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Lawrence J. Sommer
Lawrence J. Sommer became director in 1992. He presided over the 1993 groundbreaking for a new visitor center at the Chimney Rock National Historic Site, which the Society had administered since 1940.

Visitor Center
Funds to construct the Ethel and Christopher J. Abbott Visitor Center at Chimney Rock, which opened in the summer of 1994, were provided through donations to the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation.

state agency
In 1994 the legislature clarified the Society's status as a state agency, part of the final settlement of a dispute with the Pawnee Tribe of Oklahoma over the reburial of skeletal remains and cultural objects the Society excavated from archeological sites in the 1920s and 1930s. Governor E. Benjamin Nelson signed the bill on March 10. (Left to right): Society President Jan McMullen, State Senator DiAnna Schimek, Governor Nelson, Director Lawrence Sommer.

Gerald R. Ford Conservation CenterUSS Nebraska silver
Donations to the Historical Society Foundation enabled the Society to construct the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center, which opened in Omaha in 1995. Professional conservators work in modern laboratories to stabilize, repair, or restore historical artifacts, including documents, textiles, and metal objects, such as the silver service from the battleship, USS Nebraska.

digital imaging data accessible
In 1998 a digital imaging laboratory opened at the Ford Center, making the Society a national leader in the field. Digital imaging often recovers new information from photographs, objects, or documents, and makes the data accessible to the public via websites and other electronic media.

History Adventure Center
The Nebraska History Museum opened the History Adventure Center, an interactive exhibit for children, in 1997.

Cavalry Barracks  rendering Cavalry Barracks
The 2002-03 reconstruction of the 1874 Cavalry Barracks at Fort Robinson was funded by legislative appropriations and donations to the Historical Society Foundation. The barracks was the site of the tragic 1879 Cheyenne Outbreak, when Dull Knife's people escaped in a desperate bid to return to their Montana homeland.
Rendering by Robert Hanna, Lincoln

The Society frequently collaborates with other state agencies on projects to preserve and interpret Nebraska history.

Our Treasures
A 1997 project with the Mexican American Commission highlighted the contributions of Mexicans and Mexican Americans to state history.

Spans in Time
A survey of historic bridges by the State Historic Preservation Office, funded through the Nebraska Department of Roads, led to publication of a history of Nebraska bridges.

history conference
Since 1995 the Society and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission have cooperated to present a biannual history conference at Fort Robinson.

Fort Robinson and the American Century
The Society continues to publish staff research, often with funds provided by the Society Foundation. The second of a two-volume history of Fort Robinson came out in 2002.


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http://www.nebraskahistory.org/sites/mnh/125th/sommer.htm
Last updated 14 March 2003  

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