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Rudolph Umland Papers and Archives

Collection Summary

Origin of Collection: Rudolph Umland donated this collection to Lincoln City Libraries in 1989.

Collection Name: Rudolph Umland Papers and Archives.

Extent of Collection: 4.8 linear feet of Scrapbooks, manuscripts, and files. Umland’s 15 volume Scrapbook accounts for 75% of the materials in the collection.

Storage: In acid free boxes. Materials in original folders, or in scrapbooks prepared by Umland himself. Humidity and temperature are monitored and controlled.

Abstract: Rudolph “Rudy” Umland, 1907-1993, was a local farm boy who became a prolific writer of essays, short fiction, local history, and book reviews. He was educated sporadically at the University of Nebraska. A penetrating intellect leavened with a generous sense of humor displayed in his writing attracted the interest of Lowry Wimberly, editor of the Prairie Schooner. Wimberly got Umland a job with the troubled Nebraska WPA Federal Writers’ Project. Umland rescued the Project, becoming its de facto editor, Assistant State Director (1936-1940), and State Director (1940-1941). Umland organized and edited the Project’s most significant publications. Umland befriended or worked with many writers, including Mari Sandoz, Weldon Kees, and Loren Eiseley . The multivolume Scrapbook and files in this collection trace his early life, his education, travels as a hobo, work on the Federal Writers’ Project, his military service and government career. The majority of materials in the Scrapbook are copies, clippings, or reprints of his published journal, magazine and newpaper articles and reviews.

Dates: Inclusive dates are 1890-1988.

Repository: The Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors, Bennett Martin Public Library, 136 South 14th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska 68508-1899. Phone: (402) 441-8516.

Rights: A large portion of the collection consists of published articles and ephemera which are under publishers’ copyrights. Rights to correspondence remain with the respective authors. Lincoln City Libraries owns rights to Umland’s unpublished work in the collection.

Restrictions: Researchers may view the materials and take notes in pencil. These materials may not be photocopied. Lincoln City Libraries retains all publication rights to previously unpublished materials. The use of unpublished materials from this collection will be considered on a case by case basis, and requires written application. Permission to publish must be obtained in writing from the Library Director, and researchers may expect that the review period for permission may be a month or more. Researchers are expected to follow all applicable copyright laws.

Related Holdings: The Gale E. Christianson Collection of Eiseley Research Materials contains an extensive correspondence between Gale Christianson and Rudolph Umland and some photographs of Umland as an older man.

The Nebraska State Historical Society has an Umland Collection.


dsc: 7-9-2006

Contact the Heritage Room:

The Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors
Bennett Martin Public Library
136 South 14th Street
Lincoln, NE 68508-1899

Phone: 402-441-8516


Regular hours:

Monday – Thursday: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Sunday: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

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Join the Nebraska Literary Heritage Association to support the Heritage Room. Donations to the Foundation for Lincoln City Libraries may also be designated for the Heritage Room.

Donate Books or Papers to the Heritage Room:

We would enjoy discussing any possible donations of works by Nebraska authors or author memorabilia with you. We provide a Certificate of Gift for those who cannot visit in person.