushed for increased benefits for Vietnam veterans suffering from Agent Orange. Hagel left that post in 1982.
Hagel co-founded Vanguard Celluar Systems and went on to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Service Organization (USO), Chief Operating Officer of the 1990 Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations (G-7 Summit), Deputy Commissioner General of the U.S. for the 1982 World's Fair, President of the Private Sector Council, and President of McCarthy & Company (an Omaha-based investment bank).
Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996, Hagel represented Nebraskans for two terms (1997-2009). He was a member of three standing committees (not all concurrently): Foreign Relations; Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs; and Intelligence. He chaired both the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Economic Policy, Export, & Trade Promotion and the Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs subcommittees on International Trade & Finance and Securities & Investment. Hagel also served as the Chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China and the Senate Climate Change Observer Group.
Following his retirement from the Senate, Hagel served as a Co-Chairman of President Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board and as a member of the Secretary of Defense Policy Board and the Department of Energy's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future. He was Chairman of the Atlantic Council and a Distinguished Professor in the Practice of National Governance at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.
President Obama nominated Chuck Hagel to succeed Leon Panetta as the U.S. Secretary of Defense on January 7, 2013. He was sworn in on February 27, 2013 as the 24th Secretary of Defense. Hagel left that position in February, 2015, and returned to private life.
Charles Timothy Hagel: A Life in Photographs, January 15-April 22, 2016: In this newest exhibit of material from the Hagel Archives, visitors will be able to traverse the public and private life of U.S. Secretary of Defense and U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel through photographs. They will discover his roots in Nebraska, his family's commitment to serving their country, and Hagel's own take on how to practice this service. They will find images of his first campaign for U.S. Senator, his work in Washington, D.C., and his ascension from U.S. Senator to Intelligence Advisory Board co-chairman and eventually Secretary of Defense under President Barack Obama. Finally, they will catch a glimpse into his private life in which he has played the role of son, brother, husband, father, and leader. A more in-depth version of the exhibit with some different photographs can be viewed online at http://hagel.omeka.net/exhibits/show/chuckhagelbiography.