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Introduction to Participating in Nebraska Memories

Participation in the Nebraska Memories Project is open to any library or cultural institution in the state. The Nebraska Library Commission does not charge participants any fees to be part of the project. In order to have items added to Nebraska Memories, the library or institution must own or permanently house the items and retain copyright ownership/permission. At this time we are not accepting items owned by individuals. Participants will need to complete the Copyright Ownership Statement and the Rights Statement and Information about the participant forms.

The following is a brief overview of the steps involved in participating. The exact process may vary slightly depending on the participant and the type of items being added.

  1. A visit from the Nebraska Library Commission

    One of the first things we like to do is come out and visit.  Having us out to visit is in no way a commitment to participate. The visit just gives us a chance to explain what's involved, see the type of materials you own and answer any questions you may have. During the visit we are happy to meet with all interested parties including institution directors and board members. 

  2. Items are selected by the holding institution

    Items included in Nebraska Memories should be primary source materials, that is, original Nebraska-related historical (pre-1972) and cultural material only, not printed material or reproductions of original documents held by other cultural institutions that the library might have purchased for reference purposes. Materials for inclusion into the database must be owned by or permanently housed at the participating institution.

    Primary source materials do not include county histories or printed genealogical tracts. Materials specifically excluded are most government documents, newspapers, and yearbooks or other items with numerous small pictures per page. These materials may be considered in subsequent years of this program.

    Types of primary source materials include:
    • photographic negatives, photographic prints, movie film
    • archival materials, manuscripts, diaries, personal journals
    • sheet materials such as handwritten musical scores, maps, posters, drawings, prints, postcards
    • sound recordings such as oral histories and tapes

    The Library Commission can help you with the selection process and retains the right to refuse items that do not fit the purpose or standards of the Nebraska Memories Project.

  3. The holding institution collects information for each item

    Participants will need to provide as much information as possible for each item. How this information is gathered and delivered to the Commission will vary depending on the participant, type of materials and the amount of information that is known about the items. Look at the sample EZ Metadata forms to see examples of the type of information that will be needed; data may also be submitted using an Excel spreadsheet template.

    This information may be collected by staff or volunteers. Feel free to bring in members of your community to help identify people, locations, and events, and to narrow down timeframes.

  4. Digitizing the items

    The process of digitization may vary depending on the type and physical size of the items. There are specific requirements and guidelines that must be followed for scanning. Basically, items are scanned to TIFF images for archival purposes, then lower-resolution JPEG files are created from the TIFFs to load into Nebraska Memories.

    Generally speaking there are three options available to digitize flat, physical items. 
    • Library Commission staff will come to your library, and using a mobile scanning center, will scan up to 50 images for you. There is no charge for this service.
    • Participants can do their own scanning. Scanning guidelines can be found on the Scanning Archival Materials page.
    • Items may be brought to the Library Commission to be scanned by the owning institution or by Commission staff. The mobile scanning center cannot handle items larger than 9 in. by 12 in. (or negatives larger than 2.7 in. by 9.3 in.)

  5. Adding the items to the database

    Once the Commission has the digital files and the metadata forms, we will take the information you provided and create a complete metadata record.  Then metadata records and images will be loaded into Nebraska Memories. Search Nebraska Memories to see images and records already in the database.

    We hope that after reading this you are interested in participating.  The value of Nebraska Memories increases as more institutions from across the state participate.  Putting items from your collection online also creates awareness of your institution and makes you more visible. 

    To learn more or arrange a time for a visit, please contact Devra Dragos, Technology and Access Services Director, or Beth Goble, Historical Projects Librarian.


For more information, contact Allana Novotny.