Category Archives: Nebraska Memories

Do you have 10 minutes to help us transcribe a handwritten inscription?

John Ellis AlbumRecently we added two autograph albums to Nebraska Memories. The albums belonged to May Martin Ellis and her husband John Ellis. They contain many handwritten inscriptions with the majority of inscriptions dating from the late 1800’s. While it is fun to read the inscriptions it can also be a challenge to read some of the handwriting. We would like to remove this challenge by providing a typed transcription of each page. Typing the transcriptions is a bit of a daunting task however because there are about 150 pages between the two albums and each page was written by a different person. The quality of handwriting varies from page to page so some are easy to read while others take a bit more effort.

John Ellis Album (page 24)To help with the task of transcribing these albums we wanted to try using crowdsourcing. If you are not familiar with crowdsourcing in this context it is a way to divide up the labor of transcribing the text among a group of people who are willing to give a few minutes of their time to the project. This is not a new concept but it is the first time we are trying it and hope you will be willing to help us.

What do you get out of helping with this project? To start with you get the enjoyment of reading a page or two in the autograph books. While I haven’t read all of the pages yet here is one inscription that I found amusing. This is from page 42 of May’s album.May Martin Ellis Album (page 42)

Dear Friend May:

Remember me and my best wishes
When far away washing dishes.

From your friend.
Eva Miller.

July 26th 1885.

Second, by helping to create a typed transcription we are making both the inscriptions and the name of the person who wrote them legible, searchable and findable. After the pages have been transcribed we will add the transcribed text to the corresponding album page in Nebraska Memories.

Third, if your relatives lived in Nebraska during the late 1800’s maybe you will find an inscription they wrote. Many of the inscriptions include both a date and place name. Some of the place names I’ve seen include: Alliance, Box Butte, Genoa, Hemingford, Osceola, and Grand Lake (According to information on the Nebraska State Historical Site’s webpage Grand Lake was located near Alliance.)

If you are up to the challenge here is how you can help. We have set up a Google form for each album so we can easily collect the transcribed text and then display the text in a corresponding spreadsheet. You do not need a Google account to help us. Everything you do is anonymous. We have no way of tracking who has helped us with this project. Here is what you need to get started.

Links That You Will Need – Please make sure you read the instructions below.

May Martin Ellis Album

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone’s help the May Martin Ellis Album is done.

Album: http://memories.nebraska.gov/cdm/ref/collection/donated/id/127May Martin Ellis Album

Spreadsheet: http://goo.gl/ZVFXwx

Form: http://goo.gl/ebYc52

John Ellis Album

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone’s help the John Ellis Album is done.

Album: http://memories.nebraska.gov/cdm/ref/collection/donated/id/178John Ellis Album

Spreadsheet: http://goo.gl/TOvyi2

Form: http://goo.gl/D2rDfx

Instructions

  1. Open either May’s or John’s spreadsheet. On the spreadsheet you will see a column labeled Page. If a page number is listed in the spreadsheet that means the page has been transcribed. You will see the transcription in the corresponding column. Determine which page or pages need to be transcribed.
  2. Open the corresponding album and locate a page you want to transcribe.
  3. Open the corresponding form. Enter the number of the page you are transcribing and then type the text as it is written.
  • Press the enter key at the end of each line.
  • Do NOT correct misspellings, grammar errors, punctuation, odd capitalization or anything else we may consider wrong. I know this may be the hardest part for some folks but it is important that you type the text exactly as it was written. For example I’ve seen a couple of folks who have written the word tomorrow as two separate words. In May’s book on page 6 her Pa wrote it as “to Morrow”. That’s the way it needs to be typed.
  • John Ellis Album (page20)If you cannot read a word, letter or are unsure of something please put a question mark in the transcription at the point you have the question. The question mark will be a signal to us that someone else will need to look at that text. For example if I was transcribing page 20 of John’s book there is a line where I would need to insert a question mark because I’m not sure what is written between the word in and albums. In the form I would enter: If scribbling in ? Albums:
  • toolbarSome folks wrote at all kinds of odd angles. You may need to rotate or zoom in on the text to make it easier to read. Use the buttons on the toolbar above the image to do this. Put the text in the order you think is most logical.
  • If you see a transcription in the spreadsheet with a questions mark in it and you want to try deciphering that page please go ahead and try. Multiple forms can be submitted for each page. We will be looking at all of the transcriptions before they are added to Nebraska Memories.

John Ellis Album (page 39)Now that you have spent five minutes reading this I hope you will be willing to spend 5 more minutes transcribing a page or two in the albums. You never know what funny saying you may transcribe.

Thank for your help. If you have any questions please leave a comment or send me  an email.

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.

Posted in General, Information Resources, Nebraska Memories, Technology | Leave a comment

Rising City Memories

An assortment of items from Rising City Community Library joins Nebraska Memories as its newest collection. The photographs and postcards in the collection highlight many aspects of Rising City’s history.

Rising City DepotRising City was established when the Omaha & Republican Valley Railroad was extended across Butler County in 1878, and the collection includes photographs that show the town’s railroad roots. In this photograph, the town’s railroad depot appears to be a site of bustling activity.

The establishment of the railroad brought increasedOpera Block population to the area, and businesses grew accordingly. The business community of Rising City is well represented in this collection. Images of local businesses, including a hotel, banks, and a meat market, provide a Ruins of the Opera Blockview into Rising City’s business scene throughout its history. One of the most notable commercial buildings in Rising City was a prominent brick building known as the Opera Block. This structure was built in 1892, and it was destroyed by fire in 1923. This collection includes scenes of the destroyed building after the fire.

Samuel and Polly RisingA group of portraits of members of the Rising family, after whom the town is named, is another highlight of this collection. Samuel W. Rising (seen here with his wife Polly) and his son Albert W. Rising each gave 40 acres of their land to be used for the Rising City town site. Portraits of Samuel’s other sons, Dennis and Joseph, are in the collection, as well.

Take a moment and explore this collection to get a glimpse into Rising City history, and be sure to 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.

Posted in Nebraska Memories | Leave a comment

Going Postal…

In the more than two hundred years since Benjamin Franklin was appointed our first Postmaster General in 1775, the Postal Service™ has grown and changed with America.   Not only have there been changes in moving the mail (ranging from the basic horse and rider Pony Express, to stagecoaches, trains, boats, airplanes, and even dog sled), but there have also been changes in post office buildings. The types of buildings used, and the architecture of Nebraska post offices through the years can easily be seen in the many photographs and postcards found in Nebraska Memories.

Unnamed POThis first picture, taken by Nebraska photographer John Nelson, shows an early 1900′s Nebraska town with a dirt street lined with buildings. One of the stores has a sign on it that says, “Brown’s” which was also the post office.

It was not uncommon for a general store to serve as the town post office as well.  The building in this picture, with its’ plain front and wooden sidewalk, was not many years removed from and not much changed from frontier days style buildings.

 

Many buildings and businesses did double and even triple duty, like this undertaker, furniture and post office storefront in Papillion, Nebraska, circa 1907. PapillionPO

The building was located on the west side of Washington Street between First and Second Streets, but had a little more “modern” store front with big plate glass windows. Charles West (probably the man on the right) served as the Postmaster of Papillion from 1901 to 1914. The man on the left is an unidentified clerk.

This next photograph shows another style of  wooden building with a sign identifying it as the Loomis post office.  A long wooden porch covered by an awning runs the length of the building. The postmaster, Gust F. Carlson, stands on the porch, leaning against one of the awning’s support poles. Three other men stand with him, including Axel Veegert (second from right), a mail carrier. A car is parked on the dirt road in front of the building, with a container labeled “U.S. Mail” attached to its side. LoomisPO

Wooden buildings gradually gave way to larger and more grand buildings, as evidenced by these photographs from Fremont, David City, and Omaha, respectively.

FremontPOThis Fremont post office building was on the northwest corner of Sixth and Broad Streets, built in 1893 in the more ornate Richardsonian Romanesque style. This style included the hipped roof with parapeted gable dormers, windows with rounded tops, deep-set windows with transoms, arched entries, and the contrasting smooth and rough wall textures.

 

The David City post office was a one-story red brick building with wide steps leading to white double entry doors with arched contrasting brick-work above, arched windows with matching trim at each side of the door and smaller double-hung windows on the front and sides of the building, bushes around the foundation and lawn on two sides of the corner lot, a street light in front, sidewalks on two sides with brick streets in front. DavidCityPO

 

 

 

 

The postcard below, circa 1914, of the South Omaha branch of the post office, was located at 502 North 24th Street in South Omaha, Nebraska. The building was red brick, two stories tall, with arched windows and doors on the first floor and six columns on the front. SOmahaPO

 

 

The layout of the interiors of buildings that were used as post offices are of interest as well, as seen in the following pictures.

The post Office in Spalding, Nebraska had a long cabinet with many pigeon-holes stuffed with letters, and the postmaster’s desk in front; SpaldingPO

 

 

while another Post Office photograph shows a “Reading Room” where people could sit down at a desk to read their letters.  ReadingPO

 

 

 

 

There is also this photograph of what the post office boxes at the back of the Potter, Nebraska general store looked like:Potter PO

 

 

Thanks for joining me today as we journeyed back to look at Nebraska post office buildings from the past 100+ years.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

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.

 

Posted in Nebraska Memories | Leave a comment

Recollections

Helen M. Robinson's recollections How good is your memory? The town of Oshkosh NE was lucky to have a resident with a great memory and willingness to document and share what she remembered. In June of 1984 someone from the Garden County News office contacted Helen M. Robinson asking her to write about her personal memories of different business in Oshkosh beginning in 1920. After thinking it over Helen agreed but with one condition. “That condition is, that it would also become a community project, to attempt to get a written record of the Oshkosh businesses from 1920 to the present time – 1984.” (Chapter 1; Page 1) I don’t know if she realize when she agreed how large of a project this would turn into. Her articles appeared in the Garden Count News from June 14, 1984 to December 4, 1986.

In 1985 Helen’s children decided that their mom’s newspaper articles should be placed in a more permanent form. After the last article was printed in 1986 they began working on compiling the articles into a book. For continuity and ease of reading they combined the articles and created chapters. The completed book was finished in July 1987 which also happened to be about the same time Helen celebrated her 80th birthday.

Today everyone can read and enjoy Helen M. Robinson’s Recollections. In 2014 the Garden County Historical Society, along with the Oshkosh Public Library, worked with the Library Commission to digitize the book and make it available in the Nebraska Memories. The book can be found at: http://memories.nebraska.gov/cdm/landingpage/collection/gchs

Reading the book I learn that Oshkosh has supported a wide variety of businesses over the years including barbers, shoe & harness repair, department stores, flower & gift shops, bakeries, cream stations, sales barns, cafes, manufacturing, morticians, cleaning establishments, ice cream parlors, hotels, hardware stores and filling stations. The amount of information Helen provides about each business is amazing. Many of these businesses changed locations over time and she documented all of their different locations, the names of the owners and employees.

Oshkosh State Bank built in 1917

Oshkosh State Bank built in 1917

Here is just a small portion of what I learned just about the banks in Oshkosh. In 1917 a second bank opened in town and was named the Oshkosh State Bank. It was located in a small building on the east side of Main Street until a two-story brick building was completed on the southwest corner of Main and Avenue C. The picture at the right shows the building during construction. In 1924 the Oshkosh State Bank and the Nebraska State Bank merged under the name Nebraska State Bank. The Nebraska State Bank moved its offices from their building which was located a block north to the brick building built by the Oshkosh State Bank. The newly formed bank was managed by Mr. Farrell.

My short paragraph is far from the complete history of the banks in Oshkosh. There is almost 60 more years’ worth of information in the book just about the banks. The information includes the names of many of the owners and employees starting in 1904 and continues on until the early 1980’s. Helen even provided the maiden names for many of the female employees. More information about the banks can be found in Chapter 10 of the book. 

On a side note I do wonder what type of negotiations took place in 1924 when the banks merged. How did they decide to go with the name Nebraska State Bank yet at the same time locate their business in a brick building that had the name Oshkosh State Bank written in stone above the door? Looking at Google Map’s Street View you can see that the bank building is still standing 97 years later with the name Oshkosh State Bank still visible.

Reading through the book I was happy to see that Helen got her wish and her columns did turn into a community project. Throughout the book there are multiple references to what other folks remembered. Helen also included letters other folks sent her. One letter that I enjoyed was from Betty (Brennan) Beam. Betty’s letter talked about the first tea house in Oshkosh. She described it as “dark and without paint. Within was the odor of burning coals and soot.” As you read you realize the tea house she was describing was actually Jim Monshan’s blacksmith shop where the farmers would gather for a cup of tea. Betty said “Jim Monahan was English enough to make the tea and Irish enough to be blessed with quick wit and a ready answer.” (Chapter 7; Page 25)

I hope my comments about the book Helen M. Robinson’s Recollections have piqued your interest. The book is over 300 pages long. There are a lot of great memories of businesses and business people of Oshkosh. If you don’t have time to read the book cover to cover you can always search the book for specific name, business or any piece of information you think maybe included in the book.

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.

Posted in General, Information Resources, Nebraska Memories, Technology | Leave a comment

Beat of a Different Drummer

The group performing on the corner a block away for the Friday lunch hour, as I work on this blog post, not only reinforces the fact that everyone has their own taste in music and preference for a “beat” but also the importance of music to humans.

Music has played a big part in Nebraska’s cultural history; in Nebraska Memories, you can browse through our new category of Musical Performers which includes photographic images people of different times, ages, and backgrounds.

Madessa Wolfe1917 Nebraska Normal College BandCarl F. SteckelbergSome student musicians like young Madessa Wolfe, far left, (Harvey L. Boston, Butler County Gallery Collection) enjoyed private music lessons while others learned to play in school bands–high school or college like the 1917 Nebraska Normal College Band, above center, (Wayne State College Collection). Faculty at the University School of Music in Lincoln, such as Carl Steckelberg, above right, (Polley Music Library Collection) not only taught music but also performed regularly.

African AmericanStandard Chautauqua 3Outside of school, bands and orchestras were formed by families, friends, and church and community members. Some were amateurs while others were professional like this Orchestra featuring all male African American musicians, at left (William Wentworth, The Durham Museum Collection). For a time, performers the bell ringers to the left (Alva C. Townsend, Townsend Studio Collection) could be booked through the Chautauqua.

Man boy and girl performing musicallyPerformers made music outdoors in bandstands, fields, parades or on a makeshift stage as in the photo to the right, of a man, boy and girl (John Nelson, Nebraska State Historical Society Collection). Indoor venues included school stages, auditoriums, churches, ball rooms, concert halls, opera houses, prisoner of war camps, orphanages and other institutions.

Great Cathedral ChoirChoirs also played an important role in the musical scene. The Great Cathedral Choir shown here in the State Capitol (Polley Music Library Collection) performed regularly in Lincoln starting in 1919. Singers also played parts on stage in musicals or took part in concerts. The Polley Music Library Collection includes many concert programs featuring visiting and local performers.

Chief Bear DogSo, whether you prefer an indoor or outdoor performance, a formal orchestra or the beat of a single drummer like Chief Bear Dog (John Anderson, Nebraska State Historical Society Collection), take a look at the items representing the rich musical history of Nebraska.

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.

Posted in Nebraska Memories | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in General, Information Resources, Nebraska Memories | Leave a comment

Celebrating Easter

This Sunday is Easter, the Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. For many people, the holiday also holds the connotation of celebrating spring and new life. Nebraska Memories includes items that relate to many aspects of Easter celebration.

Easter MornFor Christians, church services are clearly an important part of Easter, and music is generally involved in worship. The Polley Music Library collection contains scores of two pieces of Easter music, Gradual for Easter Sunday and Hail, Joyous Morn: An Easter Song.

Easter egg hunts are another traditional way to celebrate the holiday. This photograph from the Nebraska Children’s Home Society collection shows kids at a children’s homeEaster egg hunt enjoying an egg hunt in the 1950s or 1960s.

Traditionally, Easter has also been a time for dressing up. New Easter dresses and, of course, Easter bonnets are common purchases. This advertisement from a program for a symphony orchestra concert (another item in the Polley Music Library collection) touts Magee’s as the Easter advertisementplace to obtain Easter finery.

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.aspxfor more information, or contact Beth Goble, Historical Services Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

Posted in Nebraska Memories | Leave a comment

“April showers bring May flowers…”

…or so the saying goes.  This Spring’s roller-coaster weather aside, it is always a pleasure to enjoy the many beautiful flowers that nature provides us.  This is as true now as it was in years past.  For example, if you search “flowers” in Nebraska Memories, you will find many photographs of  flowers used in public parks and home gardens,

Garden2Garden3

weddings and funerals,

Wedding1        Wedding2  funeral

parades,

Parade1Parade2

and of course, hats!

Hats1          Hats4          Hats3

So if you like flowers, have some fun discovering other pictures from the past like the ones above.  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.

Posted in Nebraska Memories | Leave a comment

Map Exhibit

Map Exhibit Did you know there are over 5,500 items in Nebraska Memories? Having that many items is wonderful and I’m always wanting to add more however unless you make a conscious effort to look at everything you may not see each of these 5,500+ items.

One addition we made as part of the roll out of the New Memories was to add the map exhibit on the home page. This new exhibit provides us with a way to highlight some of the items included in Nebraska Memories. Periodically we will change the images to highlight different collections, items and topics. To learn more about the highlighted items click anyplace on the map to display the map exhibit page. Here you will find a list of the items currently being highlighted and links to the full records for each item that includes additional information and a larger version of the item.

Crawford business area, blizzard of 1927The current exhibit of 13 items highlights some of the snow and winter scenes found in Nebraska Memories. While you may be thinking it’s time to update the images and get rid of snow I want to point out the photo titled Crawford business area, blizzard of 1927. Someone has written the date April 18-’27 on the front of it. Because the snow piles are so high I was curious to know how much snow Crawford received around this time period so I did a few quick searches and located the digitized version of the book Climatological data Nebraska Section, Volumes 24-32 by the National Climatic Center, National Climatic Data Center (U.S.). The climatological date for the month of April 1927 starts on page 15 of this document. While I did not find the total snowfall for Crawford I did find this: “The average for the Northwest Division of the State was 21 inches, which is the greatest April fall in that Division during the 38 years of record.” Going back to page 13 of the same document it shows that the Northwest Division had already received an average of 16.2 inches of snow in March. These numbers could explain the large piles of snow visible in the picture.

Grandpa has his "Waterloo"For those of you who have had enough snow don’t worry we are working on a new map exhibit to go up in April. This new exhibit will be snow free. It will include a picture of Grandpa using his “Waterloo” to plow a field, a group of folks celebrating National Air Mail Week National Air Mail Week  and more than one graduating class. When you see the new exhibit don’t forget all you need to do to learn more about any of the featured photos is to click on the map.

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.

Posted in General, Information Resources, Nebraska Memories, Technology | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in General, Information Resources, Nebraska Memories, Technology | 2 Comments

New Memories

Have you visited Nebraska Memories recently? Check it out–we not only have a new look but three new collections, too!

Omaha Public Schools contributed a number of historical photographs of schools (inside and out) and pupils. Garden County Historical Society contributed a manuscript of “Recollections,” a collation of newspaper articles which detailed the history of businesses, people and events of Oshkosh and the county. And Rock County Public Library’s audio interviews conducted in 1982 with nine of the county’s long-time residents will be available early next week.

The software used to host Nebraska Memories, CONTENTdm®, has been updated with a number of new features, including:

  • You can now search within a collection or narrow search results by collection, subject, creator, type, date or search term.
  • The Zoom feature now allows a much closer look at details in any image.
  • Audio files now play from within the item record.
  • For postcards that have a transcript, the front and back of the postcard can be viewed side-by-side or the text can be viewed side-by-side with the writing on the postcard. The text may also be searched. Try it out with this postcard: Farnam Street, Omaha, Neb. (Omaha Public Library collection)
  • For documents in PDF with transcripts, the text can be searched and the image of the page can be viewed side-by-side with the text.

Commission staff created predefined searches for topics unique within most of the individual collections. We also, under Browse, added ten new topic groups to provide access to items of interest across the all the collections, including Famous Nebraskans, Interiors  and Medical.

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, seehttp://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, or contact Beth Goble, Historical Services Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

Posted in Nebraska Memories, Technology | Leave a comment

Valentine’s Day Treats

It’s Valentine’s Day, a day devoted to the celebration of love. Each year on February 14th, many people exchange flowers, candy, or other gifts with the special people in their lives. Go on a shopping spree in Nebraska Memories and explore some of the establishments where these gifts could be purchased through the years.Rosewell 3

Flowers are a very traditional Valentine’s Day gift. If your significant other lives close to you, you can stop by a local florist, such as the Rosewell Floral Company in Lincoln, to make your purchase. If you are far away from your sweetheart, companies such as FTD can handle long distance deliveries. This photograph of the Wilson Flower Shop in David City shows the FTD logo on their delivery truck.

Candy is another popular choice as a gift for a loved one. A sign in this Omaha candy shop promised quick service; perhaps it was a good place to pick up a last minute gift. The boxed chocolates Window display of candy 4advertised in the window of this store were probably a good choice on Valentine’s Days past.

Giving a gift of jewelry is another way to celebrate the day. This photograph of the interior of a David City jewelry store shows customers browsing at the counter. Borsheim’s jewelry store, shown here at its original location on 16th and Harney Streets in Omaha, surely sold many borsheim 3Valentine’s Day gifts through the years.

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.

Posted in Nebraska Memories | 2 Comments

Let’s Go to the Theater!

"A Kiss for Cinderella" with Henry Fonda and Dorothy McGuireWhen it’s cold and snowy outside, there’s nothing quite like watching a play in a warm and cozy theater. This was as true in days gone by as it is today, as evidenced by the many theater pictures in Nebraska Memories. For example, the Omaha Community Playhouse presented plays ranging from “A Kiss for Cinderella” (with Henry Fonda and Dorothy McQuire), to “A Christmas Carol.”

Cratchit family from "A Christmas Carol" The Lincoln Community Playhouse gave performances of “The Silver Whistle,” “The Solid Gold Cadillac,” and “The Crucible,”  a play by Arthur Miller.

Even the theater at Camp Atlanta, a prisoner of war camp near Holdrege, Nebraska, put on plays for U.S. military personnel and prisoners of war.  The picture below is of a theatrical production of “Lovers.”  

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 Introduction to Participating in Nebraska Memories for more information, or contact Beth Goble, Historical Services Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

 

 

Posted in General, Information Resources, Nebraska Memories, Technology | Leave a comment

Don’t Forget the Back Part II

Auditorium, Omaha, Neb.“I suppose you have got my letter. Good Bye. Agnes.” That is all that Agnes had to say to Mr. G. Greanbeam. Agnes sent that short message on the back of a postcard in the early 1900’s. I get the impression that Agnes is leaving a lot unsaid. This is just one of many postcards in Nebraska Memories that intrigue me.

In January of 2012 I wrote a blog post titled Don’t Forget the Back. It’s now two years later and I still like to take the time to read the back of the postcards in Nebraska Memories. I want to share with you some of my recent finds and issue you a challenge.

Fountain, Pompeian Room, Brandeis Stores, Omaha, Neb.
Fountain, Pompeian Room, Brandeis Stores
Bryan Hammer Bldg., Omaha, Neb.

Bryan Hammer Bldg.

Reading the backs of these two postcards I’m assume two little girls wrote them. On the back of the postcard featuring the Bryan Hammer Bldg. in Omaha is a short note from Margaret to her grandma asking her how she is. On the other card showing the fountain in the Brandeis Stores Rhoda wrote a note to her Aunt Etta. Rhoda told her that “I am a big girl I love you very much your little girl Rhoda”.

Methodist Hospital, Omaha, Neb.Methodist Hospital, Omaha, Neb.

Methodist Hospital, Omaha, Neb.

This next postcard of the Methodist Hospital, Omaha, Neb. was never mailed so we have no idea when or who wrote this cleaver saying on the back: “‘Hospital’ Where people who are run down, wind up!”

In October of 1911 someone with the initials CAM wrote to Miss Suzie Mathis in Swanton Nebraska. (For those of you like me who have not visited Swanton it is located about 50 miles south and a bit west of Lincoln.) CAM wanted to let Suzie know that all is well and that Russell had been in the hospital. “He has Varicose Veins in his right leg. 3 Dr’s worked on him 2 1/2 hours & took out 12 ft. of veins. he seems to be doing well but is feeling very sore”. Do you really think she meant 12 feet? I can understand why Russell was a bit sore.

With this last postcard I’d like to issue a challenge to everyone. What private message is Robby sending to his Sweet Heart Miss Blanche Shanklin with all of these letters? Here is the text of the postcard:

Fountain, Hanscom Park, Omaha, Neb.

Fountain, Hanscom Park

Miss Blanche Shanklin
Menlo
Iowa

Gillette wyo April 24-13
Dearest Sweet Heart Thurs noon
this is a beautifull day but looks a little cloudy in the west I dont feel very good today and awful lonesome G.B.Y.D.H.I.D.W.Y.W.A.M.H.&.S.YAAJWTMC I sure will be glad when I start back for Sunny Brook and I don’t think it will be long either I will write when I get to Billings IAYODEJH Robby Pal

What do you think all of those letters mean? Don’t forget that this postcard was written in 1913. Leave a comment with your best guess. Maybe if a number of folks contribute we can decode the message. I don’t want to influence your interpretation of the message so I’m going to wait until next week to leave my best guess in the comments.

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.

Posted in General, Information Resources, Nebraska Memories, Technology | 1 Comment

High-Rises of the Plains

Ding, ding! Going up … Oh, not that kind of elevator? An “elevator” in the country is different from an “elevator” in the city. Almost every town in Nebraska had a grain elevator at one time–right next to the train tracks. The railroads brought the farmers to the plains, then the farmers grew crops and brought grain to the railroads to be shipped back. But it had to be stored somewhere while waiting for transportation.

Grain elevatorJ.F. Dierks and SonElevators were originally built to store and move grain from docks into ships, but they worked just as well with trains. The mechanized “elevator” that moved the grain up and into silos sometimes used buckets and sometimes conveyor belts. Some towns had multiple elevators. The grain elevator pictured to the left was likely built by Seely, Son and Company of Fremont, Nebraska (Keene Memorial Library Collection). The picture to the right shows another elevator in Fremont, J.F. Dierks and Son.

A.W. Clarke Grain & Ground FeedGrain elevator south of the Union Pacific bridgeElevator buildings might be plain or fancy, but they were originally all built of wood. The simple grain elevator to the left was outside of Omaha (Omaha Public Library Collection). Sometimes a company would combine its elevator with a mill to grind the grain before it was shipped. At the right is an illustration of such a company advertising its services with a New Year’s postcard from the A.W. Clarke Grain and Ground Feed in Papillion (Sarpy County Historical Museum Collection).

Additional images of grain elevators from towns around the state can be found in Nebraska 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. You can also find pictures of buildings with the other kinds of elevators, too!

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 Nebraska Memories Participation for more information, or contact Beth Goble, Historical Services Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

Posted in Information Resources, Nebraska Memories, Technology | Leave a comment

There’s a Song in the Air

The Christmas season is upon us, and no one can deny that music is an integral part of the Christmas experience. The Polley Music Library collection in Nebraska Memories includes many artifacts relating to the music of Christmases past.

While traditional carols are always popular, every generation creates its own originalChristmasMatineeMusicale Christmas songs. This piece of sheet music includes two songs composed by Flora Bullock, a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The songs, titled Christmas Bells and It is Christmas Again, were published in 1941.

This time of year is often filled with concerts where Christmas music is performed. The Polley collection contains programs from holiday music events, including a Christmas concert sponsored by Lincoln’s Matinee Musicale club in 1924, and a Christmas musicale given for the Lincoln Women’s Club in 1909 by Lillian Helms Polley, the founder of the Polley Music Library.

christmassundayOf course, Christmas music is often heard as part of worship services. The Polley collection includes two bulletins from Christmas Sunday services at All Souls Unitarian Church in Lincoln, from 1935 and 1940. Lillian Helms Polley was the choir director at the church at the time of these services.

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.

Posted in Nebraska Memories | Leave a comment

Football Past and Nebraska Memories

Football! It is a unanimously accepted fact that Nebraskans are crazy about football, especially University of Nebraska football. Similarly to the three ghosts in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” we are aware of Football Present : an 8-4 record for the current season, plus a bowl game, and we speculate about Football Future : next year’s team roster, coaches and opponents. But today, like that first ghost in Dickens’ story, I would like to revisit Football Past, as found in Nebraska Memories.

University of Nebraska football team, 1894 champions A University of Nebraska team first played football in 1890. In 1894, with a 7-2 season, the team won the conference championship. The picture to the right is of the 1894 team, and the man in the suit may be Frank Crawford, the first paid football coach (for the 1893 and 1894 seasons) at the University of Nebraska. This is just one of many  historic football team pictures you can find in Nebraska Memories, and not just for the University of Nebraska. There are also pictures from the Nebraska State Normal School at Kearney, the David City High School football team,  Wayne State College football, and the Nebraska School for the Deaf, just to name a few.

Johnny Rodgers at podium with Heisman Trophy Another place in Nebraska Memories on our journey to Football Past, are pictures of outstanding individuals associated with football in Nebraska.  For example, there are pictures of former University of Nebraska players Johnny Rodgers and Mike Rozier.
Rodgers and Roziers were both winners of the Heisman Trophy: Rodgers in 1972, and Rozier in 1983.  Other names, like Jack Best and Charles B. Washington, might be of interest as well.

And last but not least, our look at Football Past wouldn’t be complete without pictures of the fans, as evidenced by the picture below of a group of lovely ladies in 1915!

Crowd at football game, 1915So as you can see, Nebraska Memories has many links to our visit to Football Past. Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through these and 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 Nebraska Memories Participation for more information, or contact Beth Goble, Historical Projects Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

Posted in Nebraska Memories | 2 Comments

Window Shopping in Nebraska Memories

Window display of candy With the holiday season just around the corner I thought it would be the perfect time to do a bit of window shopping in Nebraska Memories. While I’m not sure all of the items on display would be the best option for gift giving it is still fun to look.

Let’s start our window shopping in Omaha at the S.S. Kresge Store. While I don’t know for sure I believe these two photos of window displays were taken at the Kresge store in downtown Omaha at the corner of 16th and Harney. Kleenex window display The Window display of candy includes candy canes, lollypops, and boxes of candy. The other photo taken at the Kresge Store is of a Kleenex window display. This photo from 1938 shows that Kleenex are good for both the home and the office.

Saratoga Food Store window display It looks like in 1937 grocery stores liked to display their canned goods by stacking them in the form of pyramids. This can be seen in two photos of grocery stores in Omaha. In the picture of the Saratoga Grocery and Meat Co. they are advertising a canned food sale in the window and have many can pyramids on display. I.W. Rosenblatt Food Store window display The I.W. Rosenblatt Food Store also has an impressive display of canned items on display in their window. Their mammoth canned food sale includes peas, corn, apricots, kraut and Pet milk.

Today the thought of having a one cent sale seems unlikely but in 1931 Harley Drug, view of exterior display window the Harley Drug located at 1101 O Street in Lincoln had a huge once cent sale. The window display shows numerous items along with two large signs shaped as the number one that appear to list a number of items for sale.

The last window on my window shopping trip is that of the Capitol Hardware that was located at 1447 O Street, Lincoln in 1946. Their window is full of Sunbeam electrical appliances. The display includes waffle baker, toaster, Mixmaster, iron (for $9.95), razor (for $15.90). A sign also states that “the Sunbeam Man” will be in the store all day Saturday!Capitol Hardware window display

I hope you enjoyed our window shopping trip in Nebraska Memories. We didn’t see all of the window displays today so there are more to see in Nebraska 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, Historical Projects Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

Posted in General, Information Resources, Nebraska Memories, Technology | Leave a comment

Seeing Double

What did people use to do for entertainment years ago? What did they do before 3-D movies and 3-D glasses? Well, one form of entertainment from the mid-1800s through the early 1900s (and popping up in the 1950s and 60s again) was stereographs and stereoscopes. Stereographs are two pictures printed on one card which, when viewed through a stereoscope, would provide one image with the illusion of depth.

Double weddingDouble the pleasure, double the fun. Many stereographs were sold in sets—some showing exotic lands and peoples, others showing everyday sights and activities in small town America. The image to the right, “Double wedding” (Nebraska State Historical Society Collection), shows two couples celebrating their wedding day. In many of the stereographs, as in this one, the two pictures appear to be duplicates.

FinishSometimes, though, the pictures were cropped slightly on one side or the other as can be seen at the left in “The Finish” (Nebraska State Historical Society Collection), where the not as much of the man at the right in the right image shows as in the image on the left. Other times, the photographer would shift the camera slightly to take a second photograph. That might be the case in the picture to the right of “Interior of church and altar in Greeley Centre, Nebraska” (Nebraska State Historical Society Collection)—you do need to look closely to see the slight shift in angle between the two images..

Anything might have been considered fair game as subject matter for stereographs. For example, at the right is a winter scene of the home of a Fremont, Nebraska, resident, Robert S. Somers (Keene Memorial Library Collection) and at the left a “Funeral casket” (Nebraska State Historical Society Collection). Check out  other stereographs in Nebraska Memories which include the interiors of stores and homes, farming activities, commercial and public buildings, Native Americans, and Missouri River flooding.

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.

Posted in Nebraska Memories | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Information Resources, Nebraska Memories, Technology | Leave a comment