Saturday, December 29, 2012

Nebraska - The History Harvest

The History Harvest is a new learning initiative in the Department of History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  It is a student-centered, team-oriented collaboration of community-based projects.  They are using digital technologies to share the artifacts as well as their experiences of the past,  ordinary life.  Community members are invited to bring and share their treasures, such as photographs, letter, objects, stories, etc.  Their goal is to provide a new foundation of publicly available material for historical study.

There are three communities available for browsing on their web page.  They are North Omaha, Nebraska City and Lincoln Refugee Communities.  In each of these communities there are collections that can be browsed and enjoyed.

Many people probably do not realize that Ralph Orduna who was born in Omaha enlisted in the US Army Air Corp during World War II and became a fighter pilot as one of the Tuskeegee Airmen.  He flew multiple recon and bomber escort missions.  The collection from this outstanding Nebraskan was brought to History Harvest by Philip Orduna Reis.  You can learn more about Orduna by going to the History Harvest web page, but also watching a You Tube video.

Who wouldn't love to locate an everyday farming records notebook for an ancestor?   Betty Stukenholtz shared this item and more for the Nebraska City Community of History Harvest.  The three pages from the notebook, dated about 1890,  represent everyday records that a farmer kept, revealing his interactions with workers and neighbors.  It belonged to Betty's great grandfather who emigrated from Germany and farmed in Richardson County, Nebraska.

There are family history interviews, such as that of Betty Wilberger who shared papers and stories about her family from Axtell, Nebraska.   One of the rare documents of the turn of the 20th century railroad was the drover's ticket.  You can view one in Wilberger's collection.  A drover was a person overseeing the transportation of cattle.

Become a part of the past by browsing these excellent collections, brought to you through the efforts of the UNL Department of History.  It is worth your time to see what is available and also determine if you are digitally preserving your artifacts.

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