Creighton University Archives


The mission of the Creighton University Archives is to acquire, preserve, and organize materials and information that have enduring value related to the history of Creighton University, a private Catholic and Jesuit comprehensive university founded in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1878.  The University Archives will promote Creighton University, especially the university's teaching, research and service efforts, by making these materials accessible for research, instructional, administrative and other uses and by serving as an informational and educational resource for the Creighton community and others.


Keep an eye out on our website for an updated format and navigation changes! We have a lot of interesting new pages and information for you to explore, especially in the University Archives portion of our department - coming very, very soon!



We of the University Archives are pleased to announce that our department is now University Archives, Rare Books and Special Collections.  The recent merging of the three units into one provides exciting opportunities to promote collections on the Creighton campus. The decision to combine the areas, which have similar storage and display needs, makes a lot of sense.  Our friends at the Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library and the Health Sciences Library have provided great support during the transition, and we know that the support will continue going forward.

The University Archives staff will continue our mission (mission statement appears in full at right) to acquire, preserve, organize and provide access to materials and information that have enduring value related to the history of Creighton University.  You will soon see the results of several current projects to increase access to parts of our permanent holdings.

Many of our rare and valuable print materials ranging from 14th-century religious materials to U.S. historical items to first editions of prominent 20th-century writers, are housed in the Rare Book Room of Reinert.  This wonderful resource has been underutilized, but we have plans to remedy that.

Special collections at the Health Sciences Library and the Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library cover a variety of topics, including medical, dental and pharmacy tools; fables literature and memorabilia; and religious pieces.  Our initial focus will be to promote what we have and to care for fragile or neglected items.

We will be making some changes in the hopes of making these areas work better for the Creighton community.  We have already started a few small shifts to our website - you may have noticed the new banner for this page, and we now have pages for Rare Books and for Special Collections - which will continue to be reorganized in upcoming months (hopefully weeks).  You can follow our progress at this website or at Creighton's Attic (our blog).


To commemorate the publication of Ron Hansenís most recent novel The Kid about Billy the Kid, the Rare Books Room put together a display of Hansenís other Western novels, Desperadoes and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Featured in the display are examples of various stages in the writing process of Desperadoes from early notes and drafts to copies published in foreign languages. There are also a few copies of The Assassination of Jesse James to demonstrate the popularity and variations in Hansenís Western works. To accompany the display are two copies of Hansenís Nebraska, a series of short stories.


"WORKS IN PROGRESS" (December 2014)

The University Archives is working to improve our website, and one of our efforts is the addition of a "Works in Progress" section.  We hope to provide a few brief behind-the-scenes looks at some of our projects, with the added benefit that the section will let you see some items that may not be available for public access in the near future.

Our initial effort highlights a project to digitize oversize items, some of which are severely damaged.  Visit "Works in Progress" to learn more about the project and to see four online exhibits that feature four large displays created in 1928 at the time of Creightonís 50th anniversary.  In addition to the Medical School board (above), there is a general one for Creighton University, one for the Dental School, and one for the College of Pharmacy.


Book reading by author Matt Holland
Monday, November 3, 2014 - Skutt Room 104

Matt Holland, author of Ahead of Their Time, will read an excerpt and tell the story of Creighton's DePorres Club, an interracial group that included the author's father, Denny Holland, and John Markoe, SJ, who fought to end segregation in Omaha early in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1940s and '50s.  Creighton graduates and members of the DePorres Club, Virginia Walsh and Agnes Stark, will attend the event.

Creighton University Archives proudly joins with CSU, Justice & Peace Studies, Philosophy Department, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Collaborative Ministry Office, IRHG, CCSJ and the Jesuit Community to sponsor the reading.  The reading is open to the public, and refreshments will be provided by CSU.

A larger version of the poster seen above may be found here.

Creighton's Attic (the University Archives blog) will have more about the reading - and also about the DePorres Club - as November 3rd gets closer.



University Archivist David E. Crawford was one of the speakers at Creighton Prep's May 30th ceremonies for memorials to fallen alumni.  The event dedicated two areas: the Dennis P. Circo Memorial Plaza honoring Prep alumni who gave their lives in war; and John Parle Drive, a section of Western Avenue along the south edge of the Creighton Prep campus.  Crawford spoke about John Parle (Creighton Prep '38; Creighton University '42), who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic and lifesaving actions during the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943.

The "Creighton's Attic" entry from May 2013 tells more about Ensign Parle.

Mr. Jim Hughes (Creighton Prep '51) took some great photos of the event.

Monday, April 14th, 4:00pm, in Union Pacific Room (L10), Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library

Elenore Leonard to present 4th annual University Archives Lecture

Omer Madison Kem was a Populist Congressman who represented Nebraska in the US House of Representatives from 1891 to 1897. In Congress, Kem discovered the difficulties of being a third party candidate in a strongly bipartisan House. Elenore Leonard, a Junior in the History Department, will discuss how Kem came to be involved in politics, the ramifications of a third party in Congress, and how the Archives found Kemís unpublished autobiography in manuscript form.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact University Archivist David Crawford (402-280-2746;



The University Archives had the honor of displaying some of the items from permanent collections at this year's Mary Lucretia & Sarah Emily Creighton Awards Luncheon, a Founders Week event put on annually by Creighton's Committee on the Status of Women. The display featured two themes - Women and ROTC, and Women and Sports (1920s - 1930s).

NEW EXHIBIT - The Creightons: Selections from the University Archives (December 2013)

The University Archives invites you to view a new exhibit, The Creightons: Selections from the University Archives, on the main level of Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library.  It features original artifacts from the Creighton Family Collection, such as Edward's prayer book and "John A. Creighton Real Estate and Trust Company" stock certificates, as well as reproductions of images from our photographic collections.  The exhibit was created and installed by interns Elenore Leonard and Meredith Ziegler; student workers Beth Herrmann, Katherine Joyce and Jake Krevda; and University Archivist David E. Crawford.



UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES ON TWITTER: @CreightonArchiv (November 2013)

Creighton University Archives has joined Twitter! Follow @CreightonArchiv for updates, information on our favorite artifacts, and to interact with the University Archives. Check us out on Twitter and let us know what you think!


CREIGHTON'S ATTIC (University Archives blog)

This photo is the banner for the University Archives blog, Creighton's Attic.  Through weekly (or more frequent) entries, we will showcase materials from hidden collections, present behind-the-scenes looks at our facilities, and share some of our favorite items.  We also hope visitors will leave comments that tell us more about the featured items.


Creighton University Archives recently put the finishing touches on a project to make the Bluejay Service News available online.  The Bluejay Service News was a newsletter distributed to former students of Creighton University who were serving in the military during World War II.  The newsletters, written by family and friends of the men and women in uniform, provide a unique perspective on the war because they relay news and anecdotes gathered from letters home.

The University Archives worked in collaboration with Creighton Prep (Omaha), which received a set of original newsletters from a donor.  Creighton University Archives has worked with Creighton Prep to digitize the newsletters and make them available online.


Monday, April 8th, 6:30pm, in Harper Center Room 3028

Matt Holland to present 3rd annual University Archives Lecture

The DePorres Club played an important role in the struggle for civil rights in Omaha from the 1940s into the 1960s.  Started in 1947 by Father John Markoe, S.J., and Creighton student Denny Holland (who was also the club's first president), the interracial, interdenominational group united people from Creighton and Omaha to fight for civil rights and aid the poor.  In "The Omaha DePorres Club - Omaha's Civil Rights Pioneers," Matt Holland (Denny's son) will discuss the club's founding, its mission, and its many civil rights victories.

Matt Holland is currently writing a book about his father's important work with the DePorres Club.  His research draws from a wealth of original source materials, including some from the collections of the Creighton University Archives. 

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact University Archivist David Crawford (402-280-2746;