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Omaha Collection

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: UNO-0115

Scope and Contents

The Omaha Collection is an eclectic mix of files relating to the city of Omaha, Nebraska, and to areas of research pursued by faculty members of the Municipal University of Omaha, notably Ralph M. Wardle, professor of English, and Wilfred Payne, professor of Philosophy. The miscellaneous portions of the collection include material unrelated to Omaha. The collection includes information on Boys Town; the City of Omaha Financial Bulletin (1929); a Douglas County Election Announcement (1854); a letter from O.K. Oleson to Jim (last name unknown) concerning expansionism (1899); "The Lost Province of Quivira" (theorized to be Nebraska) reprint by Michael A. Shine (1916); Omaha annexation ordinances (1959-1966); Omaha city charter revisions (1954-1957); Omaha street car and bus routes (1929); a Journal of Genealogy issue devoted to research in Nebraska (1979); information on Omaha's World War II Memorial Park (1943-1945); letters to Ralph Wardle from prominent authors in response to invitations to speak in Omaha, including letters from writers Conrad Aiken, W.H. Auden, John Barth, Vera Yevseyevna Slonim (wife, editor, and translator of Vladimir Nabokov), Susan Sontag, and John Updike (a preprinted postcard signed by Updike declining the invitation) (all 1967); a letter from William Kloefkorn to Mel Bohn (1980); a circular letter from Carrie Chapman Catt opposing anti-Semitism in Germany (1933); brochures about U.S. savings bonds (1939-1949); and two folders of newspaper clippings and one folder of photographs and negatives depicting Omaha locations and people. The reasons these materials are housed together, despite apparently different origins, are unclear.


  • 1854-1985


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the Nebraska Public Records Statutes (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 84-712 through 84-712.09), and other relevant regulations. Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Nebraska Omaha assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, Archives & Special Collections will provide information about copyright owners and related information. Securing permission to publish or use material is the responsibility of the researcher. Note that unless specifically transferred to the University of Nebraska at Omaha, any applicable copyrights may be held by another individual or entity. Further information about copyright policy is available at


1 Cubic Feet (1 record storage carton)


Arranged into folders. Arrangement is neither alphabetical nor chronological.

Custodial History

In 1980-1981, Mel Bohn, librarian at the Criss Library of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, at the behest of Ralph Wardle, solicited the donation of materials related to tonal design in pipe organs from Wilfred Payne, who had earlier donated materials related to the Icarian community to the library.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection appears to be of mixed origin. Some of it has apparently originated with Ralph Wardle and/or Wilfred Payne.

Separated Materials

Issues of The Open Shop published by the Business Men's Association of Omaha (1920-1925) were separated from the collection on December 17, 2014 for cataloging and addition to Archives and Special Collections' rare book collection. The title can be found by searching the library catalog.

Separated Materials

A folder about a reference librarian finding a Washington Irving letter tipped into an 1860 edition of Duyckinck's Irvingiana including notes on the differences between the original and published versions of the 1852 letter from Washington Irving to his publisher George Putnam was removed December 17, 2014 to Archives and Special Collections' donor and collection files.

Separated Materials

The performance programs, booklets, brochuress and news clippings on Noh theatre (circa 1977-1985) were transferred to the University Archives File Collection and filed under visiting professor Kuniyoshi Munakata on December 17, 2014.

Separated Materials

A folder of correspondence of Wilfred Payne relating to tonal design in organs (1945-1951) were transferred to the University Archives File Collection on December 17, 2014. Two books were also deaccessioned.

Processing Information

Processed by Criss Library staff prior to 1985.

Omaha Collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nebraska at Omaha Archives & Special Collections Repository

Archives & Special Collections
Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library
6001 Dodge St.
Omaha Nebraska 68182-0237 United States