Early Omaha:
Gateway to the West

Downtown Omaha
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Omaha, founded in 1854, is the site of the Union Pacific headquarters and point of eastern origin for the first trans-continental railway to be built across the west, the greatest western trail of the nineteenth century. Omaha became the home to many seeking their fortune and to immigrants who worked for the railroads, meat packing houses, and businesses trying to supply the demand for goods to the west and east. In 2004, Omaha celebrated its 150th birthday.

The Omaha Public Library's collection includes books, original materials, maps and images relating to the history of Omaha, documenting the process of Omaha transforming from a town into a city by being a "gateway" to the west. As a participant in the Western Trails Digitization Project, Omaha Public Library digitized more than 750 items from our collection, available in the following formats: Albums, Art Work of Omaha, Atlases, Booklets, Lantern Slides, Maps, Photos, Postcards, and Stereoviews.

Please help celebrate Omaha's history by searching our images through the Nebraska Western Trails Database.

IMLS funding
supported the
Omaha Public Library's
Western Trails
Digitization Project


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