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Browse Exhibits (7 total)

North Omaha

The History Harvest was held at Love's Jazz and Art Center on October 22, 2011. A number of North Omaha institutions supported the program and helped publicize or otherwise contribute, including the Great Plains Black History Museum, Big Mama's Kitchen, and the Malcolm X Foundation.

The eight History Harvest students and Professor Patrick Jones were joined by a number of University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate students and faculty members. During the Harvest, students met the North Omahans, spoke with them about their items and their history, photographed the items, and recorded an oral history.

Nebraska City

The Nebraska City History Harvest was held at the Louis and Clark Missouri River Visitors Center on September 12, 2010.

This History Harvest students met with local community members, spoke with them, and collected oral histories. These generous contributors allowed the students to digitize their items that dealt with local and family history as well as the history of immigration.

Lincoln Refugee Communities

The Lincoln, Nebraska Refugee Community History Harvest took place throughout the Fall 2012 semester at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A number of local institutions supported the program and helped publicize or otherwise contribute to the program, including the Center for People in Need and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

The eleven History Harvest students and Professor Patrick Jones were joined by a number of University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate students and faculty members. During the Harvest, students met with refugees and former refugees and spoke with them about their items and their history, photographed the items, and recorded oral histories.

Further Reading

Nebraska Mosaic, a project of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications, seeks to give voice to Lincoln’s growing refugee communities, and is an excellent resource on the experiences of the refugee community in Lincoln.

Mary Pipher, a clinical psychologist and author from Lincoln, NE, chronicled the experiences of the refugee community in her acclaimed book, The Middle of Everywhere: Helping Refugees Enter the American Community (2003, Mariner Books).

Germans from Russia in Nebraska

In the Fall of 2014 the University of Nebraska-Lincoln family histories project worked with the Germans from Russia community. The main History Harvest was held at the Germans from Russia Museum in Lincoln on October 18, 2014. 

Around 1890 one could hear more German than English on the streets of Omaha. With this project we want to shed light on the rich history and legacy of German-speaking immigrants to Nebraska from various countries and regions in Europe while focusing on the Germans from Russia community. 

Seven students under the guidance of Prof. Gerald Steinacher were looking for diaries, photographs, letters, maps, images, war memorabilia, and other family and cultural heirlooms. “Harvested” family artifacts were photographed, digitized and returned to the owners. Students then posted a selection of these family treasures on the History Harvest website to make them available online for Nebraskans and interested people worldwide. For the exhibition we feature a selection of items that demonstrate the culture of German immigrants, but also the increasing Americanization following World War I.

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Custer County

The Custer County History Harvest was held April 2, 2016, at the Custer County Historical Society Museum in Broken Bow, Nebraska. Several community members submitted numerous items including a World War One Human Statue of Liberty photo, a Spanish-American War medal, several Solomon Butcher photographs, and a plethora of family history photos.

Cole Fenske, UNK history graduate student, students from Professor Jinny Turman’s Community History and Preservation course and Professor Jeff Wells’s Nebraska and Great Plains history course, and UNK student volunteers conducted the Harvest with assistance from Custer County Historical Society volunteers.

Dannebrog History Harvest

The Dannebrog History Harvest was held on April 8, 2017, at the Columbia Hall in Dannebrog, Nebraska. Several community members donated multiple items including World War One photographs, an Federal Bureau of Investigation letter, a Danish Psalm book and various family photographs.

Jacob McGinley, UNK history graduate student, students from Professor Jinny Turman's Introduction to Public History course, Professor Jeff Wells's Digital History course and volunteers from the Dannebrog Festival Committee conducted the Harvest.

Omaha’s Little Italy

In the Fall of 2018 the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s “History Harvest” project focused on the Italian-American communities in Nebraska. The main event was held on October 28, 2018, at the Santa Lucia Hall, in the heart of Omaha's historic Little Italy. Partner organizations included the Santa Lucia Festival Committee, the Sons and Daughters of Italy, and the American-Italian Heritage Society.

Seven undergraduate and two graduate students under the guidance of Prof. Gerald Steinacher were looking for diaries, photographs, letters, maps, images, war memorabilia, and other family and cultural heirlooms. “Harvested” family artifacts were photographed, digitized and returned to the owners. This exhibition features a selection of items that document the experience of growing up in the immigrant community of Little Italy.

Most Italian immigrants arrived in Omaha before the 1920s and many came from the Sicilian town of Carlentini. The people from Carlentini formed a close-knit community in the new land, held on to many traditions, and kept in touch with relatives and friends left behind in Sicily. The Catholic immigrants also brought the worship of Santa Lucia (Saint Lucy), the patron saint of Carlentini, to their new homeland. Omaha’s Santa Lucia festival was founded in 1925 and has been celebrated ever since. For many Italian-Americans in Omaha this is an expression of the importance of traditions and community.

The history of Little Italy shows how immigrants have always cherished and held on to their culture. Unlike the history of Little Italy communities in cities like New York or Chicago, the history of Little Italy in Omaha is much less known. This is despite there being not one, but three “Italian colonies” in this major Midwestern city. In many ways, the lack of awareness about Little Italy in Omaha highlights the often overlooked diversity of Nebraska.

The History Harvest started in 2010 and is co-directed by William Thomas and Patrick Jones, faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences at Nebraska.

This exhibition highlights select items from the History Harvest about Little Italy in Omaha. To navigate the exhibition, please, click on the image twice in order to enlarge it and see it in high resolution. Not all the texts are translated, but for texts in Italian we aimed to provide at least short summaries of the content.

The complete collection of items is searchable through the search option on the right upper corner.

For questions or to provide additional information on items contact: Prof. Gerald Steinacher at Gsteinacher2@unl.edu

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