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John G. Neihardt Collection

Identifier: MS-0026

Scope and Contents

The collection includes a typed manuscript of a Neihardt poem; original and photocopied pieces of correspondence, including a folder of letters to author George Sterling; typed transcripts of published Neihardt essays; and miscellaneous essays, brochures, and newspaper clippings about Neihardt. Photographic and audio materials of and about Neihardt are also included in the collection. The materials written about Neihardt include Lucile F Aly's “John G. Neihardt And The American Epic,” and Slade M. Kendrick's “Letters of John Neihardt to a Friend.”


  • 1912-1982


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with the University of Nebraska. Copyrights are retained by the creators of the papers or their designees. For permission to reproduce or to publish, please contact Archives & Special Collections.

Biographical / Historical

John Gneisenau Neihardt was born to Nicholas Nathan and Alice Culler Neihardt on 8 January 1881 near Sharpsburg, Illinois. In 1891 the family relocated to Wayne, Nebraska. Neihardt completed the scientific course of studies at Nebraska Normal College in 1897. He obtained a Litt. D. from the University of Nebraska in 1917, an LL. D. from Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, and a Litt. D. from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1947. He served as a professor of poetry at the University of Nebraska beginning in 1923. In 1959 he was named a Fellow of the International Institute of Arts and Letters in Lindau, Germany. He received the citation and title "Prairie Poet Laureate of America" from the United States Poets Laureate International in 1968. Neihardt became Nebraska's poet laureate in 1921, an honor he held until 1973. He authored dozens of books between 1900 and 1972, including the successful Black Elk Speaks (1932), which has been translated into several languages. Neihardt died in Columbia, Missouri, on 3 November 1973.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Related Materials

Additional Neihardt materials appear in many of the Record Groups contained in the University Archives. A list of these materials is available in the repository. The UNL Archives & Special Collections also has books authored by Neihardt, which can be located through the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries on-line catalog. Other Neihardt materials are held by the Nebraska State Historical Society. The majority of Neihardt's papers are located at the Western Historical Manuscript Collection, University of Missouri-Columbia Libraries.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives & Special Collections, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries Repository

Archives & Special Collections
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries
P.O. Box 884100
Lincoln NE 68588-4100 United States