to have bound all accumulated volumes of Nebraska dailies, if funds were available. Seconded and carried.
The followings names of persons were proposed for membership, and upon motion they were duly elected.
After some further informal discussion,
the meeting was declared adjourned by the president.
The thirty-third annual meeting of the
Nebraska State Historical Society was held at Lincoln,
Nebraska, January 9, 10, 11, 1911.
The meeting held at the Temple Theater, January 10, was called to order by President John L. Webster at half past nine in the morning, and he announced that
1 I have discovered that for many years the numbers of the annual meetings of the Society, as printed in the published proceedings, have been one too high. The first annual meeting having been held in 1879, the meeting of 1911 cannot be above the thirty-third, the number given to that of 1910.--ED.
with permission of the audience he would change the program and ask for the secretary's report at this time. The secretary then read his report as follows:
DECEMBER 31, 1910.
To the Members of the Nebraska State Historical
able owing to lack of shelf room. A number of people have expressed their intention to donate their collections of museum material and libraries to the Society as soon as they can be properly cared for. This cramped and crowded condition makes the work tedious, laborious and expensive.
This Society is one of the oldest of the institutions of Nebraska, having had its origin almost with the beginning of statehood and having been supported and maintained by the state for more than a quarter of a century. During this time a very valuable collection of material has been assembled, and it would seem to be a very shortsighted policy not to provide for its availability and safe keeping, even though the work of the Society was not to be extended.
At present the Society is an unwelcome, and unwilling tenant of the State University, which is itself so cramped for space that it will soon be obliged to occupy the rooms now used by the Historical Society, and there seems to be no other place open to the Society. It is hoped that our legislature will see that this is a convenient time to provide joint accommodations for the Society, the Supreme Court and the State Library, on a comparatively small expense until an adequate capitol can be built.
The attention of the historians of the United States is just now directed toward Nebraska and Kansas. Both states have started buildings to house their historical societies. Both have acceptable sites adjoining the capitol grounds, and both have expended about the same amount on foundations for buildings.
Kansas has perhaps the advantage, although its site is not nearly so large or valuable and only about $7,000 of its cost was borne by the city of Topeka. To this the state added $15,000. Out of an appropriation of $200,000
there has been expended on the foundation a little more than $23,000. The balance has been permitted to lapse because it was insufficient to complete the building in accordance with the demand, from all over the state, that either marble or granite be used for the exterior.
At the annual meeting of the Mississipi (sic) Valley Historical Association held at Iowa City, the Nebraska State Historical Society had a larger representation in the attendance and upon the program than any other state historical society or institution in the Mississippi Valley. Addresses were delivered by our president, John Lee Webster, and our historian, Mr. Albert Watkins, which rank among the best ever presented before the association. These addresses will be printed in Volume III of the Proceedings of the Association.
Members of the office staff took advantage of this occasion to visit the rooms of the Iowa Historical Society and attend its annual meeting, and also to visit the building and collections of the Historical Department of Iowa at Des Moines.
President Webster has delivered several addresses for the Society during the year, including one delivered at the unveiling of the first monument erected to mark the Oregon Trail, at Kearney, Nebraska. The Society was represented at the Fort Kearny reunion and celebration by Mr. Watkins, who delivered an address. Addresses were delivered at Brownville by both the secretary and the librarian of the Society. The secretary also spoke at the annual meeting of the Southern Lancaster County Old Settlers Association and at the meeting of the Nebraska State Press Association, held in Lincoln. He also attended the unveiling of the monument erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution in Riverside Park, Omaha. The librarian attended, on
September 13, the annual meeting of the Antelope County Pioneers held at Clearwater, and the Nebraska State Library Association, held in Lincoln, October 19-21. Other invitations have been declined on account of a press of other duties.
Since our last annual report all of the
work in connection with the foundation and basement of our
new building has been finished, including the equipment of
the basement with museum cases and metal shelving. During
all of the summer months this basement room was used as a
workship (sic), and into it we have moved several thousand
volumes of books and newspapers, and many tons of museum
material. it is, however, impossible to work in this place
during the winter as there is no provision for heating it,
and the lighting is not sufficient for work at any time.
division of the space which would best accommodate these three interests would be satisfactory to the members of the Society and the public, generally.
This removal of the state library, the supreme court, Nebraska Public Library Commission and the attorney-general's office from the present capitol would so relieve the congestion there that a new capitol would not be required for several years to come. When such a building was erected provision would of course be made for the supreme court and the state law library, and by that time the historical and miscellaneous library would require all of the space in the building which it is now proposed to erect.
The Historical Society has never asked for or expected more room than absolutely necessary to do its work and house its library, museum, newspaper and archives departments. The Society would be willing even to be crowded for some years to come, as it has been for several years past, if it might have a place where its collections would be safe, with reasonable prospect in the future for room to meet its growing needs.
Under the law the Historical Society is the custodian of all public archives over twenty years old, in any state office or institution, county courthouse or other public building. Tons of this material, invaluable to the historian, sociologist and special investigator is being lost to the public in these various offices and institutions, while the Historical Society is powerless to perform the duties for which it was created and with which it is charged under the law.
For several years no effort has been made to add to the collections of the library or museum because there, was no place to even store such additions. Much of the material already assembled is unavailable. While this
conditions (sic) prevails in Nebraska, other historical societies in neighboring states, with modern buildings, up to date equipment and liberal support for maintenance are sending their agents through Nebraska and assembling in their archives material which should remain here. Our own students and investigators are compelled, at considerable expense of time and money, to visit these neighboring capitols to consult documents which record the growth and development of this commonwealth.
Our state library, which is admittedly one of the best in the United States, has its usefulness materially impaired by reason of its crowded condition and besides is in imminent danger of destruction by fire as long as it remains in its present location. Neither of these libraries, the one with its unsurpassed law library of nearly 60,000 volumes, the other with its historical library of 35,000 volumes, could ever be replaced. Although in respect to the danger from fire the Historical Society is in a better condition than the state library, from the fact that its library and collections are divided between three places, the basement of the University library building, the basement of the capitol and the basement of the new historical building, while other archives that it ought to have are distributed throughout the state in half a hundred or more courthouses that were certainly never designed to house priceless records.
So varied are the duties of employees
that it is almost useless to attempt to describe in detail
the work of any individual member of the office staff, or to
give any adequate idea of the work accomplished. This is
particularly true of the work of the historian.
nounce the completion of the following monographs,. some of which were begun last year: Outline and Summary of Nebraska History, Indian Wars on the Nebraska Plains, 1864-1879, Evolution of Nebraska, The Story of Fort Kearny, History of Railroad Control in Nebraska, Historical Significance of the Bellevue Celebration, History of the Regulation of the Liquor Traffic in Nebraska, Nebraska Territory, its Organized Evolution, Nebraska and Minnesota Territorial Boundary, Pawnee Indian Village near Fremont.
Only the first of these papers, the Outline of Nebraska History, a forty-five page pamphlet, has been printed. It was thought best because of its character to print this by itself. The others may be combined in a volume of collections.
In addition to these completed monographs, the work of research, and the classification of historical data upon many subjects has been continued by Mr. Watkins, until the reference cards used for this purpose constitute a fairly complete bibliography of Nebraska history. Much time has been devoted to answering inquiries, and several public addresses have been given.
Many very large collections of stone implements, Indian bead work and pioneer relies will be turned over to the Society by the individuals now having them in charge, as soon as we are prepared to receive and care for them.
Since April first the museum has been under the immediate direction of the librarian, who has had charge of the accession book, and a number of additions have been recorded for the year, among which are two cabinets of relics of the revolutionary period, the collection of the Deborah Avery Chapter D. A. R.; and another of
noteworthy interest is a silk banner presented by Governor Alvin Saunders to the Saunders Light Artillery U. S. First Company.
This department of the work of the
Society is in such capable hands and so complete a report
will be made at this meeting by the chairman of the
committee on historic sites, Mr. Robert Harvey, that it
seems needless for the secretary to do more than refer to it
in a general way.
To the Officers and Members of the Nebraska State His
I submit herewith bank book duly
balanced, together with vouchers and check to the Society
for the balance on hand.
S. L. Geisthardt, Treasurer,
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