Events Put the NSHS on the Map
More than one hundred friends of Nebraska history gathered at the NSHS Museum of Nebraska History on Friday, March 19, to view a Nebraska treasure - the Don Forke map collection - and to celebrate the foresight of the collector and the generosity of his wife, Marilyn, in donating these wonderful documents to the Society. With maps dating back to 1540, the Don Forke collection chronicles the ways in which the place we now call Nebraska was depicted over four centuries. Highlights from the collection are featured in a new exhibit, Putting Nebraska on the Map, 1540-1880, on display through 2004.
A giant contemporary floor map of the state, developed from global information system (GIS) data compiled by the NSHS Archeology Division, gave guests graphic evidence of how Nebraska has grown and changed.
Renowned map expert Donald H. Cresswell of the Philadelphia Print Shop and Antiques Roadshow was a special guest at the reception. Earlier in the day he had shared his perspectives on the Forke maps and on map-making in the era of Lewis and Clark during a standing-room-only Special Brown Bag Lecture at the museum. Cresswell offered insights into the connections of the Forke maps to larger national and international events, as guests peered at the details through magnifying glasses.
During the reception hosted by the NSHS Foundation, Foundation President Allison Petersen cited the Forkes as significant trustees of Nebraska's heritage and lauded their willingness to share their love of maps and the state with all of us. Marilyn Forke said about the exhibit, "Within our family - tears and smiles intermingled - we agreed that this is what Don must have envisioned for his map collection. You fulfilled our hopes!"
Additional thanks go to Mrs. Forke, also a Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation trustee, for supporting Don Cresswell's visit, which culminated in an afternoon evaluation session on Saturday that combined assessment of maps brought in by patrons with Tara Kennedy's tips on proper care and preservation.
The events and the exhibit really did put Nebraska history "on the map"!
NSHS Paper Conservator Tara Kennedy and national map expert Donald Cresswell's Brown Bag Lectures at the Nebraska State Historical Society's Museum of Nebraska History on March 18 and 19 were taped by Lincoln's City Channel 5 and aired daily through March and April. Funding to tape the series is provided by the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation. Donald Cresswell, Marilyn Forke, and John Carter also appeared on Lincoln City Councilman Jon Camp's program "Straight Talk," which also aired on Channel 5 throughout April.
North Platte and McCook Trustees Host Society and Foundation
Foundation Trustee Tom Hansen organized a full day of visits with local schools and retirement homes in the North Platte area for John Carter and Jackie Spahn March 24.
Carter, senior research associate at the Nebraska State Historical Society, provided entertaining presentations featuring photographs from the collection of homestead photographer Solomon Butcher to residents of two local retirement communities in North Platte. Residents were entertained by intriguing questions about the homesteaders and the lives they forged in Custer County. A few in the audience grew up in Custer County, and many shared their recollections of the area.
More than six hundred high school and middle school students learned about the impact computer technology has on the information recorded in photographs. Through highly advanced digital imaging technology, historians and researchers are able to "look into" darkened doorways and windows to see what the photographer saw 150 years ago when he originally snapped the photograph - and more.
Carter gave a thoughtful exploration of the photographs and encouraged the students to share how they would interpret the information discovered within the images.
The night before, Hansen and fellow North Platte Foundation Trustee Shoey Shoemaker hosted a reception at the Lincoln County Historical Society, where Carter talked about settlement on the Plains and how the early settlers created order out of the vast and endless lands they found when they arrived.
Spahn, executive director of the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation, emphasized the impact private support has on the Society's important work of preserving and interpreting our state's past and encouraged guests to consider becoming a partner with the Society in its efforts by providing support through outright gifts and estate gifts.
Our thanks to Foundation Trustees Tom Hansen and Shoey Shoemaker for their hospitality and for making it possible to share the exciting things happening at the Historical Society with so many.
Nebraskans of World War II Scholarship Recipients Announced
The Foundation's Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2004 Nebraskans of World War II Scholarships. Each recipient will receive a $1,000 scholarship in honor of the brave men and women who served our country fighting for the freedoms of millions of people. Two scholarships are given in tribute to Edward J. Clough and Adrian B. DePutron. Both men were from Lincoln and were killed in battle during World War II.
The 2004 recipients are:
Patricia Johnson, Lincoln
Nichole Tyrey, Omaha
Jason Hoelting, Lawrence
Makayle Rueter, Mitchell
Carol Minarick, North Bend
McCook Foundation Trustee Cloyd Clark Hosts Historical Society and Foundation at Rotary in McCook
Foundation Trustee Cloyd Clark hosted John Carter and Jackie Spahn at the McCook Rotary meeting, March 23. Carter's program featured a discussion of the life and work of frontier photographer Solomon Butcher, whose well-known photographs of settlement in Custer, Dawson, Buffalo, and Cherry counties are national icons. Carter was featured in an ETV documentary about Butcher March 21. The program marked the first time that NET and the Historical Society worked as coproducers, bringing together in a powerful way the important resources of both agencies. Our thanks to Cloyd for arranging the visit!
2003-04 Foundation Board of Directors
Allison D. Petersen, Walton, President
Steven E. Guenzel, Lincoln, Executive Vice President
Jack D. Campbell, Lincoln, Vice President
C. John Guenzel, Lincoln, Treasurer
Joanne F. Shephard, Valentine, Secretary
Martha Greer, Lincoln
Dr. James W. Hewitt, Lincoln
Dr. William F. Karrer, Omaha
Dr. Frederick C. Luebke, Lincoln
Carol Maddux, Wauneta
Dr. Martin A. Massengale, Lincoln
John D. Massey, Scottsbluff
George H. Moyer, Jr., Madison
James F. Nissen, Lincoln
Robert D. Northrop, Lincoln
Cynthia Olson, Lisco
Amy Scott-Willer, Omaha
John W. Webster, Omaha
S. N. "Bud" Wolbach, Grand Island
Dr. John Wunder, Lincoln
Lawrence J. Sommer, Lincoln, NSHS Director, Ex-officio
Jack Preston, Lyman, NSHS President, Ex-officio
Patricia Phillips, Omaha, NSHS Treasurer, Ex-officio
Jackie Spahn, Executive Director
Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation
Kinman-Oldfield Suite 1010
128 North 13th Street
Lincoln, NE 68508-1565
Toll Free: 888-515-3535
March / April 2004 Issue