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Historical Newsletter

April 1999


The Society's Board of Trustees adopted a revised strategic plan at its January 9, 1999, meeting. The revised plan results from an ongoing evaluation of the original Society strategic plan adopted June 11, 1998. It articulates the Society's mission statement and institutional values, and identifies goals and objectives. The plan includes strategic plans for each Society division that emulate the agency-wide model.

The mission of the Nebraska State Historical Society is to safeguard and interpret Nebraska's past. Recognizing its role as the state's principal historical organization, the Society holds the following institutional values:

Preservation: preserving the wide array of historical resources that comprise the legacy and experiences of past Nebraskans, balancing the need for public access with the need to assure these resources are preserved for the future;

Trust: maintaining the public's trust by a commitment to the highest standards of conduct and professional ethics;

Public Service: recognizing that as stewards of public resources, we have an obligation to promote inquiry, dialogue, and diversity of opinion and interpret Nebraska history in a manner that enlightens and educates;

Allegiance: understanding that the Society's mission and reputation are held above individual or divisional needs.

Quality: adhering to the highest professional standards in all aspects of our work.

Six broad goals provide the framework for the Society's strategic plan and inform the divisional plans:

1. To collect and preserve the finest and most comprehensive tangible and intangible collections, including historic sites, reflecting the history and culture of Nebraska and its people.

2. To provide the greatest possible access to Society resources and services.

3. To position the Society as the resource for Nebraska history.

4. To administer the Society in the most efficient and responsive manner to achieve the mission and meet the needs of constituents and staff.

5. To provide and maintain high quality facilities for all Society activities.

6. To maintain an adequate, stable, and diversified base of financial support for the Society's mission.

Please contact the Society for more information about the strategic plan or specific divisional plans.


The 2nd Annual Nebraska Institute, designed to acquaint Nebraska teachers with their state's history and culture, will be held July 11-23 in Lincoln. Participation is open to teachers statewide. Sponsors are the Nebraska State Historical Society, the Nebraska Wesleyan University, and the Lincoln Public Schools, with financial support provided by the Cooper Foundation.

The institute will include morning instruction, afternoon worktime, and evening sessions, Monday-Friday, at the NSHS and the Nebraska Wesleyan campus; field studies to historic sites; hands-on experience with historical objects and documents; and weekend field trips to the Omaha Indian Reservation and the Steamboat Bertrand Museum. For more information and application forms (due April 23), contact Jessica C. Stoner, NSHS, P.O. Box 82554, Lincoln NE 68501-2554; 402-471-4757, or 1-800-833-6747.


The military history of the American frontier will be the theme of the 33rd Annual Military History Conference on America's Military Past, May 5-9, in and around Omaha. Keynoting the conference will be banquet speaker Neil Mangum, the new superintendent of the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.

Headquarters for the conference will be the Doubletree Hotel in Omaha. Information can be obtained from CAMP, P.O. Box 1151, Fort Myer VA 22211; tel: 703-912-6124; fax 703-912-5666; or for hotel, 402-346-7600.


Scott Stutesman of Wilber, Nebraska, has loaned part of his collection of western movie memorabilia to the Elkhorn Valley Museum and Research Center in Norfolk for an exhibit titled Popcorn and Pistols: The Stutesman Collection of Western Movie Memorabilia. The exhibit, which opened on February 2, will be at the museum through June.

Stutesman's extensive collection includes an original Ponderosa map from the Bonanza TV series, and toys modeled on characters from the show. From the Daniel Boone TV series, there's the original raccoon skin cap worn by Fess Parker, who portrayed Boone. For fans of Gunsmoke, there's memorabilia from James Arness, the actor who played Matt Dillon. Stutesman also has a 1922 outfit worn by Tom Mix. Comic books are included, including first issues of the Lone Ranger and Red Ryder.

Popcorn and Pistols can be seen at the Elkhorn Valley Museum, 515 Queen City Boulevard, Norfolk, 10-4, Tuesday-Saturday; 1-4, Sunday. Museum admission: $2.50, adults; $1.50, seniors and children. For more information on the exhibit, call 402-371-3886.

(image) 1922 outfit worn by Tom Mix



With the help of a $1,500 Collaborative Grant from the Lincoln Public Schools Foundation, the Nebraska State Historical Society and Brownell Elementary are pioneering an educational adventure: a student-curated exhibit. The Lincoln: A Kid's Eye View exhibit will be developed by the fifth grade class of Brownell Elementary during the 1999-2000 school year and featured at the Museum of Nebraska History in the summer of 2000. The Lincoln Public Schools Foundation Collaborative Grant will fund multiple field trips to Lincoln neighborhoods and community centers, exhibit supplies, and educational entertainment for the grand opening. Jessica Stoner, NSHS museum educator, and Jeff Gilbertson and Diane Bartels, Brownell Elementary educators, will be guiding this educational adventure as the students explore history and create an exhibit to express what they have learned about the community of Lincoln and about their own histories in the context of that community.

(image) Gwen Meister (left), NSHS grants coordinator, with Brownell Elementary educators Jeff Gilbertson and Diane Bartels, accepts a letter of congratulations from Harold Clarke, chair of the LPS Foundation Awards and Grants Committee, during the 1998-99 grant recipient celebration held at the Governor's Mansion.


Don Dinkelman and Marilyn Muir of the AAA Nebraska office visited the History Adventure Center in February to see how the AAA donation was used to benefit the center. AAA Nebraska's donation helped fund the auto-touring station, which is the History Adventure Center's fourth and final station. Features of the auto-touring station made possible in part by the AAA Nebraska donation include a three-dimensional car in which students may sit and "steer," a television and VCR to show home movie footage from the 1920s, and a large photo mural.

(image) Marilyn Muir and Don Dinkelman of the Lincoln AAA Nebraska office and Jac Spahn (center), executive director of the NSHS Foundation, watch students from St. John Lutheran Elementary of Seward experiencing auto-touring in the History Adventure Center.


Pastimes and Playthings, a festival of old toys and games for children, will be held on the grounds of the Thomas P. Kennard House, 1627 H Street, Lincoln, Tuesday, May 4, through Friday, May 14. Hours for the event will be 9-12 and 1-4:30, Tuesday through Friday; and 1-5, Saturday and Sunday. This has been a popular event for school children and serves as a valuable learning tool to teach what life was like in Victorian times. Games and toys will include grace hoops, rolling hoops, cup and ball, tops, potato sack races, thaumatropes, and zoetropes. For tour registration and information call the Kennard House, 402-471-4764.


This summer the Nebraska State Historical Society will sponsor seven workshops for children. The first day of each workshop will be at the Museum of Nebraska History, 15th and P streets, Lincoln. Class sizes are limited so register early!

Ages seven through nine: Bees, Bison, and Bluestem, June 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Learn about and experience our state symbols through projects, activities, and a field trip to the state capitol and Pioneers Park.

Ages seven through nine: Sod House Summer, June 14, 15. Participate in the same activities that homesteaders of the 1860s found necessary to prove up on their claims. Create a miniature sod house and create your own "proving up" notice!

Ages seven through nine: Little Known Nebraska Natives: Camels and Other Mammals, June 16. Travel to Folsom Children's Zoo to view relatives of animals that inhabited prehistoric Nebraska and to learn about the people who hunted these animals.

Ages ten through twelve: Adventures in Architecture, June 14, 15, 16, 17. Learn about materials and styles of architecture common in Nebraska and visit historic Lincoln neighborhoods, including the Haymarket.

Ages ten through twelve: History Eyewitness, June 17, 18. See and learn about Nebraska art! Create your own cowhide painting, winter count, and silhouette portrait.

Ages ten through twelve, Nebraska "Kidstory" News, June 21, 22, 23, 24, 25. Learn how kids experienced historic Nebraska events! Activities will include a field trip to an immigrant museum and a living history performance.

Ages ten through twelve, Kids and Cameras, June 21, 22, 23, 24. Learn how cameras work, how film is developed, and how to interpret photographs. Activities include the assembly of photo albums.

Fees for these workshops range from $5 to $25 with special rates for NSHS members. Partial scholarships are available for workshops with fees greater than $7. For a brochure with registration forms, and for scholarship applications, contact Jessica C. Stoner, Museum of Nebraska History, 402-471-4757, or 1-800-833-6747.



The following list consists of interesting titles from Nebraska we were pursuing on eBay (the online auction house), but for which we failed to win the bid. If you are aware of the availability of other copies of these titles please contact Library Curator Cindy Drake, 402-471-4786.

LeeWay Poultry Book: A Practical Guide to Poultry Health. Omaha, Nebraska: Geo. H. Lee Company, 1947.

1942-43 American Goat Society, Inc. Yearbook. University Place Station, Lincoln, Nebraska.
The Leeway/Diseases of Poultry & Swine. Omaha, Nebraska: Geo. H. Lee Co., 1929-1930 edition.

So Many Winters, by Willard Hallopeter. (Nebraska Cowboy).

R. P. Smith Original Cowboy Poetry Cassette. (Nebraska Cowboy).

Grammar: Warps Review Books, by Oscar Warp. Minden, Nebraska: Warp Publishing Co., 1933?

We are still accepting donations to purchase the two parts of the 1999 Supplement to the Passenger and Immigration Lists Index. As of March 1, 1999, we had raised $75 towards its purchase.

Please indicate this title with your monetary donation. Thank you.



Four workshops will be held throughout Nebraska as part of the Textile Conservation Needs of Nebraska Museums Project. The project is supported by a grant to the Nebraska Museums Association from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Julie Reilly and Jane Hutchins will hold training sessions on topics that will include proper handling, storage and display, mounting, cleaning and pest control for textiles. The workshops will be presented the last week of April at the following locations: April 19 in Scottsbluff; April 21 in Kearney; April 22 in Lincoln; and April 23 in Omaha at the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center. Sessions will begin at 10 A.M. and conclude by 3 P.M. Please call the Ford Conservation Center at 402-595-1180 for more information about these workshops.

Preservation Week image


April 8: Dedication recital for the Society's David Wiebe Violin, Kimball Hall, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 8 P.M. Free and open to the public.

April 8: Lincoln Corral of Westerners, "Sarah and George Joslyn of Omaha," by Dennis Mihelich, history professor, Creighton University. Meet at Holiday Inn, 9th and P streets, Lincoln, 6:30 P.M. Call Margaret Allington, 488-5698, for reservations (required).

April 15: Brown Bag Lecture, "Seeing Old Photographs With New Eyes: Computer Imaging as Time Machine," by John Carter, Jill Koelling, Library/Archives Division, NSHS. 12 noon, Museum of Nebraska History, 15th and P streets, Lincoln. Free and open to the public.

April 15: Omaha Corral of Westerners, "The Horse: Footprints in History," by Warren Rodgers, Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer. Meet at Venice Inn, 6920 Pacific St., Omaha, 6 P.M. Call Bob Savage, 391-3252, for information or reservations (required).

May 13: Lincoln Corral of Westerners, "Joslyn Castle Gardens," by Carol Ahlgren, architectural historian, NSHS. Meet at Holiday Inn as above.

May 20: Brown Bag Lecture, "Turning Boys into Ballplayers: The Development of Junior Baseball in Nebraska," by Kent Krause, doctoral candidate, History Department, UNL. 12 noon, Museum of Nebraska History, 15th and P streets, Lincoln. Free and open to the public.

May 20: Omaha Corral of Westerners, "John Neihardt, Poet Laureate of Nebraska and the Plains," by Lori Utecht, John G. Neihardt State Historic Site. Meet at Venice Inn as above.

In observance of Arbor Day, the NSHS Headquarters Building (Library/Archives) in Lincoln and the Gerald R. Ford Center in Omaha will be closed Friday, April 30, through Sunday, May 2. The Museum of Nebraska History and branches will be open regular hours.

March 1999 Issue

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