UNL students to harvest history of Germans from Russia

UNL students to harvest history of Germans from Russia

Gerald Steinacher

The UNL family histories project, working with the Germans from Russia community, will collect family histories from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 18 at the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia Museum, 631 D St.

As part of the ongoing UNL History Harvest, students are looking for diaries, photographs, letters, maps, images, war memorabilia and other family and cultural heirlooms. "Harvested" family artifacts will be photographed, digitized and returned to the owners. Students will then post a selection of these family treasures on the History Harvest website to make them available online for Nebraskans and interested people worldwide.

The History Harvest preserves family artifacts and oral history online, keeping the traditions and history available for not only the participating Nebraska families but for the general public as well. This project started in 2010 at the UNL Department of History and is co-directed by professors William Thomas and Patrick Jones.

"Around 1890 one could hear more German than English on the streets of Omaha. This semester 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," said history professor Gerald Steinacher, who teaches the History Harvest this year.

Sherry Pawelko, executive director of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, said she is equally enthusiastic about the collaboration with UNL. "We are very excited about the History Harvest getting underway. I'm sure this collaboration will strengthen the partnership between our museum and the university. I see so many potential, mutual benefits by partnering."

The AHSGR Museum and Library are open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Parking is available behind the museum and on D Street in front of the museum. For more information on the American Historical Society of Germans from Russian, go to http://www.ahsgr.org.

For more information about the History Harvest, go to http://historyharvest.unl.edu.