Browse Exhibits (103 total)

Among the Most Loved Women in China


This exhibit features the life and work of University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate, Grace Coppock.

Why Grace?

Grace Coppock not only shares my given name, but also my ideals of communication, beauty, and kindness. When Mary Ellen Ducey, University Archivist, suggested this project for my special collections internship, I did not expect to discover such an influential alumna of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Beginning only with newspaper articles from the Daily Nebraskan, I branched out researching within UNL Archives to form her story, which you see in this exhibit. As a senior, Grace Coppock has inspired me to think large scale by cultivating relationships with the individual people I encounter, even after graduation.

University of Nebraska Chancellors


List and portraits of the University of Nebraska chancellors.

"University Archives, More Than 50"


The exhibit highlights the beginnings of the Archives & Special Collections at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the first archival materials gathered together by Clara L. Craig, and the official designation of the University Archives under the direction of Joseph Svoboda.

Library Director Frank A. Lundy wrote about the idea of a University archive in a 1944 letter: "The material put there might consist of a file of faculty writings, student publications, and official papers of various administrative offices." (Lundy, 1944). Both Craig and Lundy wrote to other academic libraries to seek ideas and recommendations.

As the Archives & Special Collections celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2018, it is significant to note that the goals set forth in the early conversations and letters on the archives were met. Since 1968 the Archives & Special Collections provides a wealth of primary resources and collections that contribute to University history, research, and scholarship.

Visit the pages on Frank A. Lundy, Clara L. Craig, and Joe Svoboda, who were pivotal in the creation of the archival repository at the University of Nebraska.

Find out more about Archives & Special Collections and the resources it provides today.



Charter Day Celebrations

Charter Day celebrates the creation of the University of Nebraska. On February 15, 1869, Nebraska Governor David C. Butler signed the legislation that included a charter for the university. In 2019, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Charter Day will celebrate 150 years of providing educational opportunities to the state of Nebraska and beyond.

According to one of the earliest student newspapers, The Hesperian, the first Charter Day celebration took place in 1877.  "The Students were made glad, upon Friday, February 16th [1877], by the Chancellor declaring the day to be a holiday. It was a surprise to the students, for Charter Day has been only in name, never before being celebrated." [1] Classes were cancelled on that day, which perhaps caused the day to "ever be remembered for its pleasant reminiscences."[2]

An editorial from 1886, possibly written by Will Owen Jones, editor-in-chief of The Hesperian, states the following about the purpose of Charter Day:

It is appropriate that we turn aside from the regular routine of college work on the fifteenth of February each year to go over with each other the scenes of our early history; to acknowledge our debt of gratitude to those who were instrumental in securing our charter; and to consider our individual duties and responsibilities in the matter of assisting In the upbuilding of this, our cherished institution. [3]

Charter Day celebrations included speeches or remarks by professors, music and recitals by students, and readings, poetry, or skits by members of the literary societies on campus. The activities from the event program were often detailed in the student newspaper or yearbook. Occasionally, entire speeches were published. The March 1884 Hesperian included "Address of Welcome" by J.H. Holmes, "Charter Day Poem," by Awanna H. K. Painter, and "The University From a Student's Standpoint," by A.G. Warner. [4] Some programs from Charter Day celebrations show that events took place on both city and east campus. Events included music by groups such as the Cadet Band, the University Mandolin Club, or the University Glee Club. [5] During the early years events would also include Board of Regents meetings and as the need arose, the induction of a new chancellor or memorials. For instance, the 1906 Charter Day event included a memorial for DeWitt B. Brace, chair of the Department of Physics, after his death on October 2, 1905.

As with many long-term events, the program and entertainment shifted over the years. In 1890, an article in The Nebraskan, a student newspaper, provided some editorial commentary and lamented changes in the program that resulted in "sleepy" audiences.

The old way was to have alumni and prominent educators in the state take part in the program. This made the celebration of charter day something which it ought to be a kind of birthday party for the university. Then the alumni took an interest in charter day.... If on the other hand charter day should be made as of old, a birthday in reality and an endeavor made to secure the attendance of all the alumni great results toward advancing the interests of the university might be accomplished. [6]

In the 1890s, Charter Day events began to include a tour of campus, where buildings and rooms were open to visitors. Students and faculty showcased the educational work of the university. In 1893, The Nebraskan, published an overview of the "red-letter" day and outlined changes to the event, the students and faculty involved in the activies, and the efforts made by everyone on campus for day. [7]

The Silver Anniversary, 25 years, for the University took place in 1894, with plans "to render this celebration worthy of the high standing of the institution..." [8] The program for the two day event included reunions, department and faculty receptions, plays, music by the University Chorus, Orchestra and Banjo clubs, a battalion drill, and a banquet.

Charter Day activities for the semi-centennial anniversary, in 1919, did not take place in February but students at the time were encouraged to "pause a moment today, and consider what the laying of the corner stone of University Hall, has meant to us all. It has meant free education, greater opportunities, a better life." [9] The celebrations were postponed until May 1919 due to the residual effects of World War I. [10] Celebrations were limited during World War II as well.

The first program to that introduces "Charter Day and Midwinter Commencement" on the front page is Feb. 14-15, 1901. Charter remained connected to a midwinter commencement, a connection with lasted until about 1920. [11]

Among the last records related to the early history of Charter Day, in 1949, is a letter canceling classes and outlining activities for the day.  Gene Robb, who provided the address for the 80th Charter Day, began with the following: "We are here tonight as the representatives of the 40,000 men and women graduates of the University of Nebraska at this 80th birthday festival of our school. How pleasant it would be if only all of us, at the age of 80, might have the vitality and spirit of this our common ancestor." [12] The celebration of the University, the educational opportunities provided, and the support to citizens of Nebraska were frequently the topic of addresses given at Charter Day events.

In the mid-1950s, specific Charter Day celebrations tapered off, with only an occasional banquet marking the event. The concept of Charter Day revolved around alumni activities. In 1956, the Chancellor spent the day traveling to visit alumni, according to the Cornhusker annual. [13] This is one of the last mentions specifically referencing Charter Day to appear in the annual.


  1. Hesperian Student [microform] (Lincoln [Neb.]), 01 Feb. 1877. Nebraska Newspapers. Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. <>
  2. Hesperian Student [microform] (Lincoln [Neb.]), 01 Feb. 1877. Nebraska Newspapers. Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. <>
  3. Hesperian Student [microform] (Lincoln [Neb.]), 03 March 1884. Nebraska Newspapers. Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. <>
  4. Hesperian Student [microform] (Lincoln [Neb.]), 15 Feb. 1886. Nebraska Newspapers. Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. <>
  5. Charter Day Program, 1899. Charter Day, Records (RG 00-14-00). University Archives & Special Collections, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
  6. Hesperian Student [microform] (Lincoln [Neb.]), 01 March 1890. Nebraska Newspapers. Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. <>
  7. The Nebraskan [microform]. (Lincoln, Neb.), 01 Feb. 1893. Nebraska Newspapers. Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. <>
  8. Memo, Executive Office, University of Nebraska, (1894), RG 00-14-00, Archives & Special Collections, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
  9. The Daily Nebraskan (Lincoln, Neb.), 14 Feb. 1919. Nebraska Newspapers. Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. <>
  10. Omaha Daily Bee (Omaha [Neb.]), 16 Feb. 1919. Nebraska Newspapers. Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. <>
  11. Charter Day Program, 1901. RG 00-14-00, Commencement records list mid-winter commencement up until 1920. Beginning in 1948, the records that the term for the commencement became mid-year and last up until approximately 1998.
  12. Robb, Gene "Meeting Competition at the University," 80th Charter Day Address, Feb. 15, 1949, RG 00-14-00, Box 1)
  13. Cornhusker 1956,,486#page/62/mode/transcription

University Libraries

Please visit the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries History to learn more about the University Libraries.

The history timeline begins with a picture of University Hall where the library comprised one room when classes began on September 7, 1871. The photos on the timeline show activities, administrators, and selected milestones of the Libraries in the last 150 years.





Ed Weir & Nebraska Athletics


On Mar. 16, 1974, the Board of Regents approved naming the outdoor track the "Edwin F. Weir Memorial Track Facility."

First Masters and PhDs in University Departments

The University of Nebraska first Masters of Arts, Masters of Science, and PhD's awarded at Departments, Schools, or Colleges since its beginning in 1871.


  • M.A. Leroy F. Snipes, 1930
  • PhD. Alfred E. Adams, 1934

Animal Husbandry

  • M.A. Frank Alfred Hays, 1912


  • M.A. Roscoe Pound, 1889
  • PhD. Roscoe Pound, 1897


  • M.A. Samuel Avery, 1894
  • M.A. Henry Duncanson, 1894
  • PhD. Garland E. Lewis, 1917


  • M.A. W.L. Westermann, 1896


  • M.A. Charles McIntosh, 1951
  • PhD. Charles McIntosh, 1955


  • M.A. Charles E. Tingley, 1891
  • PhD. William H. England, 1906


  • M.A. Christine Fossler, 1904
  • PhD. Frank W. Smith, 1904


  • M.S. John C. Hoge, 1912
  • PhD. Ea-Shy Yang, 1970


  • M.A. Jospehine Tremain, 1894
  • PhD. Benjamin Botkin, 1931


  • M.A. John T. Zimmer, 1911
  • PhD. Kenneth Orwig, 1967


  • M.F. John Boyce, 1912
  • M.F. Otto Swenson, 1912


  • M.A. Marie Sougey, 1926


  • M.A. Nels Bengston, 1908
  • Phd. Rose Clark, 1933


  • M.A. Wilbur Knight, 1893
  • Phd. Wilbur Knight, 1901


  • M.A. Zora Shields, 1904


  • M.A. Charles S. Lobinger, 1894
  • Phd. Charles S. Lobinger, 1903


  • Phd. Veron Westgate, 1910


  • M.A. Eva McCune, 1903


  • M.A. Carl C. Engberg, 1897
  • Phd. Albert L. Candy, 1898


  • M.A. Oran Bowen, 1904
  • Phd. Bertha Luckey, 1916


  • M.A. John E. Almy, 1897
  • Phd. Harold N. Allen, 1896


  • M.A. Billings Almy, 1898
  • Phd. William E. Walton, 1932


  • M.A. Hazel Snell, 1917
  • Phd. Anderson Clark, 1905


  • M.A. Michael Gayer, 1897
  • Phd. Claude Mitchell, 1913

Cornhusker Football Coaches

Football coaches at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, for the original team known as the "Bugeaters" and the Cornhuskers.

Frank Crawford, 1893-1894

Charles Thomas, 1895

Edward N. Robinson, 1896-1897

Fielding Yost, 1898

Edwin A. Branch, 1899

Walter Cowles “Bummy” Booth, 1900-1905

W.G. "King" Cole, 1907-1910

E.O. “Jumbo” Stiehm, 1911-1916

E.J. “Doc” Stewart, 1916-1917

William G. Kline, 1918

Henry F. Schulte, 1919-1920

Fred T. Dawson, 1921-1924

Ernest, E. Bearg, 1925-1929

Dana X. Bible, 1929-1936

Major Lawrence M. “Biff” Jones, 1937-1941

Glenn Presnell, 1942

Adolph Lewandowski, 1943-1944

George "Potsy" Clark, 1945-1946

Bernie Masterson, 1946-1948

Bill Glassford, 1949-1955

Pete Elliot, 1956-1957

Bill Jennings, 1957-1961

Robert "Bob" Devaney, 1961-1972

Thomas "Tom" Osborne, 1972-1997

Frank Solich, 1998-2003

Bo Pelini, 2003 (Alamo Bowl interim)

Bill Callahan, 2004-2007

Bo Pelini, 2008-2014

Mike Riley, 2015-2017

Scott Frost, 2018-

Centennial History of the University of Nebraska, by Robert N. Manley

The University of Nebraska Press published Robert Manley's Centennial History of the University of Nebraska in 1969. The entire volume is available for reading and searching through a web browser. Thanks to our "Transcribe Our Past" volunteers.

Manley's goals for the history included "three things: - The story of the University's evolvement; - Its uniqueness because of it's setting on the frontier; - The relation of the University to the history of the state and its impact on that history." (Daily Nebraskan, Sept. 23, 1965)

Manley's work illustrated the critical need for primary resources to write the history and story of the university. This in turn, supported discussions between Frank Lundy, Dean of Libraries, and James Olson, chair of the Department of History, about developing an archive and hiring an archivist. See "University Archives, More Than 50"

Manley served as a professor of history at the University of Nebraska and at Hiram Scott College. In addition, he taught high school history, served as historian for the Stuhr Museum, and worked for Nebraska Educational Television and the Nebraska Economic Development. He died on October 22, 2008.