Author Archives: Beth Goble

Thanks for the Memory

With my retirement near,  I decided to devote my  last Nebraska Memories blog posting to reminiscing about  some of the visits I made to organizations that are participating in Nebraska Memories.  Mutton tallow lanternIn 2008 I visited the  Bess Streeter Aldrich House & Museum  with  Devra Dragos and Lori Sailors.   We toured the home that Bess and her family lived in, and saw memorabilia and documents related to her writing.  I remember seeing  her writing desk, typewriter,  the original typed manuscript of A Lantern in Her Hand, and the Mutton Tallow Lantern that Bess’s mother and her family carried with them on their journey to Iowa were on display.   Lori and Devra returned later to take photographs.

Also in 2008, Lori and I  visited Wanda Marget at Fairmont Public Library, who gave us a great tour of the Fillmore County Museum, located in a building donated by the Ashby family.   One room featured a restoration of Dr. Ashby’s medical clinic,  including the appendix of one of his patients preserved in a jar!  Another room featured many photographs and documents related to  the Fairmont Army Airfield during World War II.  In 1944 Lt. Colonel Paul Tibbets came to the Airfield and picked several crews and their support personnel for a secret mission –  the atomic bomb dropped oFairmont Army Air Fieldn Hiroshima.  The crews were taken from the  Airfield in the middle of the night for training.   The Fillmore County Historical Society also owns the old drug store building, complete with the original soda fountain.   Lori returned to scan the items now in the  Fairmont Public Library — Fillmore County Historical Society  collection.

The Durham Museum in Omaha is a fascinating place.   The restored train station housing the museum is spectacular.  I remember the stunning interior with a beautifully tiled floor,  a functioning soda fountain,  and an entire restored railroad car in the lower level.  It is a popular event venue – several years later I attended a wedding there.    The Museum  owns a large photograph collection.  Devra and I visited the Museum in late 2008.  The Museum scanned and contributed images from the William Wentworth photography studio collection to Nebraska Memories.   This 1939 photograph of a Car jumping flatbed trucksCar jumping flatbed trucks  is a great example of the commercial work Wentworth did for business clients.

Students at Haywood SchoolIn 2009 Lori and I visited  Lincoln Public Schools to see their collection of historical photographs.  Lori returned later to scan some of them.  We were delighted to add the images  to Nebraska Memories, and later very thankful that we could provide them with copies of their  images after the LPS building was mostly destroyed by fire on May 30, 2011.   I find this photograph of Students at Hayward School  rather poignant.   At the top are the words “The growing Citizens  Better schools, Better Citizens”. The three boys and one of the girls are barefoot.   Were they too poor to have shoes?  Were they recent immigrants?

Easter egg huntAnother collection featuring photographs of children is from the  Nebraska Children’s Home Society  in Omaha.   The Society became a  particpant after Lori and I visited  in 2010.  Lori scanned photographs, brochures and newsletters that the Society used to raise funds for care of the children and to ecourage adoptions.    The children in this photograph of an  Easter Egg Hunt on the grounds of the Home look like they are having a great time.

Lincoln Trction Comopany streetcar on College AvenueAnother 2010 visit  was to the Union College, Ella Johnson Crandall Memorial Library with Devra, to see photographs in the College archives.    The  collection consists primarily of  photographs of students and buildings on the College campus.  There are also some photographs of the College View neighborhood,  including this one of the Lincoln Traction Company streetcar on College Avenue.  Evidently streetcars occasionally got a little too close for comfort.   In 1910, a streetcar ran off the track and pushed the College View bandstand at the corner of 48th and Prescott Streets  off its foundation!

Samuel W. Rising and Polly RisingThe last site visit I made was to the Rising City Library with Devra in 2013.   Library board members showed  us photographs of businesses on Main Street, the depot, church, post office, a major fire, and portraits including this one of founders Samuel W. Rising and Polly Rising .   They generously allowed us to bring the photographs, some of which were framed and on display in the library,  back to the Library Commission for scanning.   Lori was able to scan the framed photographs without removing them from their frames.

Visiting museums, libraries and archives  has been a wonderful way to find out more about Nebraska’s history.  It’s been great fun.   As Bob Hope and Shirley Ross sang in 1938, Thanks for the Memory !

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 Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

 

 

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Privileges and Responsibilities

In February and March many Nebraskans like to go to the State Capitol to testify or talk with their senators about  bills they support or oppose.  This week I will be attending the Nebraska League of Women Voters/American Association of University Women legislative day.  The Nebraska Library  Association  Advocacy Day is in March.  As a naturalized citizen I consider  voting  a privilege and a responsibility, and  February  is  a good time to be reminded of the struggle to extend those rights to every citizen.  Susan B. Anthony,  anti-slavery  campaigner and champion  of women’s voting rights, was born February 15th, 1820. In 1878 she and Elizabeth Cady Stanton presented the U.S. Congress with wording for  the 19th amendment  to the Constitution, ratified 24 years later on August 20, 1920.   “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the Unites States or by any State on account of sex”.

Business and Professional Womens Club display windowNebraska Memories includes several images related to voting and elections.   This Butler County Gallery photo taken  October 1940 shows a window display by the David City Business and Professional Womens Club.  It  supports Franklin Roosevelt’s campaign.  A photograph of a professionally dressed woman bears the caption “Business women in a democracy vote!”

A program from the  Polley Music Library collection  also celebrates women’s right to vote.  Equality Day celebrationOn August 24, 1991 an Equality Day Celebration was held in Lincoln to celebrate the 71st anniversary of the 19th Amendment. It was sponsored by the Women’s Information Network of Lincoln and the Nebraska Commission on the Status of Women.  Senator LaVonne Crosby and former Senator Shirley Marsh attended .   The afternoon included music, an art display,  and  Marlene Snyder impersonating  suffragist leader Clara Colby.   I remember it as a great event!  Jim Dahlman campaign

Nebraska Memories also includes some photographs of  election campaigning in Nebraska.   This photo from the Crawford Historical Society and Musuem collection is particularly interesting.  Several men involved with the  1910 Jim Dahlman Campaign for Governor  sit in a Franklin touring car.   Mr. Dahlman did not win the race. Apparently  Doc Middleton was a supporter.  Maybe that’s the reason he lost!   Doc is in the back seat on the left side in the photograph, wearing a tall hat. 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, Historical Services Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

 

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Getting the Groceries

Grocery shopping may seem like a pretty mundane thing to blog about.   During the holiday season food – getting it, preparing it, sharing it, and reminiscing about previous culinary triumphs and disasters – is part of the celebration.  The way we shop for food has changed dramatically with the advent of huge one-stop-shop chain stores and fewer locally owned markets.   Fortunately,  in Nebraska Memories   we can see what some earlier Nebraska food stores looked like because the owners hired photographers for advertising.

Family in ShopOne of the earliest images is a Fred McVay photograph  in the Butler County Gallery  of the  Hrock Meat Market.  Joseph Hrock opened the butcher shop in Brainard in 1898, and sold meat from his slaughterhouse on his farm at Loma.  We  don’t know where the butcher shop in the 1907-1917 era John Nelson photo on the left from the Nebraska State Historical Society  collection was located.  Sausages, hams and ribs hang on the walls, and best of all there is a turkey on the scale.   Was it going to be Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner for the  Family in the Shop ?

 

Greenlees Department Store Andrew K. Greenlee, a pioneer settler in Cheyenne County,  owned Greenlees Department Store in Sidney.   This 1928 photo from the Cheyenne County Historical Society shows the grocery department.  It looks quite large with at least two long corridors lined with fresh and canned goods carefully displayed .

 

IW Rosenblatt Food Store window displayHow about the spectacular  I.W. Rosenblatt Food Store window display    in this 1937 William Wentworth photo from the Durham Museum collection?  It must have taken hours to put that together.   I can’t imagine the employees actually trying to fetch something from those pyramids for a customer.

 

Women shopping in grocery store Finally, I couldn’t resist including this World War 2 era Wentworth photo of Women shopping in a grocery store.   My mother had a full-lenth muskrat coat that  looked a lot like the ones these ladies are sporting.  I wonder if they drove to the store themselves or were taken by their husbands like my mom, who didn’t learn to drive until the early 70s, was.

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, Historical Projects Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

 

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The Fruits of the Earth

Last Friday, September 26th,  was the 240th anniversary of Johnny Appleseed’s birth.   Although he died in 1845 and never visited the plains of what would become Nebraska,   growing, eating, and celebrating apples have become an important part of harvest time in Nebraska. Last Friday was also the first day of the  Applejack Festival  in Nebraska City.   At this time of year many of us enjoy going to the festival, visiting  an orchard, and bringing home apples to fill  freezers, pantries and bellies.  Plus getting  fresh cider to enjoy when the work is done.

Women in orchardNebraska Memories participants have contributed several images about apples, from “start to finish”.   The smiling ladies in the  photo on the left from the Durham Museum collection are holding bouquets of apple blossoms from the trees in the orchard they are standing in.  After harvest growers displayed their best at the Nebraska State Fair.  Apples galore-Horticulture BuildingThe stereographic photo on the right in the Nebraska State Historical Society collection was taken by John Nelson.  A huge variety of apples were on display that year  in the Horticulture Building (now called Industrial Arts Building) .   Use your imagination to color all these beauties!    Canning Apples, Immanuel Deaconess Institute

After harvest it was also time to preserve such bounty for later enjoyment.  The women canning apples in this photo from the Alegent Health Immanual Medical Center collection worked at the Immanuel Deaconess Institute.  They  already have quite a few jars made!

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, Historical Services Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

 

 

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Donating to Nebraska Memories

Do you have some neat historical photos, postcards or documents at home that you think would be good additions to Nebraska Memories?   Are you willing to donate them to the Library Commission?   If yes, read on.

Most of the content in  Nebraska Memories comes from  non-profit organizations contributing images of materials that they retain ownership of.  Did you know that now we also accept donations of pre-approved historical, Nebraska-related materials from individuals?  These items may include photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, and documents such as letters, diaries, deeds, diplomas, and event programs.

We recently added a new collection to Nebraska Memories called  Donated Materials  which currently includes photographs, postcards, and autograph albums.    Click on the Browse this Collection button and click on the thumbnail images to see what we have so far.

The three items shown here were donated by Vicki Witmer, who is credited in the image descriptions as the donor.   Two are postcards of landmarks in the town of Havelock  Nebraska,  which was founded in 1893. The photos were taken in the 1920’s before Havelock was annexed by the city of Lincoln in 1930.

Burlington YardsI am fascinated by the turntable in the  Burlington Yards postcard., and imagine huge engines rotating on it while being worked on or turned around to begin a new journey in the other direction.   Public School, Havelock, Nebr.I can also imagine  children of  railroad workers, most  of whom probably lived in Havelock, walking to the nearby  Public School while a parent (likely the father)  walked to work at the yards.   The school building looks rather forbidding,  but many did in those days.

Enid and Neil HoltThis Dole Studio, Lincoln portrait of Enid and Neil Holt was also taken in the 1920’s.   Could they have lived in Havelock?  I hope seeing these donated images whets your appetite for helping us tell Nebraska’s story.  If you have Nebraska –related historical items that you would like to donate, follow this link for more information. http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/donations.aspx

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, Historical Projects Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Storage ideas for your older books

Connecting to Collections Webinar: Caring for Books

Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern). This 60-minute webinar will cover the basic storage and handling concerns for any institution holding books, whether special collections, circulating, or strictly reference. The appropriate storage furniture, considerations for storage areas, and the do’s and don’ts of storage will all be covered.  As always, you do not need to be a registered member of the Online Community to participate in this webinar. Simply click on the green “Access Meeting Room” button on the right-hand side of the home page. Once there, enter your name and location and click enter. You will be redirected to the webinar. If you’re having difficulty, please take a look at our technical check page. An archive of the event will be posted to the Online Community following the live event.

What: Caring for Books (A webinar and live chat event.)

When: Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern)

Where: The C2C Meeting Room

Featured Speaker: Donia Conn, Preservation Consultant for Cultural Heritage Collections and adjunct faculty for the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science

Featured Resources:

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Gardens Galore

J.F. Rosenfield Peony Gardens, Omaha, Nebraska on Lincoln Highway

I think the great botanist Luther Burbank had it right when he wrote: “Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful: they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul.” This is the time of year when the gardeners amongst us delight in planning, purchasing for, and planting their gardens. In eastern Nebraska the onions, spuds and peas were planted weeks ago and the daffodils are over until next spring. Vegetable and flower seedlings are on sale everywhere–markets, grocery stores, building supply stores, and nurseries. Nebraskans of earlier times loved gardening too, as photos of gardens and nurseries in Nebraska Memories tell us. The color postcard above feaures  25 acres of gorgeous  peonies  abloom in the  J.F. Rosenfield Peony Gardens in Omaha. Rosenfield had a farm near West Point, Nebraska, and bred many peonies, which he  sold from his nursery.

Plumfield NurseriesPlumfield Nurseries in Fremont was in business for many years.   In the photo on the left cannas are planted in front of the  nursery wall.    Westfield Acres flower bedA mass planting of cannas is the centerpiece of the photo on the right at Westfield Acres, home of Frank and Jessie Fowler of Fremont.

McKinley School GardenGardening is also good for the mind, and several Lincoln schools had gardens that students worked in.  The  McKinley School was located at 230 S. 15th Street and the children are shown posing with hoes and trowels in this 1913 photo.
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 information, or contact Beth Goble, Historical Services Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Preservation Week & MayDay Sale

Reduced Price Resources


In celebration of Preservation Week and MayDay, Heritage Preservation is making available a variety of pivotal collections care resources for reduced prices thanks to support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Many of these resources were originally a part of the IMLS Connecting to Collections initiative.

  • The Field Guide to Emergency Response
  • Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel
  • Preservation Management for Libraries, Archives, and Museums
  • A Legal Primer on Managing Museum Collections (2nd edition)
  • Caring for American Indian Objects: A Practical and Cultural Guide
  • The National Trust Manual of Housekeeping: The Care of Collections in Historic Houses Open to the Public

Availability is limited and the sale is only open to US residents. Questions? Feel free to email us.

Do One Thing Heritage Preservation is encouraging libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, and preservation organizations to set aside May 1 to participate in MayDay by undertaking simple disaster preparedness measures. Any cultural institution submitting a brief description of its 2014 MayDay plans or accomplishments by May 31, 2014, will be entered in a drawing for disaster supplies donated by Gaylord Brothers. See what everyone is up to here and don’t forget a recording of our MayDay webinar can be watched at any time here.
 
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Let’s Dance!

May Pole DanceSince prehistoric times people have danced.  Whether celebrating at special occasions, preserving their cultural heritage, or  just having a good time, Nebraskans like to dance. In Nebraska Memories  you can find some great examples.

Dance class Folk dancing was popular at the Nebraska State Normal Schools in Kearney and Wayne. In the photo above from the University of Nebraska Kearney collection young women are participating in a May Pole Dance. In this picture from the Wayne State College collection a Folk Dancing Class is performing. When these women graduated and began teaching, they probably taught their students to folk dance.

Soukup & Petrzilka TavernSpeaking of having a good time, by the early 20th century, establishments like the Soukup and Petrzilka Tavern in Brainard had sprung up in many Nebraska towns. The white building attached to the back of the tavern in this pre-1911 photo from the Boston Studio collection was a dance hall. Can’t you imagine the patrons dancing to a Czech polka band and enjoying the Storz beer advertised on the outside wall of the tavern?

Ballroom at Klug ParkThe Durham Museum Collection includes the two photos below. The 1939 picture on the left makes me wonder if the folks watching the band at the ballroom at Klug Park were there to jitterbug. They certainly are packed into the room, which must have been pretty hot on that July day! Dance at HotelThe couple on the right at a 1938 dance at the Logan Hotel are more formally dressed at what was probably a private party.

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, Historical Services Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Oh for a Book and a Quiet Nook

The Joy of Reading – John Wilson
Oh for a book and a shady nook, either in door or out.
With the green leaves whispering overhead,
Or the street cries all about.
Where I may read all at my ease,
Both of the new and old;
For a jolly good book whereon to look,
Is better to me than gold.

This month seems to be all about books!    October is National Reading Group Month. Teen Read Week is October  13-19.   On October 26th the Celebration of Nebraska Books will feature 2013 award-winning authors and their books, and announcement of the 2014 One Book One Nebraska title.   With all that to celebrate it seems like a good time to see what images about books and reading are in Nebraska Memories.

The two photos below are from the Dodge County Historical Society collection.  The photo of the Joseph H. Williams residence reading corner   ,  taken in  about 1888, shows an unusual bookcase with a rocking chair beside it.   The girls posed in front of it don’t look very happy with the book in front of them.  Hopefully there was something entertaining on the shelves above them!   The family members posing in the Robert S. Somers residence reading group  photo look pretty serious too.

Joseph H Williams residence reading corner 3                                 Robert S Somers residence reading group 2

                                                                                                                                                     The siblings  in this story gathering   photo from the Nebraska Children’s Home Society look like they are having more fun.  Photos of children up for adoption were used to help the  Society find adoptive parents.Story gathering 3  The Library Commission started bookmobile service in 1936, and a search in Nebraska Memories on the word bookmobile will bring up  several photos of groups gathered around the wonderful truck  with the side window showing the books.    These women are at the  Bookmobile at Nehawka Public Library  . Bookmobile at Nehawka Public Library 4

The Nebraska Bookmobile Report  of the first Nebraska bookmobile is also available in Nebraska Memories.  Enjoy reading this October!

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, Historical Projects Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Busting sod

This week marks  the  151st anniversary of the passage of the Homestead Act  on May 20, 1862.  Homesteaders were allotted 160 acres of land.   They had  to  live on their  land and make improvements within six months, including building a home.   After 5 years on the land, the original filer was entitled to the property after paying  a small registration fee.  On January 1, 1863, Daniel Freeman met some local Land Office officials and convinced a clerk to open the office shortly after midnight in order to file a land claim.   Freeman became one of the first to file a claim.    160 acres proved to be too small for the arid parts of Nebraska.  The Kinkaid Act of 1904, authored by Nebraska Congressman Moses P. Kinkaid, increased the allotment to 640 acres in western and central portions of Nebraska, primarily in the Sandhills.

Trees were in short supply , and  the   tough sod
being  “busted” for crop production became  Mundshaw 3
building blocks for homes, barns, and even schools.
Several Nebraska Memories participants have
contributed photos depicting  homesteaders.
The house in this  photo of the Mundshaw’s Sod House   from the Cheyenne County Historical Society collection looks quite substantial, with a durable roof and glass windows.   It probably had a wood floor as well.   District 68 1Cheyenne county also boasted a Sod School  in District #68 .   It actually had a stone foundation.  Eight of the  children in this 1904-05  picture are named Olsen, with photographer Otto Olsen using a string to snap the photo so that he could be in it.

 

Other parts of Nebraska had trees for lumber. James Cornell 3
Mr. and Mrs. James Cornell and their children
stand in front of a wood frame house in Butler County
in this photograph from the Boston Studio Project
collection, taken in the late 1890s.

dry land 1There was no Kingsley Dam or  Tri-County irrigation canal holding and diverting water from the Platte River into parched fields in Phelps County in  those early days.  It’s hard to imagine how the family  in the 1880’s photo of their Dry land farm, Phelps County, Nebraska  survived.    The rows of corn look dried up.  Perhaps the windmill behind the house provided enough water for the crop.

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, Historical Services Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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100 years ago this month: The Omaha Easter Tornado of 1913

They called it the Devil Cloud. At about 6:00 pm on March 23, 1913 the “Easter Sunday Tornado” struck Omaha and cut a swath from 49th & Poppleton Sts. through Carter Lake to Council Bluffs Iowa.  140 citizens were killed and 400 injured. News of Omaha’s disaster went out on the only surviving telegraph wire — the Omaha Daily News. It remains one of Omaha’s greatest distasters, killing at least 150 people and injuring many more. This account from the March 25th 1913 EXTRA editon of the Omaha Daily Bee shows a map of the storm’s path.

The Idlewild Club  at 2307 North 24th Street was the scene Idlewild Clubof the greatest loss  of life. The owner, C. W. Dillard, and 13 customers were killed as they tried  to take shelter on the south side of the pool hall’s basement. The victims were crushed by falling debris or overcome by smoke from fires begun when woodstoves used for heating overturned. The postcard image shows the slow process of  removing the debris to recover the bodies. The victims were then removed to the Webster Telephone Exchange Building at 2213 Lake Street.

House wrecked and burnedThis image of a house wrecked and burned  at  26th & Patrick Avenue in northeast Omaha illustrates the danger. Fire was breaking out along the corridor of destruction. Entire police and fire  departments from Omaha and Council Bluffs, Iowa, were called to the scene. They fought the fires along Franklin and Decatur streets 3 blocks south of Patrick Avenue for nearly an hour. Firemen carried hoses because trucks could not reach the flames. Heavy rain fell after 8 p.m. and by 9 p.m. the houses were  smoldering ruins.  The piano sitting out front may be the only thing that was saved.

The Sacred Heart Convent immediately to the south of Bemis Park suffered heavy damage. The color postcard of the Academy of the Sacred Heart shows what it looked like before the storm. The photograph on the right of the Sacred Heart Academy shows the damage to the side facing Bemis Park.

Academly of the Sacred HeartSacfed Heart Academy

 

 

 

 

Many more tornado images    documenting the destruction the tornado caused are in the  Omaha Public Library collection in Nebraska Memories . The 100th anniversary of the Easter Tornado will be featured in an NET television progam called Devil Clouds: Tornadoes Strike Nebraska  to be broadcast March 22nd.

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, Historical Services Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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What to do if Your Identity is Stolen

Having your identity stolen is a terrible experience. The Federal Trade Commission, in partnership with the Public Library Association, has produced a suite of materials on identity theft and identity protection and made them available for download or bulk ordering from the FTC website http://ftc.gov/idtheft. A booklet featuring  step-by-step instructions on dealing with the crime can also be  borrowed from the Library Commission. Brochures on the website offer tips for recognising child identity theft. Three animated videos are also available.

Everything on the site can be downloaded and is in the public domain to be shared with patrons. Bulk orders of free copies can also be ordered at https://bulkorder.ftc.gov. The FTC would like to hear how libraries are using these resources. Email them at outreach@ftc.gov.

 

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Publications Clearinghouse is 40 Years Old

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse Service at the Library Commission turned 40 in July!  There have been many changes in how we do things, particularly providing access to government information and publications digitally rather than in tangible format.  But our purpose remains the same:  to provide access to and assistance in locating government information for Nebraska citizens, staff of Nebraska libraries and state agencies, and the Nebraska legislature.

Prior to 1972 there was no comprehensive program in the state for collecting and preserving Nebraska government publications. In 1971 the Nebraska Library Commission began surveying other states and Nebraska libraries to find out how such a program should work and drafting proposed legislation to give the program legal authority. In January 1972 LB 1284 was introduced in the Nebraska Legislature, passed and signed by the Governor in March establishing the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse. The program was launched in July of that year.

State Depository Program:  “There is hereby created, as a division of the Nebraska Library Commission, a Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse. The clearinghouse shall establish and operate a publications collection and depository system for the use of Nebraska citizens” The original legislation has been amended several times to exclude Junior Colleges and reduce the number of mandatory copies that agencies must send.   In 2005 distribuution to the 13 state documents depositories changed from microfiche shipments to notifications about additions to our digital state documents collection.

Federal Depository Program The legislation also directed the Library Commission to provide access to federal publications. “The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse shall provide access to local, state, federal and other governmental publications to state agencies and legislators and through interlibrary loan service to citizens of the state.” The Commission began participating in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) in 1972. It served as Nebraska’s Regional Federal Depository until 1984, when Love Library at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln became the Regional. The Commission is now a selective depository and has reduced its selections to about 2% of the publications offered through the program.   Many of those are digital publications that we do not receive in tangible format but link to from our online catalog.

 

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Summer Getaways

The blistering weather across the county right now doesn’t make the idea of spending time anywhere without air conditioning very appealing.    But  “going to the cabin”, “heading for the lake”, “camping out”,  and otherwise doing without the comforts of home  are time-honored summer passtimes. Many of my favorite childhood memories are of  weekends  at our lakeside summer cottage with no running water, a wood stove, and kerosine lanterns.  Later on,  backpacking and  camping with my husband and kids added to my “roughing it” experiences.   I think doing without creature comforts for a while brings us closer to nature AND our ancestors,  even if we do it for fun, not survival.

Several photos in Nebraska Memories confirm that summer getaways years ago ran the gamut from tenting at primitive campsites to  road trip stops at auto camping courts to  stays at more “refined”  venues.

The two couples sitting in front of their tents in this postcard photo  brought their dogs along on their camping trip.  We don’t know where or exactly when the photo was taken, but the long skirts the women were  wearing and long-sleeved shirts under overalls that the men had on indicate that it was probably before 1920.   Imaging how hot that clothing would feel this week on a Nebraska camping trip!  There don’t appear to be bug screens or rain flys on those tents,  and we don’t know if there was a biffy nearby.

The Lone Pine Court and Filling Station in Sidney offered more comfort.  It  was one of the first motor courts   in Sidney.  When this picture was taken in 1925 the Lincoln Highway was still a dirt road. 

 

Epworth  Park  was a large property  southwest of Lincoln operated by the Methodist  Epworth Association between 1897 and 1940.   It was clearly a cultural as well as recreational destination,  and  featured  a man-made lake, amphitheater and restaurants.   Visitors could choose to stay at a  hotel, cabins,  or a campground.   Evening programs and Chautauquas featured speakers including Theodore Roosevelt, William Jennings Bryan, and  Booker T. Washington.

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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Former Commissioner Jacquelyn Rosenlof

Former Nebraska Library Commissioner Jacquelyn Rosenlof was remembered in an article in the Kearney Hub, June 5 2012.   She passed away June 2 at her home in Kearney at the age of 81.

Jacqueline was appointed to the  Library Commission  on June 28, 1978 and served until June 15, 1984.   She was elected Commission chair in  1979 and seved in that capacity for two years.

“Jackie” served on many other community and philanthropic boards and task forces, especially in her home city of Kearney.  She was a member of the  the fundraising committee for the newly remodeled Kearney Public Library.

The full text of the June 5, 2012 Kearney Hub article can be viewed here.

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The Season of New Life

Spring is the season of new life.   At my house  I have baby bunnies munching on my columbines,  baby birds sitting on the feeder begging to be fed by their parents , baby dandelions sprouting,  and a fresh new crop of mosquitos trying to get  their first meal from ME.    New arrivals in the human world are not limited to spring,  but the abundance of youngsters of all species  this month led me to search on the word “baby” in Nebraska Memories   to   find out what would be revealed.   People love babies and love taking their pictures,  so it was not a surprise to find  nearly  90 images.  Many of them are studio portraits.

Rudolph NuttelmanI confess to being guilty of taking a few “nearly naked” baby pictures of my own children, although not at a studio.   Young Rudolph Nuttelman of Rising City, clad only in his diaper,  is at ease and smiling in this 1906 photo from the Boston Studio  Project.   I am always amazed by the clarity of scanned images from glass plate negatives and can count each one of his toes.   Perhaps a parent was standing behind the photographer doing something silly to make him smile.

Agnes BirkelThis portrait of Agnes Birkel, age 21 months when the photo was taken in 1908, is also from the Boston Studio Project.   She and the puppy beside her are an adorable pair.   Agnes is looking at someone who is making her smile, but the puppy looks rather sleepy to me.   I hope they enjoyed growing up together!

Babies can be hard to get to sleep,  but singing to them helps.     Croonings of the Winds  is a collection of 12 “slumber songs”  in the  Polley Music Library  collection.   This verse from Summer Lullaby by Eudora S. Bumstead really evokes a  Nebraska summer evening.

Croonings of the WindsThe sun has gone from the shining skies,  Bye  baby, bye 
The dandelions have closed their eyes, Bye baby, bye
And  stars are lighting their lamps to see
If babe and birdy and squir’l all three

Are sound asleep as they ought to be
Bye, baby, bye

 

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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Detailed 2010 Census Data for Nebraska Released Today

The Census Bureau announced this morning that new, detailed demographic information from the 2010 Census for up to 331 different race and ethnic groups down to the census tract level has been released  for  Nebraska, California, Colorado, Montana,and Wyoming.

The Summary File 2 tables can be found on the Census Bureau’s American FactFinder website at <http://factfinder2.census.gov> by using the “Population Groups” filter to select the specific race or ethnic groups of interest. While a variety of tables will be available, a good place to start is the Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics, which shows a summary of characteristics for one geographic area at a time.

These Summary File 2 tables add a new layer of detail to the population and housing topics released last year from the 2010 Census. Information, such as age, relationship and homeownership, previously available only for an area’s entire population is now available for specific race and ethnic groups in that community.

The statistics are available for  counties, county subdivisions, places, census tracts, ZIP Code tabulation areas, congressional districts for the 111th Congress, American Indian and Alaska Native areas within the states released, tribal subdivisions, metropolitan areas and Hawaiian home lands.

To preserve confidentiality, only geographic entities with a population of at least 100 for the specified group are available in the summary file.

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Robert Groves Leaving Census Bureau

Yesterday Robert Groves, Director of the U.S. Census Bureau, announced that he is leaving the Bureau to become the next provost of Georgetown University.   In his message to CIC and SDC networks, he stated

With mixed emotions, I am writing to let you know that I have been asked to become the next provost of Georgetown University, and I have made the difficult decision to accept that position, beginning in late August 2012.
While I am honored by this rare personal and professional opportunity to help lead Georgetown to even greater heights than it already enjoys, I must also tell you that I am enormously proud of the work we have accomplished together over the past three years.
Together, we have begun transforming the Census Bureau to better face the challenges ahead.  I am confident that the current leadership of the Census Bureau is devoted to carrying the shared vision forward — that this agency will continue to provide the key economic and social statistical information the country so deeply needs, with cost-efficient excellence. For the next four months I will do all I can to continue the innovations we have together begun.
I have been honored to work with you.  You are truly a set of talented, skilled, committed folks who are working to make this a better place for future generations.
There is much to do in the coming months here at the Bureau.  I look forward to working with all of you.

More commentary on  the Census Bureau and appointing a new director are in this  Washington Post article.

 

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MayDay! Create a Game Plan

On May 1, libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, and preservation organizations across the country will take one simple step to protect the art, artifacts, records, books, and historic sites they hold in trust. Want to participate but not sure what to do?  

Join Lori Foley, Vice President of Emergency Programs at Heritage Preservation, and LeRae Umfleet, Chief of Collections Management at the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources for a 1-hour live chat on Wednesday, April 18 at 1:00 pm EDT for MayDay! Create a Game Plan .  They will share ideas, suggestions, and advice on how to do one thing for emergency preparedness. Whether you’re just beginning to think about a disaster plan or have a comprehensive and updated plan, set aside MayDay to take one step forward in preparedness.

 Recordings of  live chat events can be found here.

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