The Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center at Chadron State College was dedicated Sept. 9, 2002, after decades of planning and gathering private contributions for its construction. The Sandoz Center is western Nebraska's premier site for the study of Nebraska and High Plains culture, literature and history. Not long before her death in 1966, Sandoz, a prize-winning author who wrote about the settlement of the Great Plains, told of her wish that such a facility be created.

The Sandoz Center was established from renovation of the former Chadron State College library, which had been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It features museum and art exhibits, an archival library and a preservation/preparation work room equipped with state-of-the-art technology. The adjoining two-story Chicoine Atrium provides additional space for exhibits, artwork, meetings and social events.

In addition, the Sandoz Center is being used to support Chadron State College's academic programs and the Mari Sandoz Heritage Society in their missions to perpetuate the author's literature and preserve the history of the High Plains. The center is a learning laboratory focusing on museum and archival studies, language and literature, natural history and the social and cultural aspects of the high plains. The center also is serving as the head-quarters for the Mari Sandoz Heritage Society, which has permanently loaned thousands of artifacts and materials consisting of books, manuscripts, photographs and notes for display in the museum and use in the archives.

The archives also are home to a microfilm copy of the Mari Sandoz collection, including her correspondence, manuscripts, and her famous index cards of the extensive research she conducted for her books. This will be the only copy of this collection to reside outside the Love Library at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Sandoz's novels, histories, essays and short stories comprise a body of work that many consider to be one of the best available records of the North American High Plains.

The Sandoz Center is a dramatic and exciting new western Nebraska tourist attraction and a place where people of all generations will be able to learn about the culture and heritage of the High Plains. Sandoz's dream has come true - her legacy, through her writing and this world-class institution, will last forever.

Hours of Operation
(Open year-around)

Monday through Friday
8 a.m. - Noon and 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
9 a.m. - Noon and 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Sunday -- Closed