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Nebraska State Historical Society Titles

Please browse the current titles from the Society's publishing program. Books may be acquired by noting the author, title, and price, then following the instructions on the order form. You may also be interested in other categories of books, or visit the navigation page for all kinds of Society publications.

Rodeo Nebraska coverAvailable October 1, 2015

Mark Harris, with foreword by Candy Moulton

Rodeo Nebraska

Eight years ago Mark Harris set out on a mission: to portray Nebraska's contemporary rodeo culture more artistically and comprehensively in photographs than anyone ever has--and then write a book worthy of the photos. At eighty-two events in sixty-two separate locations he photographed the competition, the rural crowds, and all things connected with them. He visited ranches that breed broncs, bulls, and speed horses, and spoke to hundreds of competitors. National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore calls the book "a captivating tribute to rodeo like no other."

Harris, a native of McCook, Nebraska, is associate director of the University of Nebraska State Museum at Morrill Hall in Lincoln. His photography has been featured in NEBRASKAland magazine and in the Nebraska History Museum's Nebraska Cowboys exhibit.

Harris's book isn't about big-time rodeo. In its pages you won't find professional circuit events or national rodeo stars. The people of Rodeo Nebraska work all week on ranches and farms and compete on weekends. For them, rodeo isn't a way to make a living. It's simply part of living.

$34.95 / NSHS members $31.45 (plus tax and shipping)

Hardcover (12" x 9.5"), 240 pages.

ISBN 978-0-933307-36-0

Available  at NSHS Landmark Stores. To order, call 402-471-3447.

"Mark Harris's rodeo photographs are simply stunning, particularly because they reveal aspects of this remarkably popular phenomenon that a casual observer never sees, and certainly doesn't understand. The pictures are art, for sure, but they are more than art in the sense that they clearly show us how involved are entire families. We understand, of course, that modern rodeo is quintessentially western American. Not only are Mark's photographs truly beautiful, technical masterpieces, but they also reveal everything from the violence to family engagement associated with that beauty. This book is truly collectible!" --John Janovy Jr., Paula and D. B. Varner Distinguished Professor in Biological Sciences, Emeritus, University of Nebraska at Lincoln; author, Keith County Journal

"Mark Harris forces the reader to do something very unusual in a book of photography: read the words. While his images are icing, his memories and observations are where Rodeo Nebraska's most pleasing treasures lie." --Jeff Kurrus, author and editor of NEBRASKAland Magazine


A Brave Soldier cover  Thomas R. Buecker
A Brave Soldier & Honest Gentleman: Lt. James E. H. Foster in the West, 1873-1881

Lt. James E. H. Foster (1848-1883) lived a short but eventful life as a junior officer on the Northern Plains. His story--and his illustrated journal--provide a rich portrait of the frontier army at the time of the Great Sioux War. Stationed at Fort McPherson, Nebraska, Foster traveled with the Jenney Expedition of 1875, filling in the large blank area on the map of the Black Hills, and making some of the earliest surviving artistic renditions of the area.

The Black Hills, of course, were not unknown to the Lakotas, who resented the invasion of gold miners and resisted the U.S. government's attempts to buy the Hills. When war erupted in 1876, Foster rode with General Crook's forces, fighting at the Battle of the Rosebud and enduring the infamous Starvation March.

Relying on correspondence, army records, and other documents from the time, historian Thomas R. Buecker reconstructs Foster's life, interweaving his narrative with Foster's own words. Now published for the first time, all illustrations from the journal (plus several more published by Foster elsewhere) are reproduced here, along with the journal's complete transcribed text. For his own part, Foster was a gifted writer and an astute and witty observer of military life. His story increases our knowledge of the American West and the important role played in it by the frontier army.

Read an excerpt here. If you can't open it, download Adobe Reader (free software).

Thomas R. Buecker is a curator at the Nebraska State Historical Society's Nebraska History Museum and Kennard House in Lincoln, and served as curator of the NSHS's Fort Robinson Museum from 1985 to 2011. He is the author of Fort Robinson and the American West, 1874-1899, and Fort Robinson and the American Century, 1900-1948, plus more than seventy articles on the history of the West.

$29.95 / NSHS Members $26.95 (plus tax and shipping)
Hardcover, (8.5" x 11"), 210 pages
ISBN 978-0-933307-34-6
Available  at NSHS Landmark Stores. To order, call 402-471-3447.

"Lieutenant Foster's story is chock full of fresh data on the Great Sioux War and the Battle of Rosebud Creek, as well as other period Army-Indian activities. Illuminated with Tom Buecker's astute narration, commentary, and editorial finesse, it comprises a stellar work of profound historical value." -- Jerome A. Greene, author of American Carnage: Wounded Knee 1890

"A Brave Soldier & Honest Gentleman offers a fascinating look at the rigors of military service on the American frontier during the first decades after the Civil War. The author has done a commendable job of piecing together Lieutenant Foster's career, and the color reproductions of the illustrations and maps from his journal greatly enhance the text. This oversized volume is very fairly priced and would make an excellent addition to any library covering the Indian-fighting Army." --Army History

Publication of this book was made possible by Ron and Judy Parks of Papillion, Nebraska.

Nebraska's Post Office Murals cover  L. Robert Puschendorf
Nebraska's Post Office Murals: Born of the Depression, Fostered by the New Deal

As a part of the New Deal that offered hope during the Great Depression, scores of public art projects were commissioned around the country. Now they are among the most enduring visual legacies of that era. Twelve Nebraska post offices were chosen to receive individualized murals from the program. Nebraska's Post Office Murals: Born of the Depression, Fostered by the New Deal is a new book from the Nebraska State Historical Society that presents the story of these valuable historical pieces.

Richly illustrated with color fold-outs and never-before-published artists' sketches, the book reveals the personalities, conflicts, and spirit of the times from which the art emerged. Each of the artists commissioned to paint the murals had a background story. Author Robert Puschendorf, NSHS associate director and the deputy state historic preservation officer, follows the journey of each mural to its completion.

On the cover: a section of the mural commissioned for the Auburn post office. Artist Ethel Magafan depicts stages of the threshing process for hay

Read an excerpt here. The file is a 10MB PDF. If you can't open it, download Adobe Reader (free software).

Published by Nebraska State Historical Society Books and available from NSHS Landmark Stores

$29.95 / NSHS Members $26.95
(plus tax and shipping)
Hardcover (10" x 8"), 120 pages
To order: 1-800-833-6747

"Across Nebraska, small town post offices still house gems of regional art. This book brings these murals to a larger audience. This is a fascinating and enlightening exploration of a beauty in the midst of hard times."  --Bill Ganzel, author of Dust Bowl Descent

"Robert Puschendorf digs deeply into the layers of this nation's first government art patronage program, exploring its origins and its evolution during the Great Depression. Through the political and bureaucratic morass, he diligently uncovers within the state's WPA-built post offices, a rich Nebraska legacy of regional art murals."  --Sharon Kennedy, Curator of Cultural and Civic Engagement, Sheldon Museum of Art

Publication of this book was made possible by James C. and Rhonda Seacrest, Lincoln, Nebraska.

First Telegraph   Edited by Dennis N. Mihelich and James E. Potter
First Telegraph Line across the Continent: Charles Brown's 1861 Diary

Softcover, 133 pages, illustrated, with introduction, epilogue, index, and bibliography.

The transcontinental telegraph was a remarkable technological feat that had major consequences for the West and the nation as a whole. Yet relatively little has been written about it.

Recently re-discovered in the Smithsonian Institution collections, this previously unpublished diary is the only known extensive source written about the day-to-day construction of one segment of the first transcontinental telegraph line.

Brown's lively narrative is filled with period detail about individuals, road ranches, attitudes toward Indians, public promotion of the spirit of Manifest Destiny, difficulties facing construction crews, the nature of frontier law enforcement, and even the issues of secession and Civil War.

"Brown's perception, insights and lively style make this a great narrative."
-John D. McDermott, author of Guardians of the Pacific Telegraph and many books on the western experience

Read the book's prologue here. The file is a 1MB PDF. If you can't open it, download Adobe Reader (free software).

Published by Nebraska State Historical Society Books and available from NSHS Landmark Stores
$14.95 / NSHS Members $13.46 (plus tax & shipping)
To order: 1-800-833-6747


Wings Over Nebraska coverVince Goeres, with Kylie Kinley, and Introduction by Roger Welsch
Wings Over Nebraska: Historic Aviation Photographs

Aviation enthusiasts can get a taste of the Nebraska skies without ever leaving their armchairs with Wings Over Nebraska: Historic Aviation Photos, published by Nebraska State Historical Society Books. Written by NSHS volunteer (and longtime aviation enthusiast) Vince Goeres, with Kylie Kinley and introduction by Roger Welsch, the book showcases more than 200 aviation photos from the NSHS collections.

Wings Over Nebraska includes chapters on Nebraska's early pilots (who were often farm boys with a daredevil streak); Nebraska's only World War I flying ace, Orville Ralston; the nationally known Lincoln Aviation and Flying School (where Charles Lindbergh learned to fly); air shows and stunt flying; Nebraska's World War II air bases; and many other stories of Nebraska's role in the development of aviation.

Wings Over Nebraska: Historic Aviation Photos
176 pp., softcover, 8 1/2" x 11"
$19.95/ NSHS members $17.95 (plus tax and shipping)
Available from NSHS Landmark Stores (1-800-833-6747, 402-471-3447)

On the cover: Gary Petersen of Walton, Nebraska, flies past Chimney Rock in his 1942 Waco UPF-7 in September 2009. Photograph by Tom Downey, Downey Studio.

Read the Lincoln Journal Star's article about Vince Goeres and Wings.

Read an excerpt of Wings Over Nebraska here . The file is a 2MB PDF. If you can't open it, download Adobe Reader (free software).


jumper horse image on book cover. Thomas R. Buecker
Fort Robinson and the American Century, 1900-1948

2002 Nebraska State Historical Society 242 pps., 91 b&w illustrations, 5 maps, cloth,and paper, ISBN: 0-933307-29-2.

This book recounts the last half century of this famous northwestern Nebraska army post as it assumed new roles. In the early twentieth century, Fort Robinson hosted the last of the African American "buffalo soldiers" to serve in Nebraska. In the 1930s the fort was the world's largest U.S. Army Quartermaster Remount Depot, procuring and issuing horses for the military mounted services. Because of its focus on equestrian activities, Fort Robinson earned popular designation as "The Country Club of the Army." During World War II, the fort was the site of the army's primary war dog training center, and a major internment camp for German prisoners of war. Today it is Nebraska's premier state park.

The book is based on more than twenty years of research in archival records, supplemented by the personal recollections of men and women who served at Fort Robinson. More than ninety photographs and five maps supplement the narrative. The 242-page hardcover book is available for $40 plus tax and shipping ($36.00 for members of the Society) from the NSHS Landmark Store, 1-800-833-6747 or 402-471-3447.

"Spans in Time" cover  James E. Potter and L. Robert Puschendorf, Editors
Spans in Time: A History of Nebraska Bridges

1999, Nebraska State Historical Society. 112 pages, cloth, 138 black-and-white illustrations, index, 10 x 8. (out of print)

A joint publication of the Society and the Nebraska Department of Roads, this well-illustrated book reviews the history of bridge-building from early temporary spans to contemporary highway bridges. Though devoted to bridges in the modern sense, early non-span crossings, such as the floating pontoon bridge at Nebraska City, are also discussed. The book details the adoption of various structural technologies in addition to the historical circumstances surrounding bridge development in the state. A selected inventory of historic bridges is also included.

Fort Robinson book cover Thomas R. Buecker.
Fort Robinson and the American West, 1874-1899

2003, University of Oklahoma Press. 265 pages, paper, fifty-two black-and-white illustrations, six maps, preface, epilogue, appendices, notes, bibliography, index, 6 X 9

Fort Robinson and the American West, 1874-1899, is the first of a two volume history of Fort Robinson, Nebraska. Drawing from official government records, reports, correspondence, and historic reminiscences and accounts, the book details the fort's history from the establishment of the Red Cloud Agency in 1873 and the fort's founding as Camp Robinson in 1874, to its designation as Fort Robinson in 1878, and beyond.

Volume I ends with the Spanish-American War and the dawn of the Twentieth Century. A forthcoming second volume will cover Fort Robinson's story from 1900 through World War II and its abandonment as a military post in 1948.

Cover of The Fontenelle and Cabanné Trading Posts:  Richard E. Jensen
The Fontenelle and Cabanné Trading Posts: The History and Archeology of Two Missouri River Sites, 1822-1838.

1998, Nebraska State Historical Society, Publications in Anthropology 11. 170 pages, paper, twenty-eight b/w and color illustrations, ten maps, six tables, two figures, 8 1/2 x 11

From 1822 to 1838 two civilian enclaves, the Fontenelle and Cabanné trading posts, clung to the bank of the Missouri River in today's eastern Nebraska. Now their story has been told in The Fontenelle and Cabanné Trading Posts: The History and Archeology of Two Missouri River Sites, 1822-1838, published as Volume Eleven in the Nebraska State Historical Society's "Publications in Anthropology" series.

A Good Walk Around the Boundary Douglas D. Scott and Peter Bleed
A Good Walk Around the Boundary: Archeological Inventory of the Dyck and Other Properties Adjacent to the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

1997, in association with the Nebraska Association of Professional Archeologists, 78 pp., reprinted May, 2006

This archeological inventory of the Dyck and other properties adjacent to the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument demonstrates that the warriors, using army carbines and revolvers captured from Lieutenant Calhoun's command, halted Custer's northern and western movements toward the river and forced his command back to Last Stand Hill. Abstract, figures, tables, maps, notes, and illustrations.

Nebraska Hall of Fame R. Eli Paul, compiler
Nebraska Hall of Fame

This booklet includes a biography, photos, suggested further readings, and places to visit relating to each member of Nebraska's Hall of Fame, housed in the Nebraska State Capitol. Introduction, Medal of Honor recipients, and sculptors.

Neligh Mill State Historic Site Kent E. Martin
Neligh Mill State Historic Site: A Self-Guided Tour

1997, rev. ed., 26 pp.

A self-guided tour booklet with detailed description of the mill's features and the history of Neligh Mill. Includes brief biographies of mill owners and workers. The guide also features maps of each floor of the mill noting the different stages of machinery for processing flour and maps of the mill site over the years.

Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center R. Eli Paul, editor
Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center

1997, 28 pp.

Divided into two parts, the first part of this booklet provides a concise history of Gerald R. Ford's family and his ties to Omaha. The second is a reminiscence of former President Ford written by Senator Carl T. Curtis. Together, these two accounts provide insight into the personal life and career of the only Nebraska native to become president of the United States. The booklet accompanies a permanent exhibit about President Ford located at the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha.

Fort Robinson: A Self-Guided Tour Thomas R. Buecker
Fort Robinson: A Self-Guided Tour

1997, rev. ed., 32 pp.

A self-guided tour booklet with detailed description of Fort Robinson's many functions over the years. The guide opens with a map numbered with "stops" for the tour. A description of each stop follows with photographs and background on the use and history of the buildings and sites. The guide also features a map of the larger area surrounding Fort Robinson, a map noting buildings and sites on the grounds from 1874 to 1948, and a glossary of terms.

A Frontier Army Christmas Lori A. Cox-Paul and Dr. James Wengert, editors
A Frontier Army Christmas

1996, 136 pp.

For residents of frontier army posts, the celebration of Christmas was an exercise in imagination. An important break in the routine of army life, the rich traditions of this holiday came alive in the Old West. Divided into ten chapters, the book offers a series of contrasting images of this favorite holiday: war and peace, officers and enlisted soldiers, men and women, adults and children. Preface, introduction, epilogue, bibliography, and index.

William Jennings Bryan's Lincoln Barbara Sommer
William Jennings Bryan's Lincoln: A Driving/Walking Tour

1996, 13 pp.

This booklet includes a map and written descriptions of twenty sites which tell the story of Bryan's life in Lincoln. Sites on this tour include the homes of Bryan and his friends, his law and newspaper offices, the state capitol, a statue of Bryan, and the Wyuka cemetery. An excellent resource for a Bryan field trip and study.

Perkey's Nebraska Place Names Elton A. Perkey
Perkey's Nebraska Place Names

2003, Rev., 4th. Ed., J&L Lee Co.(1st Ed. 1982, Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation), paper

This study of the origins of place names in Nebraska was first published by the Society in 1982, following its serial publication in Nebraska History magazine in 1977-78. The alphabetical listing is organized by county, with brief sketches of the location, founding, and naming of each place. Foreword, preface, acknowledgments, bibliography, and index.

The Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger Thomas R. Buecker and R. Eli Paul, editors
The Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger

1994, 186 pp.

This book reproduces an old ledger book from the Society's collections, recording a census of Native Americans detained at Red Cloud Agency, near Camp Robinson (later, Fort Robinson, Nebraska in 1877. The ledger contains the army's administrative and statistical record of the detained Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Indians, including Crazy Horse's band of Oglala. The listing is the most expansive seen to date of Indian veterans of the Battle at Little Bighorn and the Sioux War of 1876-77. Foreward, appendix, and illustrations.

The Great Platte River Road Merrill J. Mattes
The Great Platte River Road:
The Covered Wagon Mainline Via Fort Kearny to Fort Laramie

1987, University of Nebraska Press, Bison Book (rpt. of 2nd. Ed., 1979, Nebraska State Historical Society), 583 pp.

Winner of several awards, this is an indepth study of the border towns, trail routes, river crossings, Indian encounters, stage stations, military posts and famous North Platte Valley landmarks along the Great Platte River Road to Oregon and California. It goes far beyond geography in revealing the cultural aspects of the Great Migration in its coverage of food, dress, equipment, organization, camping, traffic patterns, sex ratios, morals, manners, religion, crime, accidents, disease, death, and burial customs. Maps, illustrations, bibliography, and index.

book cover image Thomas R. Buecker
Water Powered Flour Mills in Nebraska

1983, 64 pp., paper, second printing

Reprinted in 2002, this short history begins in the territorial period and continues through the zenith and decline of water-powered flour milling in Nebraska. Introduction, maps, illustrations, appendices, and sources.

Bartlett Richards, Nebraska Sandhills Cattleman Bartlett Richards, Jr., with Ruth Van Ackeren
Bartlett Richards, Nebraska Sandhills Cattleman

1980, 289 pp., (out of print)

This is a biography of Nebraska Sandhills pioneer cattleman Bartlett Richards, detailing his life and career during the formative years of the range cattle industry. Based on his letters. Preface, introduction, epilogue, appendices, and index.

Iron Eye's Family Norma Kidd Green
Iron Eye's Family: The Children of Joseph La Flesche

1977, 225 pp.

The story of the famous offspring of the Omaha Indian chief, Iron Eye, including Susan La Flesche Tibbles, known as "Bright Eyes," physician Susan La Flesche Picotte and ethnologist Francis La Flesche. Bibliography, photographs, and lineage chart.

Conquering the Great American Desert Everett N. Dick
Conquering the Great American Desert

1975, 456 pp., (out of print)

A study of the settlement of Nebraska during the last half of the nineteenth century, with emphasis on innovations and adaptations that transformed the "Great American Desert" into a major food-producing region. Bibliography and index.

From the Missouri to the Great Salt Lake William E. Lass
From the Missouri to the Great Salt Lake: An Account of Overland Freighting

1972, 312 pp.

A history of overland freighting on the Plains from 1855 to 1880, with reference to the Platte Valley and Sidney to Deadwood routes. Bibliography, index, appendices, illustrations, and maps.

J. Sterling Morton, Founder of Arbor Day James C. Olson
J. Sterling Morton, Founder of Arbor Day

1972, 2nd Ed., Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation (1st Ed., 1942, University of Nebraska Press), 451 pp., (out of print)

A scholarly study of this noted Nebraskan who served as territorial official, Democratic party leader, and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 1893 to 1897. His promotion of tree planting in Nebraska culminated in the creation of Arbor Day, first observed in Nebraska in 1872. His home in Nebraska City, Arbor Lodge is now a State Historical Park. Preface, bibliography, index, and illustrations.

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More titles

Peg Poeschel
"Housing Nebraska's Governors, 1854-1980"

1980, reprint from Nebraska History quarterly, (out of print)

Index Guide to Nebraska History Magazine, 1959-1979

1979, (out of print)

Richard D. Rowen
"The Second Nebraska's Campaign Against the Sioux"

1963, reprint from Nebraska History quarterly, (out of print)

Earl R. Harris
"Courthouse and Jail Rocks"

1962, reprint from Nebraska History quarterly, (out of print)

Index Guide to Publications and Nebraska History Magazine, 1885-1956

1956, (out of print)

Merrill J. Mattes
"Chimney Rock on the Oregon Trail"

2001, reprint from Nebraska History quarterly,

"Courthouse Rock on the Oregon Trail"

2001, reprint,

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