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This digital collection integrates two collections from the holdings of
the Nebraska State Historical Society, the Solomon D. Butcher photographs
and the letters of the Uriah W. Oblinger family. Together they illustrate
the story of settlement on the Great Plains.
Approximately 3,000 glass plate negatives crafted by Butcher
record the process of
settlement in Nebraska between 1886 and 1912.
Butcher photographed actively in
central Nebraska including Custer, Buffalo, Dawson and Cherry counties.
The approximately 3,000 pages of
Oblinger family letters discuss land, work, neighbors, crops, religious
meetings, problems with grasshoppers, financial problems, and the Easter
Blizzard of 1873.
Uriah Oblinger came from Indiana to Fillmore County, Nebraska in
1873 to claim a homestead for his family. In the eloquent letters exchanged
between Uriah and his wife Mattie, and in letters to other family members,
Oblinger expresses very personal insight into the joy, despair, and
determination in their struggle to establish a home on
The mission of the Library of Congress is to make its resources available
and useful to Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve
a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations.
The goal of the Library's National Digital Library Program is to offer
broad public access to a wide range of historical and cultural documents
as a contribution to education and lifelong learning. Digital collections
from other institutions complement and enhance the Library's own
The Library of Congress presents these documents as part of the record
of the past. These primary historical documents reflect the attitudes,
perspectives, and beliefs of different times. The Library of Congress and
the Nebraska State Historical Society do
not endorse the views expressed in these collections, which may contain
materials offensive to some readers.
The Oblinger Family and their Letters
The digitization of these materials by the
Nebraska State Historical Society was supported by an award from the Library of
Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition. Links
marked * are to
web pages mounted at the awardee institution.
The source materials for this collection are housed at the
Nebraska State Historical Society
For information about the original
materials or to obtain reproductions, contact the Reference Desk at Nebraska State Historical Society.
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