African American Materials in UNO Libraries' 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 Ronald W. Roskens Speeches cover the period from 1960 until 1992, including Roskens' time as Vice President for Administration and Executive Vice President and Professor of Educational Administration at Kent State University (1959-1972), Chancellor of the University of Nebraska at Omaha (1972-1977), President of the University of Nebraska System (Central Administration in Lincoln, Nebraska) (1977-1989), and Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (1990-1992). The speeches consist of typed notes and scripts.
The collection includes news clippings, resolutions, correspondence, student survey, and other documents related to the occupation student organization BLAC (Black Liberators for Action on Campus) of the office of University of Nebraska at Omaha Chancellor Kirk Naylor in November 1969 and the subsequent response. The students were arrested. The news clippings were collected by the university while the documents were collected from a variety of sources, which are not attributed, but can be ascertained in some cases. The collection also includes material about student unrest at the University of Nebraska--Lincoln the following year.
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 Office of University Communications kept these staff files in case a photo or other information about a member of the UNO staff, faculty, or administration was needed for a press release or internal statement. Covers faculty and staff from the 1960s through the early 21st century.
The UNO Artifact Collection includes objects related to the University of Nebraska at Omaha and its predecessor the University of Omaha, from circa 1908 to the present. The collection includes a diverse array of OU and UNO branded items, t-shirts, hats, sweaters, blankets, scrapbooks, proclamations, trophies, award plaques, flags, pennants, pins, pens, seat cushions, coffee mugs, toys, ephemera, memorabilia, and other objects.
The UNO Athletics Collection comprises a large and diverse array of materials related to the various athletics programs at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and its predecessor the Municipal University of Omaha, including scrapbooks, photographs and slides, artifacts and memorabilia, trophies and awards, papers of athletics department faculty and staff, paintings, news and publicity material, blueprints, and audiovisual recordings, from about 1924 to the present. Included are materials related to specific sports programs; individual student athletes, coaches and directors; facilities; departmental administration; and Campus Recreation activities.
The UNO Media Collection includes audiovisual material related to the University of Nebraska at Omaha and its predecessor the University of Omaha, from circa 1950 to the present. Materials include both informal audio and video recordings of UNO events, UNO promotional/recruitment material, and formal radio and television programs produced by UNO Television, University Television, KYNE-TV, KVNO Radio, and other UNO media organizations. A small number of commercial and other non-UNO media items are also included.
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.
The UNO College of Arts and Sciences Records comprises the self-studies and reports of the various departments within the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The collection includes documents from 1975 (and possibly earlier) until 1986 (and possibly later).
The records of the Imperial Court of Nebraska (ICON) include photographs, albums documenting twelve of ICON’s reigns, newsletters circa 1996-2000, and one binder containing other ICON documents such as copies of incorporation documents, correspondence, and other material. The photographs are largely unidentified and require arrangement and description. The albums for twelve of ICON’s reigns include programs, fliers, news clippings, photographs, and other material documenting the reigns of the empresses, emperors, and their courts.
The New Voice of Nebraska was published in Lincoln, NE beginning in 1984 before moving to Omaha where it continued to be published until 1998. All issues have been digitized and are available online. Paper issues along with attached ephemera are available in UNO Libraries' Archives & Special Collections.
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 Omaha Theater Company Records contain materials from 1949 to the present, documenting the history of the organization, its administration, and its productions. The organization changed names during the covered period, starting as the Omaha Junior Theater in 1948, becoming the Emmy Gifford Children's Theater in 1977, and becoming the Omaha Theater Company for Young People in 1993, eventually shortening the name to the Omaha Theater Company. The group performed in the Center Theater from 1974 until 1993, when they moved into the Rose Blumkin Performing Arts Center, commonly known as The Rose.
The Terry Sweeney and Pat Phalen Papers document some of their interests and life together in Omaha, Nebraska in the late 20th and early 21 centuries including participating in Marches on Washington (1987, 1993), writing the regional newsletter/magazine The New Voice for a decade, Phalen’s reign as ICON Emperor, the Omaha leather scene, safe sex and HIV/AIDS education, workplace activism, and other activities of the local LGBTQ community. The collection includes newsletters, event programs, a photo album from Omaha Pride 1987, photographs, signs from protests and rallies as well as memorabilia including buttons, pins, medallions, a sash from Omaha Pride in 1991, hats, and other artifacts.
During Pat Phalen’s reign as Imperial Court of Nebraska (ICON) Emperor VI he was known as the Flamingo Emperor and Sweeney was the Prince Royale. Phalen collected flamingos and their likeness can be found throughout the memorabilia such as his crown as well as in the scrapbook documenting his reign as Emperor 6. As part of the community service of the reign, Project Concern was created and led by Sweeney to provide safe sex and HIV/AIDS education. Project Concern was active for two years. Some of the collection’s other notable artifacts include: a personalized brick from Omaha’s Diamond Bar presented to Pat Phalen from the bar; the Nebraska banners from the Marches on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights; Pride Week at US West (1988-1989); and others.
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).
Mildred Dee Brown (1905-89) was the cofounder of Nebraska's Omaha Star, the longest running black newspaper founded by an African American woman in the United States. Known for her trademark white carnation corsage, Brown was the matriarch of Omaha's Near North Side--a historically black part of town--and an iconic city leader. Her remarkable life, a product of the Reconstruction era and Jim Crow, reflects a larger American history that includes the Great Migration, the Red Scare of the post-World War era, civil rights and black power movements, desegregation, and urban renewal. Within the context of African American and women's history studies, Amy Helene Forss's Black Print with a White Carnation examines the impact of the black press through the narrative of Brown's life and work. Forss draws on more than 150 oral histories, numerous black newspapers, and government documents to illuminate African American history during the political and social upheaval of the twentieth century. During Brown's fifty-one-year tenure, the Omaha Star became a channel of communication between black and white residents of the city, as well as an arena for positive weekly news in the black community. Brown and her newspaper led successful challenges to racial discrimination, unfair employment practices, restrictive housing covenants, and a segregated public school system, placing the woman with the white carnation at the center of America's changing racial landscape.
After overcoming a near fatal childhood illness, a 19 year old black college student, Catherine Pope, sets her eyes on the 1969 Miss America Crown. While searching for the crown, she finds herself fighting to fulfill her destiny as she encounters strong reactions from both the black and white communities. Her captivating story spans generations, and takes place in Omaha and small, rural towns in then predominately white Nebraska. You will find yourself enthralled and entangled in her story as she experiences love, compassion, celebrations, disappointments, laughter, tears, murder, sexual assault, demonstrations, riots, and brushes with death. This is a spellbinding, compelling, real life, and universal drama that could have happened anywhere in the United States. It will remain with you, and will spark conversation for years to come.