University of Nebraska launches Nebraska Archives Online
Archivists from the four University of Nebraska campuses have collaborated to launch Nebraska Archives Online (http://archives.nebraska.edu), a shared online database that provides access to finding aids and guides for the university’s unique archival and manuscript collections. Through the work of the University of Nebraska Consortium of Libraries (UNCL), 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 or anyone with a research need. 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. Folks visiting the archives in Kearney can now easily find material in Omaha and Lincoln,” explained Amy Schindler, Director of Archives and Special Collections at the UNO Libraries.
For example, a researcher searching for materials relating to social workers Grace and Edith Abbott may now find their personal and professional papers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and materials relating to the Grace Abbott School of Social Work at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, which can lead to a greater understanding of the location and variety of resources.
The four archives and special collections repositories spent the last year migrating their individual databases into a single instance of the ArchivesSpace platform. The public now has a tool that 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 over 3,500 records associated with unique collections and materials at UNK, UNL, UNMC, and UNO.
“Its ongoing work, but we’ve collaborated before on the online exhibit on the 1968 university merger. Actually, what a way to celebrate that achievement, bringing together our resources today, and looking towards the future,” stated Mary Ellen Ducey, university archivist/special collections librarian at UNL.
As with the earlier exhibit project (http://exhibit.nebraska.edu), the project benefits from building a community of practice to share ideas and collaboration opportunities. Nebraska Archives Online will continue to grow with new material from the four campuses of the University of Nebraska and with new opportunities for potential future expansion. Archivists at each campus 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 material in all formats that answer questions, tell a story, and celebrate something unique about our university, our communities, and the state of Nebraska.
Nebraska Archives have helped students working on class projects, someone researching their neighborhood, administrator looking for a policy document, genealogist seeking a piece of information about an ancestor. In order to help people reach these goals, archivists create finding aids or guides to the thousands of collections in the University of Nebraska’s archives and special collections repositories. Now these guides are collected together in one portal, Nebraska Archives Online (http://archives.nebraska.edu).
About the University of Nebraska Consortium of Libraries (UNCL):
UNCL leads the University of Nebraska libraries to create and sustain a rich, supportive, and diverse knowledge environment that furthers teaching, learning, and research through the sharing of collections, expertise, and programs. Each campus preserves the unique history of the University of Nebraska and offers unique collections that support the research needs of each campus and interests of the state of Nebraska. Our reading rooms are open to the public.