Author Archives: Allana Novotny

You Can Now Search the 1940 Nebraska Census Records!

I have great news for everyone who has been impatiently waiting since April 2 to search the 1940 Nebraska Census records. You can now search them at: https://familysearch.org/1940census/1940-census-nebraska

If you haven’t been following the 1940 census information the census documents were made available on April 2nd however they had not been indexed. That meant the only way to locate a person in the census was to look at the pages and pages of handwritten records.  Now that the indexing has been completed for Nebraska you can simply search for a person. It’s so much simpler.

I’ve been trying to locate one of my grandparents since April 2nd! My relatives where positive I’d find them living in a specific area of Omaha. Unfortunately for me that general area covered multiple enumeration districts. I looked through hundreds of census pages without any luck. After a quick search this morning I found my grandparents living in Grand Island. I will be having a little talk with my relatives tonight regarding their inaccurate information!

As I was using the search form I stumbled across a search feature I wanted to share with everyone. I have a relative with a Czech last name I can never remember how to spell so I tried using a wildcard. It worked after a couple of trials and errors. I consulted help and learned the system supports 2 types of wildcards.

  • ? – Use the question mark to represent any one character
  • * – Use the asterisk sign to represent zero or more characters

The important thing to note however is that in order to use a wildcard your word must have at least three other letters!  It took me a few tries to get it right because I was only using 2 letters.

Learn more about the 1940 census on our website at: http://nebraskaccess.ne.gov/1940census.
To keep informed on which states are searchable go to: https://familysearch.org/1940census/?cid=fsHomeT1940Text_v2. There are currently 29 other states that are searchable.

Good luck searching!

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Graduation

Union College commencement, 1912 The month of May is just another memory. For some recent graduates the month of May marks an important milestone in their lives. One hundred years ago in 1912 a group of students at Union College were celebrating their graduation as we can see in this photo of their commencement in Nebraska Memories.

First graduating classThere is a small but interesting collection of items relating to graduations in Nebraska Memories. We can see the first graduating class from the Nebraska State Normal School at Kearney from 1906. There is also a picture of four marshals from the 1948 commencement at the Nebraska State Teachers College in Wayne.

The collection also includes a number of programs from commencement exercise. Looking at the program for the 19th annual commencement of the University of Nebraska in Lincoln from June 7, 1888 I was surprised to see two names I recognized. The first name was Frank Henry Woods. Frank Woods and his brothers Mark W. and George J. formed the Woods Brothers Companies in 1889. Today in Lincoln their companyNineteenth annual commencement of the University of Nebraska name can still be seen written in stone on the façade of a building on 13th street between N and O. Also when driving around Lincoln you may see the family name in front of a property being sold by the Woods Bros Realty company. Frank Woods is also known for starting the Lincoln Telephone & Telegraph in 1904. The Frank H. Woods Telephone Museum, which is located in Lincoln, bears his name.

The other name I recognized in the same commencement program was Roscoe Pound. Pound was a legal scholar and educator. He served as the Dean of the University of Nebraska College of Law and later as the Dean of Harvard Law School. Lincolnites may also recognize the Pound name because of Pound Middle School which was named after the Pound family including Judge Stephen Bosworth Pound, Roscoe, Louise and Olivia Pound.

Class day exercises of the Lincoln High School When looking at the 1888 Lincoln High School Class-Day Exercises program I spotted the name Mark Woods. Mark M. Woods was listed as speaking about “Our Nation’s Coast Defenses” while Mark W. was listed as being part of the Class of 1888 and completed the Latin Course. Could this be Frank Woods brother? Unfortunately it’s not a question I was able to answer. Do you know the answer? Leave me a comment if you know!

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.

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, or contact Beth Goble, Government Information Services Director, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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The Faces of 1940

William Lawson family As many of you may know 1940 is an important year to genealogists and historians right now. On April 2, 2012 at 9 AM EDT the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration will make the 1940 Census available to the public online. This is the first time the 1940 Census can be made available because of the 72-year rule. This rule basically states that the U.S. government cannot release personally identifiable information about a person until 72 years after it’s been collected.

Children and adults by pickup truck As some of us anxiously wait for April 2 I thought it would be fun to look at the faces of people from 1940 as documented in Nebraska Memories. To start Boy shoveling snow off the year it appears they had more snow in the early months of 1940 then we did this year. A photo from January 1940 shows a large group of children bundled in their winter coats sitting and in the back of a pickup truck on a snow covered road. Another photo from February shows a boy outside in his coat and hat shoveling snow.

Brewery employees posing in front of machinery Photos taken in March of 1940 give us a glimpse of the workers at the Falstaff Brewery. The brewery was located at 25th and Vinton in Omaha. In contrast to the brewery works dressed in overalls most of the business men of Bertrand and Loomis and Bertrand businessmen Loomis are pictured wearing ties with jackets or vests. According to the note this group of businessmen was on an outing to the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District. Blaine Brt, Mary Pelan, Joe Ptacek, Gertrude Sabata, and Donald Sobolik The 10th grade class of Bruno High School got their picture taken on April 30, 1940. The four young men in the class look dashing in their dark suites.

Outdoor party The latter half of 1940 appeared to be the time for fun just by looking at the photos in Nebraska Memories. I have no idea who George Turner was but it sure looks like he knew how to through a party. One photo from the party shows a number of party goers proudly holding up their mugs of beer. I have to wonder if it’s Falstaff beer. The party goers even had a mock shotgun wedding at the party.

Laurel and Hardy wearing firefighter helmets standing with another man The other fun event documented was Laurel and Hardy appearing in person at the Orpheum Theatre in October of 1940. I bet that would have been a fun show to attend.

Keith Manning  I hope you enjoyed looking at some of the faces of 1940 as you wait to view the 1940 Census. You can learn more about the 1940 Census by visiting the National Archives 1940 Census website. If you’ve never explored a historic U.S. Census Nebraskan’s have access to the 1790-1930 Census through the HeritageQuest Online databases. This database is made available at no cost to all Nebraskans through NebraskAccess.

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.

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. NebraskaGroup gathered at outdoor party 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, or contact Beth Goble, Government Information Services Director, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Don’t Forget the Back

When looking at old postcards it’s easy to get fixated on the image on the front of the postcard or pass a postcard by because the image doesn’t capture your attention. I think it’s important to take a minute and look at the back of the postcard. If you are lucky it will be a used postcard. Let me show you some used postcards in Nebraska Memories that have some interesting backs.

Let’s start with this postcard of the Omaha High School, Omaha, Neb. It is an interesting picture of the High School but I find the back to be pretty amusing. I wish I knew more about Margaret, Cheaty and Helen.

“Der Elsa: How would you like to go to this High School. It certainly is a whopper. Cheaty aught to teach here. Ha!Ha! I could go and see him real often. (Would he like it) and have Helen in my hair. Write and tell me the news.Omaha High School, Omaha, Neb.

Margaret Paisch 1041 – 1 ave. So.”

Before moving on I wanted to point out that luckily we don’t have to read the handwriting on the back of these cards. The text from the postcard can be found in the Transcript field which is located on the Item Description area.

The text on the back of the Convent of Mercy postcard is pretty short. It reminds me of a message that I’d actually send as a text message.

Convent of Mercy, Omaha, Neb. “Dear Sis. & Bro.

Will drop you a line to let you know Pappa & Mamma & Kruses are coming over to see you Sunday. Seems as if your papper never will come.

They will be their Sunday for dinner.

Love from all. your Sis Dora”

There are too many postcard backs I  like for me to share them word for word. Here are a few teasers and links so you can read the complete transcript if you want to know more.

  • Omaha, Neb., Farnam Street, looking east  “Say don’t you wish you could tell me something over telephone? HaHa” This card is postmarked 1911. I wonder when telephones became conman in Nebraska and Kansas.
  • Here is another one that reminds me of a text message. How would you like to revive a postcard reminding you to do the dishes?
  •  This next postcard is from SMD telling Isabelle that “No I haven’t got a girl yet. Honest.”
  •  We know the X on the right side of this post card is where John lives.
  •  (Don’t tell ma) we are here. I wonder if here is the St. Philomena Catholic Church or here is Omaha.
  • Emma is mailing her shopping list. She would like them to “buy fresh yeast 15 cents worth”. She’s very persistent: “15 cents worth. don’t forget.”.
  •  Would you go see Bessie after her talk of Scarlet fever?

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.

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, or contact Beth Goble, Government Information Services Director, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Say Cheese

I spent a bit of time over the holiday weekend telling family members to smile and say cheese. As usual some of them were more cooperative then others. The other day, as I was looking at the photos I took, I wondered if there were any interesting Christmas photos in Nebraska Memories and I’m happy to report I wasn’t disappointed. Here are a few of my favorites.

Family by Christmas treeMy favorite Christmas picture has to be the photo titled “Family by Christmas tree“. Unfortunately we don’t know the name of the family featured in this photo from the early 1900’s but the looks on their faces are priceless. As the description states none of the six people in the photo are looking in the same direction. In some ways it is a typical family photo however with two of the boys messing around, the third one facing the wrong direction and the fourth one looking very unhappy. Thankfully I don’t think any of my family photos turned out quite this bad. The lack of names on this photo however does serve as a good reminder. I need to take the time to add names to all of my family photos so a hundred plus years from now folks will know the names of everyone in the photo including the person who was making bunny ears.

Immanuel Children's Home at Christmas I really have to admire the photographer, children and anyone who helped with this photo of the “Immanuel Children’s Home at Christmas“. Somehow they managed to get eight small children to sit facing the camera, have fairly happy looks on their faces, stop playing with their toys, and hold still long enough to snap a photo. I find that pretty impressive! It’s also a cute picture.

Santa Claus and reindeer I also enjoyed looking at all of the Christmas trees in the different photos. Some of them are pretty scraggly compared to the artificial trees I’m used to seeing today. And finally what would a set of Christmas pictures be without a picture of Santa Claus with his sleigh and reindeer.

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.

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, or contact Beth Goble, Government Information Services Director, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Fitting the Tilden Community Story into American History

Last week I had the opportunity to drive through Tilden NE. For those of you not familiar with Tilden it is located about 20 miles west of Norfolk on highway 275 along the Elkhorn River. As I drove through town I thought about the “Tilden Woman’s Club project of local historical remembrance” that can be found in Nebraska Memories.

This 120+ page type-written manuscript with hand-written corrections was compiled by Violet E. Garrison of Tilden for the Tilden Woman’s Club project. It covers the history of Tilden, which was originally named Burnett, from 1870 to 1902. The paragraph on the front cover of the document states: “At the beginning of each year–we “fit” the Tilden Community Story into the larger framework of American history to help the reader “place” the period we describe.”

The document is very interesting to read. It paints a great picture of what life in Nebraska was like in the late 1800’s. I can only imagine what the land looked like back then with buffalo, antelope, elk, deer, beaver, wolves, badgers and wild cats roaming the land.

I knew that Tilden currently is located in both Madison and Antelope County, but I didn’t realize this divide dated back to at least 1885. The Village of Burnett was incorporated in 1885. There was one small problem however; the first corporate limits did not include any territory in Antelope County. This split in 1885 left about 1/3 of the population free from city tax and not controlled by city ordinances. “This situation was novel in that public peace could be disturbed on the Antelope side of Tilden, and those offending could not be arrested by the Burnett Marshal under city laws.” “This condition was to prevail until 1894 when the Antelope side of Tilden was annexed.”

To learn more about the history of Tilden and Nebraska in the late 1800’s spend some time reading the “Tilden Woman’s Club project of local historical remembrance”.

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.

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, or contact Beth Goble, Government Information Services Director, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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The Burlington Station

Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of attending an event at The Durham Museum in Omaha. If you are not familiar with the museum it’s located in the historic Union Railroad Station. Construction of the station started in 1929 and was officially dedicated on January 15, 1931. In 1975 the Union Station was turned into a museum and received a $22 million renovation in 1995. If you haven’t visited The Durham I’d highly recommend. The building is beautiful and the exhibits are interesting.

When you are in The Durham you can look out across the railroad tracks and see the Burlington Railroad Station. Unfortunately the Burlington Station has not received the same care and renovation as the Union Station however it does have an interesting history.

The Burlington Station was completed in time for the 1898 Tran-Mississippi Expo. The $350,000 Indiana limestone structure originally had 28 columns on the 10th street entrance. Each of the columns weighs approximately 18,000 pounds. The original interior included a double spiral stairway in the center of the second floor. As you can see from the images of the Burlington Station in Nebraska Memories it was a very interesting looking building.

In 1930 the Burlington Station underwent a $1 million renovation. I’m guessing this renovation was done at this time to compete with the new Union Station being built across the tracks. As part of this renovation the columns were removed giving the station a more classical style. The columns however ended up on the University of Nebraska Lincoln campus near Memorial Stadium. As you can see from the picture I took last night Union Station looks much different with the columns removed.

Union Station closed in 1971 and to the best of my knowledge remains vacant.

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.

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, or contact Beth Goble, Government Information Services Director, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

Update: In 2013, KETV NewsWatch 7 purchased the Burlington Station and renovated the building to use as their broadcast facility.

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All websites hosted by NLC will be unavailable Sunday Sept. 25 noon to 5PM CT

All websites hosted by the Nebraska Library Commission will
be unavailable Sunday September 25 from approximately noon to 5PM CT. During
this time period internet access for Nebraska state government agencies will be
down as the state’s IT department works on our network. This loss of internet access
means the all of our websites will be unavailable during this time frame.
Please note that this time frame is an approximation. The time frame may be
shorter if all goes well or could be extended if problems are encountered. It
is also possible that access may be sporadically available as the work is being
done.

This outage will affect all websites hosted by the Nebraska Library Commission including:

Please contact us if you have any questions.

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Fairs of the past

With the Nebraska State Fair ending earlier this week and many county fairs only distant memories I thought it would be a great time to view some photos of past fairs.  As I was looking at the  photos of past fairs in Nebraska Memories it’s interesting to see how fairs of the past compare with my current fair memories.

OMembership ticket, fourth annual fair of the Sarpy County Agricultural Societyne of the items included in Nebraska Memories is a ticket for the fourth annual fair of the Sarpy County Agricultural Society. It was held in Papillion on September 21-24, 1886. As you can see, the ticket is quite fancy with a decorative boarder and a picture of a man and steer printed in red ink. What I find interesting however is the fact that the printed portion of the ticket clearly states it admits the person whose name has been written on the line along with “his wife and children under 18 years of age”. That sure doesn’t look like any fair ticket I’ve ever used.

Palm reader tentHave you ever had your palm read at a fair? This early 1900’s photo shows Madam Seero Temple of Palmistry tent. There is a woman dressed in a costume standing in the entry of the tent who might be Madam Seero herself. Do you think we will ever see a palm reader’s tent at a fair in  Nebraska?

Merry-go-round at fairA few things have appeared to stand the test of time. The merry-go-round in this photo from the 1900’s looks a lot like modern-day merry-go-rounds. At a fair this year I saw a number of very nice looking produce exhibits however none of them contained anything as creative as this corn cob log cabin.Produce exhibit at fair

Take a few minutes and browse the other fair items in Nebraska Memories and think about how fairs of the past compare with your current fair memories.

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.

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, or contact Beth Goble, Government Information Services Director, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

 

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Nebraska Memories Challenge

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of traveling to the Nebraska panhandle. After returning from my trip I took a few minutes to explore the items included in Nebraska Memories from the panhandle region. This was easy to do using the Browse by Location map. Looking at the map you can see that the state is divided into six regions. Clicking on a region will display all of the items in Nebraska Memories that have been identified as being from that specific region of the state.

Welcome sign, Crawford, NEI’d like to issue a challenge to everyone reading this blog post. Using the Browse by Location map select a region of Nebraska and view all of the items from that region. As you are viewing the items make note of an item or two that catches your attention. When you are done return to this blog post and leave a comment sharing what region you selected and the title of the item or items that stood out to you.

I’ll get things started. I selected the panhandle region. Here are three different photos that caught my attention.

  1. Welcome sign, Crawford, NE – I liked this photo simply because it made me smile when I read it.
  2. Millinery Department of the Sidney Mercantile Company – The hats are beautiful and I’m sure the ladies who made them were proud to have their photo taken with them. Looking at the photo however all I can think is how happy I am that those hats are no longer in style because I’d hate to have to wear them.
    Millinery Department of the Sidney Mercantile Company
  3. McNair Hardware – Look at the great rockers in this photo. I wonder if any of those rockers are still being used today.

If you’re up for the challenge use the Browse by Location map to browse the Nebraska Memories collection and then leave a comment sharing the title(s) of the item(s) that caught your attention. I should warn you I found it hard to limit myself to only three items!

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.

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, or contact Beth Goble, Government Information Services Director, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Thoughts of Snow

As the temperature and heat index are reaching the 100+ degree mark for many of us this week I thought it would be the perfect time to think about snow, lots of cold snow. Depending on your viewpoint the thought of snow may make you appreciate the recent hot temperatures or it could give you something cold to dream about.Hilda Nelson holding a snow ball

If you are a snow lover like myself let’s think about how cool life will be in four or five months and the snow is flying. Hopefully the weather will be perfect like it was in the early 1900’s for a little girl and her dog to go skiing and for the Boston sisters to enjoy a sled ride. If you’re a bit adventures you may even enjoy some football like the 1909 Nebraska State Normal School at Kearney football team. Anyone interested in a snowball fight?

Boy shoveling snowFor those of you who do not share my love for snow take a look at these photos of the 1927 and 1949 blizzards that hit Crawford or the large snow fall at Fort Niobrara in the late 1880’s. Think about how cold it must have been when these photos were taken. Does looking at these photos and thinking about past snow falls make the hot temperatures of this week a bit more bearable? Enjoy the heat while you can because before you know it you too may be shoveling snow.

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.

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, or contact Beth Goble, Government Information Services Director, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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1911 Indianola Train Wreck

Indianola, Nebraska, train wreck of May 29, 1911 This past May 29th marked the 100th anniversary of a deadly train wreck that happened at about 7 am a half mile west of Indianola Nebraska. There are two photos in Nebraska Memories that show the severity of this crash. Looking at these pictures it’s hard to image how hard these trains had to collide for the engines to be destroyed and to push one train car on top of another.

Over the years, as I’ve talked with people about Nebraska Memories, one comment I’ve heard multiple times is the desire to know more about the images in the collection. I completely agree unfortunately most of the time we don’t have any more then what is provided. When a photo is 100+ years old our knowledge is limited to the information that someone in the past has recorded. Maybe this desire to know more is the reason that I’m drawn to these two photos of the Indianola train wreck.

Mangled engines at Indianola, Nebraska, train wreck of May 29, 1911Surprisingly we know a lot about this particular crash thanks to The McCook Tribune and the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America Historic American Newspapers project. This project is an effort to digitize newspapers from all U.S. States and territories and make them available online. Luckily for us one of the papers included in this project is the May 30th 1911 edition of The McCook Tribune. On the front page of this issue is a story all about the “Appalling Accident” near Indianola.

If you share the desire to know more, take the time to look at the images of the wreck in Nebraska Memories and read about this “Appalling Accident” that happened 100 years ago. You will learn a lot about the accident including the engine numbers of the trains involved, a list of people killed and even the names of people “not expected to recover”.

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.

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 for more information, or contact Beth Goble, Government Information Services Director, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Flower Garden Inspirations

Welcome

Spring is here and many folks are busy working in their flower gardens. If you need a bit of inspiration for your garden maybe some photos from the early 1900’s can help.

One source of inspiration is Hanscom Park in Omaha. Hanscom Park was donated to Omaha in 1872 and is one of city’s oldest parks. The 58 acre park is still in existence today and is located in the area of 32nd and Woolworth Ave. Park If you have a large yard maybe you want to consider adding a fountain and some flower beds. If that’s not your style how about creating you’re own rose bower or “Lovers lane” as one person noted on a postcard.

In addition to the images of the park there are also images of some smaller gardens. The Nye residence in Fremont had a formal garden complete with a gazing ball. The Christensen home, also in Fremont, had two circular flower plantings in the yard. There was even a flower garden in front of South Hall on the Union College campus. If you would rather keep your garden simple you could always take inspiration from J. F. Rosenfield Peony Gardens and just plant twenty-five acres of peonies.

If you are not into gardening and the heat of summer you can always wait for the snow to fly turning Hanscom Park into a winter beauty.

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.

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://www.nlc.state.ne.us/nebraskamemories/ for more information, or contact Beth Goble, Government Information Services Director, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Look at the Books on the Bookmobile


State Wide Library Service

As we celebrate National Library Week and National Bookmobile Day on April 13th, it’s the perfect time to explore the history of Nebraska’s first bookmobile. The Nebraska Public Library Commission purchased their first bookmobile on July 28, 1936. I assumed that this bookmobile was purchased to deliver books to patrons around the state, however after doing a bit of research I realized I was wrong.

The Commission documented the purchase of the bookmobile in their 1935-1936 biennial report to the governor: “One of the most important aids in the program of the Library Commission has been the new Bookmobile purchased during the summer of 1936 and first displayed at the State Fair. The Library Commission is indebted to Mrs. R. L. Cochran for her interest in this project and to a group of Omaha business men for their gift of money which made the purchase of the book truck possible. The Bookmobile, which is a specially constructed half ton truck, is used for demonstration purposes and carries a carefully selected collection of three hundred books. It has done much to create interest in library extension.” *

Bookmobile

It was reported in the September 4, 1936 issue of the State Journal that “The Nebraska bookmobile will be used for the present of demonstration. Following the state fair it will be on exhibit at some county fairs and will also be taken to several state conventions. . . . The books carried will be duplicates of books which may be borrowed from the library commission, chosen to show the type of service given by the commission. . . . It is hoped plans can be made to use the bookmobile for delivery of books within a limited territory.”


Pupils at District 8 look at books at the bookmobile

The bookmobile made many stops across the state as is documented by the photographs in Nebraska Memories. In the next year’s biennial report (1936-1938) it was documented that “Eighty-six of the ninety-three counties in the state have been visited by the Bookmobile.” ** In another report by the Commission it states “This “library on wheels” has traveled 4,000 miles over the state. . . and has been a big factor in making people in Nebraska aware of the service which is available to them through the Library Commission. It has resulted in an increased number of requests for books.”

There were a few other interesting things I noticed and wanted to share:

  • Looking at the back of the bookmobile, there appears to be a AAA logo above the license plate. What type of emergency road service was needed and offered in the late 1930’s?
  • Five of the bookmobile photos were taken in front of public libraries. What’s interesting is that the Commission has modern pictures of three of these libraries.
    • Davenport Public Library – 19372001
    • Eustis Public Library – 19382001
    • Nehawka Public Library – 19372005

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.

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/ for more information, or contact Beth Goble, Government Information Services Director, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

* State of Nebraska Report of the Nebraska Public Library Commission to the Governor, August 26, 1935 to November 30. 1936 – Page 11 (The full text of this document is available as part of Commission’s State Publications Clearinghouse Service.)

** Biennial Report of the Nebraska Public Library Commission, December 1, 1936, 10 November 30, 1938 – Page 11 (The full text of this report is also available online.)

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A Bit of Humor

Pibel LakeWith April 1st fast approaching it’s a good time to explore some of the humorous items that can be found in Nebraska Memories.
Over the years I’m sure all of us have talked to a fisherman or a fisherwoman who’s had a tale of the one that got away. If they have been out fishing on Pibel Lake, located about 70 miles north of Grand Island, you might want to believe them. Looking at this postcard you can see that there are some big fish in Pibel Lake.
Laurel and Hardy Not into fishing, maybe Laurel and Hardy is more your style or how about a man dressed as a woman? In 1944 at the prisoners of war at Camp Atlanta, near Holdrege, Nebraska, a man dresses as a woman for the theatrical production of “Lovers“.
We are all right...If your funny bone is still not tickled, maybe you’re not looking at things the right way. This group of folks state that “We are all right when you look at us the right way.”
Before you plan any April Fool’s Day pranks, take a minute to read the lyrics of April First by Thurlow Lieurance and keep in mind “A chap who’s foolish but one day is doing well.”
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.
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/ for more information, or contact Beth Goble, Government Information Services Director, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Tornado kills 150 and injures 350


Bemis Park, looking towards Cummings St. just West of 33rd

“At least 150 people were killed and over 350 people were injured as a tornado swept through Omaha this Easter Sunday causing thousands of dollars of damage.”

Ninety-eight years ago on March 23 that would have been the lead story on the 10 o’clock news, if there had been TV in 1913. The historic Easter Tornado hit Omaha around 6:00 p.m. Sunday night. Even though there are no TV clips from this time there are many photos in Nebraska Memories documenting the destruction the tornado caused.

Actual tornado cloud, Omaha, Neb.

The path of the tornado started at 49th & Poppleton and continued through Carter Lake and Council Bluffs, Iowa. Areas suffering the heaviest damage were Bemis Park, Sacred Heart Academy and 24th & Lake Streets.* According to the article in Wikipedia the storm’s path was 40 miles long and ¼ to ½ mile wide.
The exact amount of damage this storm system caused varies a bit from source to source. The Commoner newspaper reported on March 28, 1913 that over 150 people died, 350 were injured and the property loss was estimated at near $6,000,000. The story also states that 1,200 houses, five public schools and seven churches were wrecked or demolished.

Woman Standing in a Pile of Rubble
Looking at the photos in Nebraska Memories it’s interesting to think about how today’s media would cover this disaster. What would this woman standing in a pile of rubble say to a reporter about the tornado and how it impacted her life?
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.
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/ for more information, or contact Beth Goble, Government Information Services Director, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.
* Source: Driscoll, Charles. Complete Story of Omaha’s Disastrous Tornado, Omaha: Mogy Publishing, c1913.

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Nebraska Learns 2.0: Thing #45 Account Settings

Come join us exploring different account settings as part of Thing #45 Account Settings.
Not familiar with Nebraska Learns 2.0 or Things? Here’s a more detailed description of the program:
Nebraska Learns 2.0 is the Nebraska Library Commission’s ongoing online learning program. The goal of our program is to encourage participants to experiment with and learn about the new and emerging technologies that are reshaping the way people, society and libraries access information and communicate with each other. Nebraska Learns 2.0 is a self-discovery program which encourages participants to take control of their own learning and to utilize their lifelong learning skills through exploration and PLAY.
Each month, we offer you an opportunity to learn a new Thing (or lesson). You have all month to complete that Thing and receive one CE credit. You may choose which Things to do based on personal interest and time availability. If the Thing of the month doesn’t interest you or if you are particularly busy that month, you can skip it.
If you are new to Nebraska Learns 2.0, your first assignment is to sign up to participate. This program is open to ALL Nebraska librarians, library staff, library friends, library board members and school media specialists.
We hope you’ll join your library colleagues in the fun as you learn about new and exciting
technologies!

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BIP 2.0 & Non-Fiction Connection

I’m excited to announce that Bowker, the producer of Books in Print (BIP), has released a new interface for the BIP database called Books in Print 2.0. This new interface will replace both the Patron BIP and Professional BIP interfaces. The new interface includes a number of great features including:

  • A single search box that searches across numerous fields including titles, authors, subjects and ISBN. An advanced search screen is also available to perform more precise searches.
  • Search results that are FRBRized. This means that in your initial search result list, multiple editions of a title (e.g., hardcover, softcover, large print, compact disc) will be represented by a single record, as opposed to a separate record for each edition. That single record will indicate that there are multiple editions of the title available. Clicking on the title will reveal information about each of the editions.
  • Over 50 faceted refine options available along the right hand side of the page to easily narrow your search results.

Additional information about the new interface is available on the front page of the database.
We have updated the links in NebraskAccess to point to the new interface. During the transition period we have included a link to the old Patron BIP interface under the main BIP link. At this time we do not know how long we will be able to continue to access the old interface.
Non-Fiction Connection
In addition to the new BIP interface Nebraskans now have access to Non-Fiction Connection. With the renewal of BIP in July, Bowker included this database free for one year.
Non-Fiction Connection is a readers’ advisory tool promoting non-fiction titles that contain characters, storylines and drama that read much like a traditional novel. The interface is very similar to the Fiction Connection database that we have had access to for years.
Access both Books in Print 2.0 and Non-Fiction Connection at: http://nebraskaccess.ne.gov/resources.asp
Additional information about linking to these and the other databases included in NebraskAccess can be found at: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskaccess/linking.aspx
Would you like a basic overview of these two databases? Join me Wednesday August 18 for an NCompass Live Session dedicated to these two databases. Register at: [obsolete link removed]

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Nebraska Learns 2.0 – It's time to start learning!

It’s time to start learning! The Nebraska Learns 2.0 program starts today.
The program is made up of 23 short online lessons called Things. The Things are
designed to encourage staff to learn more about emerging technologies on the web
that are changing the way people, society and libraries access information and
communicate with each other.

In addition to learning new Things everyone who completes all 23 Things by
January 30, 2009 will have a chance to win one of nine 8GB Creative Zen MP3
Players. These prizes have been made available through generous donations from
ITART, NEMA, and NLA. Also everyone who completes the program before the
deadline will receive 15 CE credits. More information about prize eligibility
and CE credit can be found on the Nebraska Learns 2.0 website.

Here are a few things you may be wondering about.

  • You do not need to register. However, to be eligible for prizes and CE
    credits you do need to blog your progress. Instructions on how to do this
    will be included in Thing #3 and Thing #4.
  • There is no cost to participate.
  • ALL Nebraska librarians, library staff, library friends, library board
    members and school media specialists can participate. (Other folks are
    welcome to follow along; however, we will not be offering any official
    technical support nor will you be eligible for the prize drawings or CE
    credit.)
  • This is a self-directed learning program. No in-person classes will be
    offered.
  • Have more questions? Check out the FAQ on the Nebraska Learns 2.0
    website.

To start learning go to the Nebraska Learns 2.0 website:

http://l2ne.blogspot.com/2008/09/thing-1-discovery.html

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Have you ever wondered where all of Nebraska’s public libraries are located and what they look like?

Now you can see the locations along with pictures of the libraries on Flickr. Some of you may remember the Making a Difference @ your library visits we did back in 2001-2002. At the time we tried to take a picture of the libraries we visited. We didn’t quite get them all, but as some of us travel across the state we are trying to take pictures of libraries we don’t have and take current pictures of others.

We’ve taken all of these pictures and added them to our Flickr account. For each picture we’ve included the name of the library and the address. We’ve also placed each picture on the map. We tried to map each library correctly down to its street location but that wasn’t always easy to do. Did we put your library in the right location? If we didn’t get the location right leave us a comment and tell us where it should be.

View the map.

  • The pink circles with the numbers in them indicate the number of libraries in that area. Click on a circle to see a thumbnail picture of the library or libraries.
  • Use the zoom options along the right side of the screen to zoom in or out.
  • All 277 libraries do not fit on one page so don’t forget to click on the arrow key in the upper left corner to go to page 2.

You can also see all of the pictures in a
slideshow or in the
detail option.

A couple of people have already marked different libraries as their favorites and someone has even
blogged about the Clarks Public Library picture. Has anyone been checking out your library?

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