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 Omaha Folklore Project Oral History 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."
Records of the Douglas County Election Commission, of Douglas County, Nebraska, including Omaha. Records include folders of maps and charts, 1949-1979 and undated, with item list; printout of Presidential returns from 1984; various returns, 1980-1990; various election results/analysis, 1970s-1980s; Sewer Improvement District, mayoral, 1970s-1980s; election analysis, 1960-1977; ledgers, 1890-1953, 1958-1964, 1968-1979; rolled maps, 1930-1991 and undated; the City of Omaha ledger, 1893-1915; oversized binder of blueprint maps of Omaha and Douglas County; and loose blueprint maps.
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 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).
The records of the YMCA of Greater Omaha include material from the organization’s founding in the 19th century through the 21st century. Material documenting board meetings from the 1880s to the early 21st century is nearly complete. Also included are: fundraising material, membership information, marketing material, photographs (bulk 1970s-1990s), scrapbooks, and a small amount of media formats including VHS videotapes. The scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings as well as ephemera such as broadsides and booklets. In addition to the activities of the boards of directors, fundraising, and membership, other topics with at least sporadic documentation include programming, long range planning, summer camps, athletic teams such as basketball and football, and others.
The Omaha Collection is an eclectic mix of files relating to the city of Omaha, Nebraska, and to areas of research pursued by faculty members of the Municipal University of Omaha, notably Ralph M. Wardle, professor of English, and Wilfred Payne, professor of Philosophy. Of particular interest are letters to Ralph Wardle from prominent authors in response to invitations to speak in Omaha, including letters from writers Conrad Aiken, W.H. Auden, John Barth, Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov, Susan Sontag, and John Updike (all 1967); a letter from William Kloefkorn to Mel Bohn (1980).
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.
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.