The Danish American Archive and Library's traveling exhibit “Danish Children Growing Up American” has returned to the Dr. C.C. and Mabel Criss Library at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).
It will be on display through Nov. 1.
“We are thrilled to again be working with the staff of Criss Library where it all began,” DAAL Executive Director Jill Hennick said. “The original 2013 display was a huge success and we expect this event to be even better.”
In August 2011, the DAAL signed a community cooperation agreement with UNO. Together, UNO and the DAAL combine the DAAL’s wealth of resources with UNO’s educational goals. The Danish children exhibit was one of the first projects that emerged from this partnership, and appropriately occurs in the American city that according to the 2010 census report had the largest percentage of people of Danish descent. Two prominent local businessmen of Danish descent, Mogens Bay and Bruce Lauritzen, provided the major funding for the exhibit.
The display consists of 20 4-foot by 8-foot panels printed on both sides containing roughly 50 photos of Danish immigrant children. Visitors can walk back through time to the late 19th or early 20th centuries as they view the photos of the children in all walks of life from infancy through school, play, religious training and sadly sometimes death. As visitors walk through the display, most pause to study the remarkable detail in these photos, enlarged to life sized or even greater.
The DAAL worked with the Washington County Historical Museum to bring in artifacts that will enhance the exhibit and tell their own story about life back in the day. The exhibit is set up on the first, or lower level of the library.
Danish historian Jan Pohlmann Jessen will present a lecture, “Denmark 1931-1932 and the Roots of Nazi Resistance” next to the display at 4 p.m. Oct. 14. His talk will focus on the fear of war and its consequences for Danish policy and society. A reception will follow.
The event is open to the public. Each attendee will receive a free copy of the book “War Games” by Torben Tvorup Christensen and Lucille Wilder about Denmark on the eve of the Nazi invasion in 1940.