Great Depression Material in Criss Library Archives & Special Collections
Historical Material from UNO Libraries' Archives & Special Collections
UNO Libraries' Archives & Special Collections ensures UNO’s unique, rare, and specialized collections of institutional archives, personal papers, organizational records, rare books, and other material is available for public use.
The American Indian Oral History and Related Items collection contains oral history interviews of Native Americans in Omaha, Nebraska as well as interviews collected as part of a program called the Oral History Collection of the Omaha Folklore Project. The interviews cover the cultures and personal histories of interviewees in the U.S. as well as leaving Europe in the first half of the 20th Century. Topics of discussion include life in Omaha, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, and day-to-day life. Those interviewed were of Native American, Polish, German, Swedish, and other ethnic or national descents.
The following information about the Oral History Collection of the Omaha Folklore Project was provided by UNO History professor Michael Tate: "This collection of several dozen taped interviews was assembled during the mid-1970s by mostly undergraduate UNO students under the direction of Dr. Michael Tate of the History Department. These tapes have not been transcribed, but each tape has a file folder containing an outline of the main points of the interview. These contain unique and detailed information about Omaha, Nebraska and rural towns from WWI through WWII." Prof. Tate provided the following information about the American Indian Oral History Taped Interviews portion of the collection: "This collection of several dozen taped interviews was assembled during the mid-1970s. Virtually all were conducted by UNO graduate students under the direction of Dr. Michael Tate of the UNO History Department. Most of the interview were with Native Americans who talked about education, health care, reservation life, urban life and a host of other relevant topics. These were mostly interviews with Lakota (Sioux), Omaha, and Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) tribal people, but also include other tribal representations. A few of the interviews have been fully transcribed but the majority contain detailed outlines of what is contained in each separate interview. Many of the interviews deal with the militant activities of the American Indian Movement during that era. Several also were conducted with judges and law enforcement officers who dealt with the controversial trials following AIM's occupation of Wounded Knee."
The five year diary of Gardia Reta (Peaker) Bailey documents life in the western United States during the Great Depression. The family lives in a trailer and stays at auto parks, such as the Wallow Saw Auto Camp, on the West Coast including in the state of Washington. Included in the diary are various pieces of ephemera including news clippings and photographs as well as notations about family members and birthdays. The diary mentions the family traveling to sell Reta's handmade baskets, illnesses such as mumps and small pox, boat rides on the Columbia River, traveling through Washington, Idaho, and Oregon, trips to Portland, fishing trips, dances, trips to the ocean, having a float in a parade, and giving birth to a stillborn baby.
The papers of June Turney include correspondence written to family and friends when she was a teenager or young woman in the late 1930s during the Great Depression. The letters were sent from June Turney’s time at Moss Lake Summer Camp in Eagle Bay, New York and a later trip to California.
These games are all suitable for children in the grades. Some of them are also played by high school pupils and adults. Many of them can be adapted for dances or drills. They are all traditional, coming; to us for the most part from England or by way of England. The many versions indicate the local adaptations made during their travels to us from the Eastern Seaboard States.
These reminiscences of George W. Streeter, who prefers to be known as Dad Streeter, relate experiences and events in which he participated while living in Nebraska during the 1880's The manuscript was first submitted to the Federal Writers' Project in Utah (where Mr. Streeter now resides in Ogden), and then, through the National Office in Washington, D.C., to the Nebraska Federal Writers' Project. In order to preserve the flavor and flow of the rough narrative, editing was reduced to a minimum.
During the years covered by the reminiscences, "Dad" lived the life of a roving cowboy-constantly moving from Nebraska to Kansas, Wyoming, Colorado and back to Nebraska again. His life was spent on horses, either breaking bucking mustangs-which required a fine sense of balance and ability to anticipate what the wild horse would do next--or rounding up steers for the branding irons.
In addition to his stories of the range , his accounts of bull-whacking, mule skinning and stage-driving, the pranking of tenderfeet and missionaries, his meetings with Cattle Kate, Calamity Jane and Buffalo Biil, the hazards of prairie fires and blizzards, frontier justice and encounters with Indians, are a valuable contribution to tho folklore of the West.
The Omaha Chamber of Commerce Records cover business and industry in Omaha, Nebraska, spanning the period from 1912 until 1979. The records include meeting minutes from various committees and bureaus, the Chamber's newsletter (1912-1941 as Journal, 1941-1956 as News Bulletin, 1959-2004 as Profile), photographs, negatives, slides, newspaper clippings, correspondence, pamphlets, books and journals collected and used by the Chamber, and files with information about various businesses, organizations, events and topics of Omaha commercial interest.
The collection holds the correspondence files of U.S. Senator Robert B. Howell from his tenure in Congress and date from approximately 1922 through 1933. The files are organized alphabetically with only the letters A, R, and S represented in the folder headings. The folders contain many sheets directing the user to another heading. These see also sheets were produced by the creator of the files. The Howell chaired the Committee on Claims from 1927 to 1933.
The WPA Records are drafts and research notes used for the books and pamphlets produced by the Omaha office of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Writers' Project (FWP) (1935-1943). The bulk of the papers are typescript, with a few handwritten notes. The collection includes reports about architectural works (primarily buildings), businesses and industry, cemeteries, charities, collections, crime and criminals, defense trainee interviews, education, ethnicity (race and national origin), fine arts (artists, authors, music, and theater), folklore, hospitals, interviews and biographies, the Missouri River, the State of Nebraska, newspaper clippings on a variety of topics, information about the newspapers themselves (rivalries, strikes, unions, newspapermen, and individual Nebraska newspapers), the City of Omaha, organizations and clubs, parks, politics, printing, "Prophets of Armageddon" (including information about George F. Train), radio scripts ("Pageant of Nebraska," "Pageant of Omaha," and "Pageant of Wakefield"), religion, residences, sports and recreation, the W.P.A. (American Guide Manual, bibliographies, correspondence, indexes, projects, publications, tours, and writer's production reports), and miscellaneous information. The Nebraska category is further broken down into archaeology, Civilian Conservation Corps, Douglas County, early explorers and explorations, farming, history (the most extensive portion), military information, plants and wildlife, Sarpy County, topography, villages and towns outside of Omaha, Washington County, and miscellaneous information. The Nebraska portion of the collection also includes the Nebraska Almanac, the Nebraska Atlas, and the Nebraska Encyclopedia (biographies and county information).
Bond issue statements preceding the 1930 election prepared for OU Regent Paul L. Martin and OU President W. E. Sealock at their request in 1935. Correspondence and related news clippings are also in the collection.
The UNO Legendary Women Collection includes historical source material, such as papers and photographs, that was consulted by a CCSW committee during the annual selection process for the UNO Legendary Woman. Also included are materials generated for the CCSW Luncheon announcing and honoring the Legendary Woman, including programs, fliers, bookmarks, and other promotional materials. The collection is arranged by year and recipient.
Each year, the University of Nebraska at Omaha selects a Legendary Woman, who must have ties to the University of Nebraska at Omaha or its predecessor the University of Omaha, have done something especially noteworthy for the university or the community, and be deceased. The Legendary Woman is revealed at the annual luncheon of the Chancellor's Commission on the Status of Women (CCSW).
The William E. Sealock Collection comprises materials related to William Sealock's term as the first president of the Municipal University of Omaha, 1931-1935. The collection contains primarily news clippings, many of which relate to Sealock's conflict with the Board of Regents, which resulted in his dismissal and subsequent suicide. The collection also includes a small amount of correspondence and a 1941 research paper by Warren Whitted on the Sealock-Regents conflict titled, "Human Sacrifice, Twentieth Century Style."
The University of Nebraska at Omaha yearbook was known as the Gateway from 1915-1927; then changed names to the Omahan from 1928-1929; then changed names to the Tomahawk from 1936-1970; then changed names to Breakaway from 1971-1972; before ending as the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Maverick from 1973-1975. The first yearbook, the Gateway (1915-1927), shares its name with the university’s longtime student newspaper. No yearbook was published in 1930-1935.
This collection includes organizational records from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and its predecessors, the Municipal University of Omaha and the University of Omaha, dating from the institution's founding in 1908 to the present. Records originated from many colleges, schools, departments, offices, committees, faculty and staff organizations, student organizations, and alumni. Materials include publications, event programs, conference materials, publicity material, meeting minutes, correspondence, budget information, internal reports, policies, architectural drawings, photographs, and miscellaneous records from various UNO and UNO-affiliated groups or relating to UNO people, buildings, events, and academic programs.