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."
The Omaha Zoo Foundation films include over 170 films documenting animals and zoos in the mid-twentieth century. The films include coverage of various animals, construction at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, as well as a small number of other U.S. zoos. Animals documented included a variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish with well-known animals like Casey, a gorilla who came to Omaha from Minnesota’s Como Zoo in the 1960s, featured. Other primates as well as hoofstock and various cats are also documented in the films along with footage of Nebraska’s Sandhill Cranes. The collection also includes some commercial educational films.
The records of the Turkey Creek Preserve located near Fort Calhoun, Nebraska document activities at and related to the nature preserve founded by Mary Lou Chapek in 2016.
The collection includes a scrapbook about Chapek's company MVP Laboratories, Inc. 1981-2016, administrative documents, material from annual meetings, as well as material gathered as part of conservation and research activities including data, photographs, and related material. Conservation and research activities include saw-whet owl banding and nesting boxes, bird banding, bluebird boxes, the planting of an indigenous garden, butterfly counts, bird counts, frog monitoring, trail cams, invasive species control, wildlife rehab by Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, land acquisition, prairie planting, and other projects and initiatives. The MVP Laboratories, Inc. scrapbook includes copies of news clippings, notes, the MVP Envoy newsletter, information about MVP Laboratories co-founder Dr. Lysle "Doc" Wilkins, and other material.
The U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel Archives include his legislative papers, artifacts, campaign records, and other material. Press & Media, Speeches, Videos, Artifacts, Grant Files, Photographs, and Schedules are open for research. The rest of the collection is closed while it is being arranged and described.
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 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.
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 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.