Current Exhibits

education alley

omaha in the anthropocene:
A learning exploration with CREIGHTON universityOmaha in the Anthropocene
Now – January 27, 2019

The “anthropocene” is a proposed new geological era currently under consideration by the International Commission on Stratigraphy. It makes a bold claim that humans have become a geologically significant force in earth’s history. Objects are also important material sources of these historical changes. This collaborative exhibition centers on the material history of the anthropocene using objects from the collection of The Durham Museum.
The Durham Museum partnered with Creighton University’s History Department to produce an immersive, interdisciplinary experience for students in the fall semester of 2017. In conjunction with the curriculum of Dr. Adam Sundberg, Assistant Professor of History and Digital Humanities, museum staff instructed and assisted Creighton students with independent research related to The Durham Museum’s collection, distillation of that research into a lecture presented near the end of the fall semester and an exhibition.
This exhibit is supported by Humanities Nebraska, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, and the Creighton University Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship.

learn more about the anthropocene project
Omaha Union Station
You Are What You Eat:
Setting the Table during the Second World War
Special Online-Only Exhibition!

You Are What You Eat ExhibitDo you or your neighbors tend a vegetable garden? Do you know people who can their own preserves, follow “Meatless Mondays” or eat farm to table? During the Second World War, rationing ensured that enough food and supplies went to fighting men on the frontlines. At home, new solutions were created in the kitchen to support the need. The war brought changes to the Omaha kitchen, including many modern urban farming trends. While today this food-based activism is a lifestyle choice, these methods were made necessary in the 1940s by a war that rationed everything from sugar and butter to flour and meat. The war changed America’s diet and what you ate became a patriotic statement.
Pictured: Margaret Brown with canning jars | 1938 | John Savage Collection | The Durham Museum Photo Archive | JS30B-732B


Photo Archive Gallery

North Omaha: A Community of ChangeNorth Omaha Exhibit
Now – January 2019

North Omaha is one of many distinct neighborhoods whose people contributed to the development of the city at large. While the borders of North Omaha are not firmly established, Florence, the Near North Side, Kountze Place and Walnut Hill are areas found within its boundary. From the earliest pioneers, this area has been a hub of development. Many of Omaha’s community leaders came from this neighborhood, like Mildred Brown, who in 1938 co-founded the Omaha Star, an African American newspaper still in circulation today. North Omaha served as the stage for the Trans-Mississippi Exposition in 1898 whose exhibitions and structures rivaled any World’s Fair and placed Omaha on the international map. Through a selection of images from the Photo Archive this display showcases some of the remarkable people, places and events from North Omaha.

Airmail in Omahaairmail in Omaha
Now – January 2019

The United States Postal Service is celebrating the 100th anniversary of air mail service and Omaha was a midway stop along the route. Pilots flew in teams to relay mail across the country for round-the-clock service. Before mail took flight it was sent by train and going airborne sped up the process of delivery by nearly a full day! Photographs from The Durham’s Photo Archive will showcase our city’s role in completing the transcontinental mail service.


Byron Reed Gallery

Master of the Lodge
NOW – september 2, 2018

Byron Reed rose through the ranks as a member of the Freemasons. The Masons are a fraternal organization based on the bonds of brotherhood and civic leadership. Freemasonry spread westward across the plains with settlers like Reed, and as a philanthropist, community leader and lifelong learner, his collection reflects the importance of the organization in his life. Reed’s books on secret rites, ceremonies and coded language offer a glimpse into his secret journey from Entered Apprentice to Knight Templar.

Joseph Street Indian Agent
Joseph M. Street: A Conscientious Indian Agent
now – January 20, 2019

In the 19th century, an Indian Agent named Joseph Street, fought for government resources pledged to the Native American tribes. Despite many disagreements with  other politicians and individuals in power, he maintained his position as Indian Agent for over ten years. Government officials recognized his efforts and many Native Americans respected Street. Some even considered him a friend. Street’s passionate and distinguished career is uncovered through documents on display from the Byron Reed Collection.