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Core Collections

The Core Collections form the History Harvest's top-tier archive. These collections are particularly useful for researchers and classroom instruction.

Core Collections

Eugene Sengstake Collection

Eugene Sengstake Sr. of Lincoln, Nebraska, served in the 110th Medical Regiment and later as a B-24 pilot. Sengstake served in the U.S. Army Air Forces from 1941-1944, and served in the South Pacific. He was killed in action on June 9, 1944 between Palau and Wake Islands. This collection includes Sengstake's possessions and letters from his time in the Army.

Great Plains Black History Museum Collection

The Great Plains Black History Museum contributed all the items in this collection. The Great Plains Black History Museum is dedicated to commemorating the historical and cultural achievements of people of African ancestry throughout the world. This collection contains items that highlight the rich history of Nebraska's black communities.

Janice Cleary Collection

Janice Cleary shared items from her collection that were either written by Omahans or were published in Omaha. Music by Maceo Pinkard, one time Omaha booking agent, music publisher, band leader and eventual composer of “Sweet Georgia Brown,” is just one of the many artists in her collection.

Native Omaha Days Collection

Native Omaha Days is a bi-annual community event that was established in 1976. The event works as a homecoming for Native Omahans who have left the city. Those who gather for the event enjoy parades, dances, and other community events. The items in this collection are parts of montages that were created by community members and are displayed during Native Omaha Days.

Patricia "Big Mama" Barron Collection

All of the items in this collection have been on display at “Big Mama’s Kitchen,” which is owned and operated by Patricia Barron. Barron's family was one of many African American families that moved to Omaha as part of the Great Migration. Big Mama keeps alive the legacy of these families by serving traditional African American cuisine.

Ralph Orduna of the Tuskeegee Airmen Collection

This collection documents Ralph Orduna's time in World War II. Ralph Orduna was born in Omaha, and enlisted in the US Army Air Corps. He became a fighter pilot as one of the "Tuskeegee Airmen," the popular name for the African-American pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group in the Army Air Corps.

Robert E. Smith Collection

This collection contains the day book of Benjamin Franklin Thomas along with other items pertaining to his life. Thomas was an elephant tamer with the Van Amburgh Circus in the mid nineteenth-century. The day book traces the places in which the circus appeared in the mid-nineteenth century.