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From the collection of the
Nebraska Library Commission


About Nebraska Memories

Nebraska Memories, a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them freely available to researchers of all ages via the Internet, is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. Nebraska Memories uses CONTENTdm software to house digital collections created by Nebraska libraries, either alone or in partnership with other Nebraska cultural heritage institutions such as museums and historical societies. The Nebraska Memories project is funded in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services as well as state funding through the Nebraska Library Commission.

The database currently contains approximately 5,500+ digitized items and continues to grow each month. Thirty-four Nebraska institutions are currently participating in the project. The content helps to document the rich history of Nebraska and its residents. At this time searchers can find material from the 1890s to the 1970s in Nebraska Memories.

The digital collection of items in the Nebraska Memories database contains photographs, documents, artifacts, papers, manuscripts, maps and audio files. Genealogical resources are not included.

The Nebraska Memories project began in 2004 when the Library Commission purchased the software and participating libraries began training on digitization and metadata. Since that time libraries have initiated their own digitization projects, and as they are completed, the materials are loaded into the Nebraska Memories database for the public to search and view.


The Nebraska Memories website is owned by the Nebraska Library Commission. Materials digitized for inclusion in the database are from our participants' collections. Permission is required for reproduction, redistribution, publication or other use of the images. Users of the database can view copyright information for individual participants by clicking on the URL shown in each item's Ordering and Use field or by going to the All Collections page and clicking on a participant’s name.


Participants digitize their materials in a variety of ways. Participants follow the Western States Digital Imaging Best Practices version 2.0 when digitizing materials. The majority of digitized images are sized to 600 pixels on the longest side unless they are larger format items such as large-scale maps or posters. Books and sheet music are currently the only items stored in .PDF in the Nebraska Memories database.


CONTENTdm uses Dublin Core for metadata. Field names have been modified but are mapped to Dublin Core elements. Participants in the project follow the Nebraska Memories Metadata Guidelines which was built upon existing metadata guidelines used by the Western Trails project. Controlled vocabulary is used in the Subject and Creator fields. Participants use the Library of Congress Thesaurus for Graphic Materials (TGM I and TGM II), Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), Library of Congress Authority File, Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names Online, and Perkey's Nebraska Place Names.

Information for Participants

Libraries and other institutions can find information about participation on the Nebraska Library Commission's web site at

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who owns the items that are included in Nebraska Memories?
    • The items are owned by various institutions across Nebraska. To find the name of the institution that owns an item look at the Owning Institution field in the item record.
  2. Where can I find more information about an item?
    • The descriptive records contain all of the information that the owning institution provided for each item. The institution that owns an item may be able to provide more general information about the item. Contact information can be found through the Ordering and Use link in the item description. If you know something about an item please use our comments form to help us add to the item descriptions.
  3. Can I use one of the items in a presentation, book or other document?
    • Each institution has different use guidelines. These guidelines can can be found on the Rights Statements. When viewing an item you will find a link to Ordering and Use at the bottom of the item record.
  4. How can I buy a copy of a picture?
    • Some participants do sell copies of their images. Please see the Ordering and Use statement that is linked in the item description for contact information.
  5. Why aren't there items from my part of Nebraska?
    • Organizations volunteer to contribute items to Nebraska Memories. Our goal is to include items from all parts of the state. If there is an institution in your area with materials that would be good additions to the Nebraska Memories project, please encourage and help them participate.
  6. How can my local museum or historical society participate?
  7. How often are new items added to Nebraska Memories?
    • We are continually adding content to the database.
  8. I own some historical items related to Nebraska. How can I get them added to Nebraska Memories?
    • We only add images for materials that are held by the Commission or Nebraska museums, historical societies or other cultural heritage organizations. If you would like to donate the original items to be added to Nebraska Memories, please see Donating Private Materials to Nebraska Memories for more information.
  9. I would like to see more items about...
    • Our goal is to continue to expand the database. We depend on the help of organizations across the state that own the materials to contribute to the project. If there is an institution in your area please encourage and help them participate.

Nebraska Memories Lesson Plans

View the Lesson Plans

Select the collections to add or remove from your search