University of Nebraska Medical Center

History Lives Here

The Leon S. McGoogan Health Sciences Library's Robert S. Wigton Department of Special Collections and Archives collects information and archival materials on the history of medicine, and the other health professions in Nebraska, and the history of the UNMC campus community. It is Nebraska’s repository for medical-related archival materials, artifacts, and rare books.

Since its origins in the 1890s reading room of the Omaha Medical College, there has been an effort to collect and preserve historical, rare, and special collections in various forms—collectively known as the Special Collections and Archives. Today, McGoogan Library houses 1,500 linear feet of physical university records and archives, 10,000 rare books, 2,000 artifacts and art, and almost 4 TBs of digitized and born-digital files.

If you have questions about the library’s holdings or have an interest in donating materials, please reach out to us Monday-Friday, 8:00-4:30 at 402-836-9538, or anytime via email at history@unmc.edu. For more information, see our Donating Archival and Historic Materials guide (PDF).

See Our Collections


The Robert S. Wigton Department of Special Collections and Archives is guided by the library’s mission, and by the core values of the Society of American Archivists, and the American Alliance of Museums code of ethics.

Please see our policy page for more information.

About the Department

On December 5, 2022, the University of Nebraska Board of Regents approved naming the McGoogan Library’s Special Collections and Archives Department in honor of Robert S. Wigton, MD, UNMC alumnus and “unofficial historian” for the campus.  

The Robert S. Wigton Department of Special Collections and Archives recognizes Dr. Wigton’s extraordinary service and generous financial support to UNMC. A 1969 UNMC College of Medicine graduate, Dr. Wigton went on to serve the UNMC College of Medicine as associate dean for graduate education and chief of the general internal medicine section. He collaborated with the library to highlight history for future generations. Dr. Wigton provided major funding for the Wigton Heritage Center, which opened in 2021 and was named in his honor.