James A. Hanson became director of the Society
upon Marvin Kivett's retirement in 1985.
During Hanson's administration, new permanent
exhibits opened. The First Nebraskans tells the story
of Nebraska's original inhabitants from twelve thousand years
ago to the present. The new exhibits represented a departure
from the traditional display cases.
For as long as the Society has had a museum,
school groups have come for guided tours.
The museum has also featured special exhibits,
such as What Did you do in the War?: Nebraskans in World War
II, which opened December 7, 1991, and remains on view today.
the Society's quarterly, received a facelift in 1987. In 1989
the Society and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission published
Historic Places, featuring more than four hundred Nebraska
properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places
through the efforts of the Society's State Historic Preservation
Moving images, including the oldest known
Nebraska-made motion picture, In the Days of '75 and '76
(1915), became a focus of Library/Archives Division collecting.
The silent film, made by the Black Hills Feature Film Company
of Chadron, starred Freda Romine and A. L. Johnson as "Calamity
Jane" and "Wild Bill" Hickok.
Many Society publications and exhibits are
supported by donations to the Nebraska State Historical Society
Foundation, including Nebraska Trailblazer, a newspaper
for fourth-grade students, now in its twenty-ninth number.
Since the 1980s the Society's volunteer program
has provided thousands of hours annually to help carry on the
work of each Society division and operate the museum stores.
Here volunteers from the Lincoln Camera Club catalog photographs
in the library/archives.