“Nee-bras-ki is where we dwell”

McNair HardwareNebraska Memories contains 5,500+ digitized items from institutions across Nebraska. I’ve been working with the project since it began and I think I’ve seen every item in the collection at least once or twice. Not surprisingly, I’m drawn to some items more than other items. I wanted to share with you a few of the items that I like.

I’ll start with the picture of McNair Hardware that was taken in Crawford. The quality of the picture isn’t that great but I love the rows of rocking chairs. My parents own a rocking chair very similar to the padded chair on the bottom shelf. When I look at this photo, I always see it as an antique store until I remember that this photo was taken in 1909 and these are probably new chairs for sale.

NebraskaIncluded in Nebraska Memories is a collection of 256 musical scores from the Polley Music Library. I haven’t made the time to read the lyrics of every song in the collection but I’ve read a few. The lyrics of the song Nebraska, written by B. A. Rosencrans of Plattsmouth, Nebraska, always makes me laugh, especially the chorus. This song was written in 1927 and was dedicated to the American Legion Posts of Nebraska. I’ll tease you by just including the chorus below. You can view the complete score on the Nebraska Memories website. I’m assuming the name Volstead in the third verse is referring to the Volstead Act, which is actually a nickname for the National Prohibition Act.

NebraskaNebraska chorus:
“Nee-bras-ki,” That’s its name;
Cows and corn have won it fame.
Nee-bras-ki is where we dwell,
Its the best old state this side of.

On the last page of the score, they included the text that you see in the image on the right. One line states that this “It will be to Nebraska what the “Corn Song” is to Iowa.” I’ve never heard of the Corn Song before so I did a quick search and found the score on the Iowa Digital Library website. I wonder if Mr. Rosencrans wrote Nebraska as Nee-bras-ki because Iowa was written and I-O-Way in the Corn Song.

POW entertainersAnother set of photos that intrigues me are those of the clowns and actors at Camp Atlanta. If you are not familiar with Camp Atlanta, it was a German P.O.W camp located about 10 miles southwest Holdrege. It was in use from 1943 to 1946.

Food display in a grocery storeI’m sure we have all seen a TV show or movie where they are in a grocery store and the cans are stacked high in some pyramid type shape until someone either runs into the stack or pulls out the wrong can. While it makes for great entertainment, I don’t remember ever seeing stacks like this in any of the stores I frequent. Maybe that’s why I like this food display in the California Grocery. If you wanted to take advantage of the sale on apricots and buy three cans for 59 cents, which three cans would you pick up?

Children looking at picture books A list of favorites wouldn’t be complete unless it included pictures of children reading, a cat, and a baby playing with a dog.Cat on the kitchen table at the Wallace residence

These are just a few my favorite items in Nebraska Memories. Do you have any favorites? Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Edwin Lyndon "Ned" May, Jr. Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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