Archivists from the four University of Nebraska institutions have collaborated to launch Nebraska Archives Online, a database that provides access to finding-aids and guides for the university system’s archival and manuscript collections.
Through the work of the University of Nebraska Consortium of Libraries, Nebraska Archives Online meets a longstanding need to provide a one-stop portal to these collections. It’s a resource meant to engage the public’s curiosity and improve the research process for students and others with research needs. The materials in each of the NU archives are available for anyone to use.
“Bringing together the University of Nebraska’s unique collections provides benefits to users of archives as well as the repositories,” said Amy Schindler, director of archives and special collections at the University of Nebraska at Omaha Libraries. “Folks visiting the archives in Kearney can now easily find materials in Omaha and Lincoln.”
For example, a researcher searching for materials related to social workers Grace and Edith Abbott can now find their personal and professional papers at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, as well as materials related to the Grace Abbott School of Social Work at UNO.
The four archives and special collections repositories spent the last year migrating their individual databases into a single instance of the ArchivesSpace platform. The tool now provides descriptions of collections physically located across the university system with links to thousands of pages of documents and audio and video recordings. This includes more than 3,500 records associated with unique collections and materials at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, UNO, the University of Nebraska at Kearney and the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
“It’s ongoing work, but we’ve collaborated before on the online exhibit on the 1968 university merger,” said Mary Ellen Ducey, university archivist and special collections librarian at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. “What a way to celebrate that achievement, bringing together our resources today and looking toward the future.”
Nebraska Archives Online will continue to grow with new materials from the four universities and new opportunities for expansion. Archivists at each institution will continue to focus on matching professional archival standards, such as those supported by the Society of American Archivists, with local best practices and operations.
The University of Nebraska’s four archival repositories share a mission of long-term access and preservation of the historical record by maintaining millions of pages of documents, photographs, letters, policies and materials in many formats that answer questions, tell stories and celebrate the uniqueness of the universities, communities and state.