Success Stories

Below are just a few examples of what we can accomplish together and how your support can help assure that Nebraska’s history will be preserved for future generations.


The Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center is one of the resources that helps preserve Nebraska history and heritage and is a facility that the Foundation helps support. Partial support of the Ford Conservation Center comes from gifts and bequests from Omaha businessman James M. Paxson to the Foundation. The Ford Conservation Center houses state-of-the-art technical laboratories for the examination, evaluation, and specialized conservation treatment of art and antiquities. Kenneth Bé has assumed the position of Paintings Conservator at the Conservation Laboratory which provides leadership in this important area of preservation. Donate now to the efforts of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center.

PAINTINGS CONSERVATION: Exploring the Art of John Falter

After his death in 1982, his wife, Mary Elizabeth Falter Jones, donated the contents of his studio, thousands of items from paintbrushes and easels, to completed paintings, sketches, doodles, diaries, and correspondence to the Nebraska State Historical Society. While the NSHS has cared for this collection over the years there has always been a desire to explore how it can help us understand Falter’s career and artistic process. Happily, this exploration is currently taking place. A full-time intern and museum curator are working together to catalog, digitize, and connect the dots of this extensive collection. This project is made possible by the Johnson Endowment Fund, established by Fay Sherwin Johnson in honor of her husband and Nebraska artist, Thomas Berger Johnson, and the Gladys Marie Lux Internship Endowment established in memory of Mary Hannah Hansen Lux and Clarence Burton Lux, both steadfast supporters of education and art. Donate now to conserve Nebraska’s precious painting.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION: The Heritage Nebraska Annual Conference

NSHSF provided Historic Preservation division funds for the support of the Heritage Nebraska Conference. Organized in June 2008, Heritage Nebraska continues the preservation-based economic development work of the highly successful 15-year-old Nebraska Main Street program. Without a dedicated statewide preservation organization, many preservation projects have suffered for a lack of trained personnel or coordinated effort to address the problems. Sadly, a countless number of historic properties have been allowed to deteriorate or disappear and a number of cultural opportunities have been overlooked. The state’s preservation needs are great; the opportunities are not readily recognized.Donate now and assist historic preservation in Nebraska.

LIBRARY/ARCHIVES: Swanson Biggs Adams Family Foundation Grant for Reader/Printer for Reference Room

During one of his research trips, Don Swanson discovered the ease and convenience of a reader/printer combination machine. The reader/printer makes it possible for the user to locate the article of interest, read it, and print it without reeling the microfilm back, moving to another machine to load the film, scrolling to the desired article, and THEN printing the article. He thought the Nebraska State Historical Society should have the same technology. Don initiated a discussion that led to a $15,000 grant from the Swanson Biggs Adams Family Foundation to purchase a Canon MS-800 digital microfilm scanner with laser printer. The gift also makes it possible to provide free prints of the research materials to members. Donate now to dedicate funding for the library and archives division. 

MUSEUM/HISTORIC SITES: Promoting Museums and Landmarks
throughout our state.

In 2009, the Ethel S. Abbott Charitable Foundation donated $255,000 of its Construction and Endowment Fund towards maintenance of the Chimney Rock Visitors Center in Bayard, Nebraska. It is one of the premier interpretive centers on the Oregon-California Trail. The visitor center is open year round and requires ongoing support of generous donations like this. The gift is a reflection of the foundation’s desire to continue to touch people’s lives through the generosity and foresight of Mrs. Abbott, just as she did during her lifetime. Learn more about endowments or donate now to the museum and historic sites division.