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RG1025.AM:  Robert Fletcher Gilder, 1856-1940

Papers:  1819-1968, mainly 1912-1928

Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska:  Archeologist

Size:  One folder


Born in New York in 1856, Robert Gilder settled in Nebraska in 1887 and established himself as a journalist, archeologist and painter.  He worked as a newspaper reporter for 32 years, and he produced hundreds of paintings that would become his legacy.  During his trips to the woods along the Missouri River bluffs to paint, Gilder discovered various shallow depressions dotting the top of the bluffs.  Despite having no formal training in archeology, Gilder started digging into the depressions and recorded his findings.  He published his findings in the newspaper, and later professional journals.  His initial observations and findings, along with later professional excavations, led to the establishment of the “Nebraska Culture,” or the Nebraska Phase.  Gilder continued to research and paint for the rest of his life.  Robert Gilder died in Omaha on March 7, 1940.  He is buried in Bellevue Cemetery at Bellevue, Nebraska.


The collection contains three letters and several articles by Robert F. Gilder. Gilder wrote two of the letters to A.E. Sheldon of the Nebraska State Historical Society to discuss their archeological research. A third letter, dated January 19, 1922, is to Eolia Marquardt of Avoca, Nebraska, in which Gilder gives an account of his scientific discoveries and research. The collection also contains several reprints of articles concerning Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota archeology. Photocopies of Gilder’s The Nebraska Culture Man are included.

See the photo component [RG1025.PH] for related images.


See the Library Catalog and the Nebraska History index for articles and publications by Robert Fletcher Gilder.


Letters, reprints, etc.


Subject headings:


Archeologists — Nebraska

Archeology — Iowa

Archeology — Nebraska

Archeology — South Dakota

Gilder, Robert Fletcher, 1856-1940

Indians of North America — Nebraska

Indians of North America — South Dakota

Marquardt, Eolia

Nebraska Culture Man

Nebraska Loess Man

Osage Indians

Otoe Indians

Pawnee Indians

Richardson County (Nebraska) — History

Sarpy County (Nebraska) — History

Sheldon, Addison Erwin, 1861-1943


Revised TMM          07-15-2009