Nebraska Authors

Bruce Nicoll

Born 1913

Died 1983

Nicoll was an obscure University of Nebraska administrator with no experience in publishing when Chancellor Clifford Hardin appointed him to a long vacant position as the (second) director of the University of Nebraska Press in 1958. He served brilliantly from 1958-1973. He improved the Press' financial condition, and appointed the remarkable Virginia Faulkner as Editor-in-Chief. Observing the growing popularity of paperback books he conceived the idea of republishing great out-of-print and public domain books as quality paperbacks and so created the Bison Books imprint, widely admired as one of American university press publishing's great success stories. Under Nicoll's leadership the Press began to expand its sales and revenue, while Faulkner helped it improve its reputation and maintain the diversity of its offerings. Nicoll put the Press on the path to becoming one of best and most successful of American university presses.

Nicoll had a personal interest in history and archaeology and was a founding member of the Western History Association. He co-authored a biography of former Nebraska governor Sam McKelvie and wrote Nebraska: A Pictorial History (1967) which won an award of merit from the American Association for State and Local History in 1968.


Author Of

  • Nonfiction


Nebraska--History; Editing; University of Nebraska Press

Places Worked

Director of the University of Nebraska Press


Nebraska a Pictorial History. 1967. (with a contribution by Gilbert Savery)
Know Nebraska. 1951. (with Ken R. Keller)
Sam McKelvie, Son of the Soil: Sketch of a Self-Reliant American who Cheerfully Fought His Own Battles. 1954. (with contributions by Kenneth R. Keller)

We appreciate corrections and additions to our information about authors, but please read the following guidelines and caveats carefully.

  • The Nebraska Authors database is based on publicly available sources. Unless you are the author contacting us in person, it helps us if you cite the source or sources of your information. We cannot include unsourced information in the database.
  • We may be appreciative of information we choose not to include in the publicly available database.
  • To include an image on an author profile, please send jpg attachment to nebraskaauthors@lincoln.ne.gov. A photo-release agreement is required before the image will be published on this site.
  • Because of the way we are staffed, expect corrections or additions to take time, sometimes up to three months.
  • While we initially included some actual links to external URLs in the database, we will in the future no longer provide functioning links. We will instead record the presence of specific external materials in language that we hope will help intelligent users find it themselves. Web rot, in which actual materials remain online but undergo changes in their URLs, is too demanding in terms of staff time for us to hope to keep external links current.

Please copy, fill out the form below, and email it to NebraskaAuthors@lincoln.ne.gov to suggest a change.

Bruce Nicoll

Do you have corrections for the above information or other information to add?:

(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)