The Nebraska History Museum is closed for renovation through 2015. Check out our online exhibits here: Exhibits
Nebraska Cowboys: Lives, Legends & Legacies Opened Monday, September 23rd.
at the Nebraska History Museum, 15th & P Streets, Lincoln.
Building the State: Nebraska, 1867-1916
Imagine building a state from scratch. That's the task Nebraskans faced 135 years ago, and their stories are the focus of a new permanent exhibit at the Society's Nebraska History Museum. Building the State examines the promise and problems encountered as people created the political, economic, and cultural systems that became Nebraska. Through period settings, artifacts, documents, and photos, Building the State illustrates the growth of Nebraska's towns, government, agriculture, ranching, industries, and inventions, along with changing technology, political and social movements, and the state's rich ethnic heritage from statehood in 1867 to the eve of World War I. A wealth of artifacts and photographs from the museum and library/archives collections offers visitors insight into the amazing transformation of Nebraska during this period.
The First Nebraskans Photo
The First Nebraskans exhibit interprets 10,000 years of American Indian life on the Plains. You will learn about the housing, foodways, clothing, and social customs of the tribes once living and still in Nebraska. The exhibit features prehistoric and historic tools, pottery, historic clothing, weapons, jewelry, musical instruments, and a Pawnee earthlodge, circa 1865. You will also find hands-on stations where you may touch bison fur and bones, pottery tools and shards, and reproduction trade goods from the 1700s.
Nebraska Joins the Union Photos
Nebraska Joins the Union interprets the people, places, and events leading up to Nebraska's statehood beginning with Lewis and Clark and ending with the state's first capitol and constitution. Topics include the fur trade, Fort Atkinson, overland trails, early transportation and communication, Nebraska's role in the Civil War, the Homestead Act, and town building. The objects featured in this exhibit include a jacket worn by Peter Sarpy, an inaugural ball gown worn by the first territorial governor's wife, an envelope carried by the Pony Express, a quilt made by a Nebraskan in the 1860s, and a period room, the Carson parlor of the 1860s with furnishings from the Carson home in Brownville, Nebraska.
Investigation Station Photos Hours
People of all ages are welcome in this fun, hands-on learning environment where they can investigate Nebraska's past. This active learning center connects children and adults to evidence they can use to make their own discoveries: historic documents, photographs, artifacts, places, and the wisdom of elders.
The four permanent stations include: a Native American Tipi, a 1/4th scale prairie schooner, a Build a Town table, and a 1920s auto-touring campsite. Docent-led activities are available on a variety of topics.
As you explore Nebraska history, our colorful timeline will help you learn when things happened and a giant 1915 map of Nebraska will help you pinpoint where. Flash photography is allowed in this room. Investigation Station hours are limited.
Archive of Previous Exhibits
More Virtual Exhibits on NSHS website
Nebraska History Museum