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Binion's stagecoach

Welcome to the Digital Collections & Exhibits page. These digital collections and exhibits are taken from the unique materials housed at UNLV Special Collections. They show the scope and diversity of materials available to researchers. The UNLV Special Collections Image Gallery provides a sample of the various photographs, artwork, and other visual media available within the UNLV Special Collections. The image above, from the Binion's Horseshoe Collection, is part of the World Series of Poker: A Retrospective exhibit. Click here to access the UNLV Libraries Digital Collections page.

Digital Collections

The Historic Landscape of Nevada
The persistence of the natural landscape and predominantly arid ecology of Nevada has created one of the greatest challenges facing the people of Nevada and the American West as we struggle to maintain our built environment. This digital collection, The Historic Landscape of Nevada: Development, Water and the Natural Environment, documents the historic role of water resource management in Southern Nevada.

Menus: The Art of Dining
The majority of menus selected for this digital project came from the Bohn-Bettoni Collection, which consists of approximately 2000 restaurant menus dating from 1870-1930. Henry J. Bohn, editor and publisher of Hotel World magazine, an early hotel and restaurant trade publication, collected both American and Canadian menus for many years and subsequently purchased for his collection the scrapbook of Henri Bettoni, a London restaurant manager of the late 19th century. Bohn’s own collection numbered six smaller scrapbook volumes and also included additional cartons of loose hotel convention dinner menus that Bohn had collected with the help of Charles Gunther, the noted German-American confectioner and collector whose collection of unusual artifacts were later sold to the Chicago History Museum. The UNLV Libraries purchased the Bohn-Bettoni Collection in 1970.

Southern Nevada: The Boomtown Years
A new digital collection that brings together a wide range of original source materials found in widely diverse collections from UNLV Libraries Special Collections, the Nevada State Museum, and Historical Society in Las Vegas and the Clark County Heritage Museum. In addition to original source materials, the collection provides a wide variety of standards-based activities for elementary and high schoolers.

“Welcome Home Howard, or Whatever Became of the Daring Aviator?”
A digital collection drawing from the Howard Hughes collections housed in UNLV Libraries Special Collections. The exhibit focuses on Hughes the Aviator, popularized in the current Hollywood film by Martin Scorsese. The exhibit also draws on unique unpublished documentation and interviews with Hughes from the files of Dick Hannah, Hughes's public relations director.


This collection features a visual history of Las Vegas entertainment and focuses specifically on the iconic Las Vegas showgirl. Included are over 200 scanned digital images of original costume design sketches, photographic prints, and illustrations.

Las Vegas and Water in the West
The planning and construction of Hoover Dam is the central and defining phenomenon of the history presented by this digital project. UNLV Special Collections houses the largest collection of material relating to Hoover Dam, including film footage, maps, government publications relating to the planning and construction of the dam, and well over a thousand photographs.

Southern Nevada and Las Vegas: History in Maps
A digital collection featuring over 80 historic maps.

Hoover Dam
Built from 1931-1935, the dam put Las Vegas on the map.

Special Collections within Digital Scholarship@UNLV (Repository)
This is an index to all the items from Special Collections that have been digitized and placed within the UNLV Libraries institutional repository (Digital Scholarship@UNLV).


Menu Collections
The Special Collections houses one of the largest menu collections in the United States. The menus date as far back as the 19th century and come from some of the finest restaurants in Europe. Here you will find over 60 scanned menus for your enjoyment. This exhibit includes menus from various Las Vegas restaurants, as well.

Celebrating 50 Years!
Come celebrate the university’s 50th anniversary by learning more about its extraordinary past. UNLV Special Collections has assembled a variety of historical material on the university this year. The material includes information regarding UNLV timelines, faqs, presidents, and an extensive bibiography.

Learning About Las Vegas: A Digital Exhibit Celebrating 40 Years of UNLV Special Collections
UNLV Special Collections has reached its 40th Anniversary this year! In June 1967, UNLV Special Collections opened its doors within the James R. Dickinson Library on the campus known as Nevada Southern University. From its early days collecting books and documents on Nevada and gaming, it has evolved into the richest and most complete source of documentation on the history, culture, and landscape of Las Vegas and its environs in Southern Nevada.

Dino at the Sands
In the early 1960s, the Rat Pack made Las Vegas--and the Sands Casino--an all-day party. This exhibit features photos of Dean Martin and the Rat Pack in action.

UNLV Libraries One Millionth Volume
A digital exhibit about Antonio de Herrera's monumental history of Spanish exploration and settlement of the New World, published in Madrid 1601-1615.

Nevada Women's Archives
These collections document the lives and careers of significant Southern Nevada women.

Jeanne Russell Janish, Botanical Illustrator
During her lifetime, Janish produced some 11,500 illustrations for 32 major books and many shorter works in biology, geology, and botany. This exhibit contains artwork painted and sketched during her travels, 1930-1953.

Gaming Studies Research Center Virtual Museum

Gaming Art Gallery
This exhibit contains digital images of some of the gaming-related artwork on file in UNLV Special Collections.

Paradise Misplaced: The Xanadu Hotel-Casino
Planned in 1975 but never built, this Martin Stern casino is an interesting study in resort design.

Hotel El Rancho Vegas: The Strip's First Resort
The Las Vegas Strip began in 1941 with this modest resort. This exhibit has the most complete assembly of information about the path-breaking casino available anywhere.

World Series of Poker: A Retrospective
This exhibit has materials from the Binion's Horseshoe collection and documents some of the history of the world's longest-running poker tournament.

Neon Survey: Las Vegas Strip, Sunset to Sahara
In the summer of 2002, the Neon Museum and UNLV Special Collections documented the current neon landscape of the Las Vegas Strip. This exhibit has photographs and narrative descriptions of the famous and obscure signs of the Strip.

Updated: Wednesday, 24-Apr-2013 16:06:47 PDT
Content Provider: Su Kim Chung
Page Editor: Thomas Sommer