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About the Project

Digging In: The Historic Trails of Nebraska is a web site for archaeological and historical research on Nebraska's immigrant trails.

Dr. Paul Demers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) is directing this project in conjunction with the UNL Department of Anthropology and Geography and the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities

As envisioned, the site will include ten interactive sections:

  • Trail Profiles supplying background information on the various trails;
  • Trails Archaeology presenting information and interpretations derived from the UNL Department of Anthropology and Geography trail sites excavations;
  • Trails Mapping presenting aerial photographs and GIS layers for variables such as route, duration, traffic patterns and statistics, access to water, and other variables affecting trail layout and preservation;
  • Historical Maps identifying routes and settlements;
  • Historic Photographs highlighting facets of trail life in the past;
  • Historical Documents presenting primary written sources relating to immigrant trail experience;
  • Staff and Sponsors listing the project participants;
  • Teaching Resources incorporating material from college and K-12 educators;
  • Get Involved describing public outreach activities, scholarly contributions, and financial donations; and,
  • Links listing web sites on related topics such as specific trails, archaeology, biographies, and historic technology and material culture.

The trails web site will be a valuable resource for anyone researching and teaching topics related to historic trails and frontier development. Educators will be able incorporate these materials into a variety of teaching situations as background information for classes and assignments. Information on the site also will facilitate the development of more advanced modules on cartography, historiography, transportation, and behavioral studies.