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History Research Guide

Use this guide to find UNO library resources and other helpful research tools.

About Archives & Special Collections

The UNO Criss Library Archives & Special Collections collects, preserves, and makes available to the university community and the public unique, rare, and specialized material. This includes personal papers, organizational records, books, maps, ephemera, and other material in selected subject areas including the Arthur Paul Afghanistan Collection, University Archives, U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel Archives, and Special Collections & Rare Books. 

You can learn more about finding and using material in Criss Library Archives & Special Collections online and we encourage you to contact us about your research.

University of Omaha cheerleaders, circa 1950s

Whether you're working on a paper for a class, producing a film, writing a book, planning a retirement celebration for a UNO colleague, or researching a campus history project, Archives & Special Collections has the resources for your project. We are also able to host classes in Archives & Special Collections, visit your classroom, and offer tours for groups.

 OU cheerleaders sending off the football team to the Tangerine Bowl, December 1954.
Credit: UNO Photograph Collection, Archives & Special Collections, Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library, University of Nebraska at Omaha. 

Special Collections & Rare Books Overview

Material in the Special Collections & Rare Books collecting area in UNO Libraries' Archives & Special Collections contains unique and specialized items of local, state and regional interest in addition to a wide variety of materials in many subject areas and formats, including Omaha and Nebraska history, pre-19th century books, autographed books and rare first editions.

All books are described and searchable in the library's catalog.

Finding aids for manuscript collections are available in Archives & Special Collections finding aids database. If you have not found what you are looking for in the library catalog or finding aids database, contact UNO Libraries' Archives & Special Collections for assistance.

U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel Archives Overview

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 papers and artifacts to his alma mater. The materials from his D.C. and Nebraska offices arrived in December and the work of processing (arrangement and description) began.  

The Hagel Archives contains 1700 boxes of paper and photos, hundreds of videos and artifacts, and 400+ books. The records are being arranged in seven series—personal and political papers, legislative records, press and media activity, constituent services,  administrative files, artifacts, and audiovisual. 

Artifacts, Grant Files, Photographs, and Schedules opened for research in January, 2016. The rest of the Hagel Archives remains closed as it is processed. Newspaper articles, government documents, 400+ books (available in Archives & Special Collections), and other related material may be found searching the Criss Library catalog

The papers reflect the complex relationship between individuals and state and federal governments. Issues of regional and national importance play out in the interactions among branches of government, within and across party lines in the Senate, and in the Senator’s representation of constituents. Hagel served on several committees addressing domestic and international issues, though his papers cover almost every issue that arose in legislation or in Nebraska. Significant events during his service include impeachment proceedings, the contested 2000 presidential election, September 11, U.S. involvement in two wars, and economic challenges.

Theses & Dissertations

A large collection of UNO Masters, Senior Honors, and Writer's Workshop theses and Ph.D. dissertations is also located in Archives & Special Collections. One copy of each thesis or dissertation, usually the original, is retained in University Archives and may not be circulated. A second copy is sent to the general circulating collection which can be located via the Criss Library Catalog or available electronically via the library's Electronic Thesis and Disserations service.

Theses and dissertations from UNL are available from DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska-Lincoln and through inter-library loan requests.