Front page of the Las Vegas Age from April 1912
Front page of the Las Vegas Age from April 1912
”Publicity Photographs” ent000158-001. Jerry Jackson Papers MS-00573.
Cory Lampert, Head of Digitial Collections in UNLV Libraries Special Collections & Archives, and her colleagues Emily Lapworth (Digital Special Collections & Archives Librarian) and Sarah Jones (Visiting Special Collections & Archives Technical Services Librarian) "raise the curtain" on a fabulous new digital collection that has made it possible to access hundreds of documents and photos on Las Vegas entertainment history.
Photographs of Frontier Victory rally , Culinary Union, Las Vegas (Nev.), 1998 January 31. Culinary Workers Union Local 226 Las Vegas, Nevada Photograph Collection (PH:00382)
In one photograph a diverse group of union workers hold up a banner together that boldly declares, “Whatever it takes. As long as it takes.” In another, Rev. Jesse Jackson holds his fist in the air during a labor union rally on the Strip. And in a series of negatives, the moment is captured when one of the longest labor strikes in American history finally ends, with jubilant workers embracing each other and applauding. These are just a few among the thousands of images that can be found within the Culinary Workers Union, Local 226 Photograph Collection, now available online.
Special Collections and Archives project staff recently completed work on the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC) grant-funded project, “America’s Great Gamble: A Project to Promote the Discovery of Sources About the Expansion of Legalized Gambling Across the United States.” The $129,600 grant allowed SCA to hire two full-time project archivists, and two student assistants who were able to process and describe four of our most significant modern gaming collections.
Documenting the UNLV web site using Archive-It - a service of the Internet Archive.
The University Archives in UNLV Libraries Special Collections have been collecting the paper records and publications of UNLV for nearly fifty years, but in the twenty-first century, it is has become essential to collect and document the university's landscape in the digital world. Thus, UNLV Libraries Special Collections has recently begun to archive UNLV's public web presence via Archive-It, a service of the Internet Archive. Read more about this work in the February issue of the UNLV Libraries Between the Lines newsletter and check out the UNLV Libraries page on the Archive-It site!
Photograph of gamblers at a roulette table in the Aladdin Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, circa early 1970s (PH 0333 0138)
Angela Moor, UNLV PhD candidate and Special Collections intern, 2015
Before beginning my internship in Special Collections this summer, I hoped I might come across materials that would be useful for my doctoral dissertation about the history of weddings and divorce in Las Vegas during the 1930s and 1940s. When I worked on the Dorothy Keeler Papers (MS-00195), I was excited to find some great materials about the early Las Vegas wedding industry and 1930s in Southern Nevada.
Dorothy Keeler portrait, undated
For many in the LGBT community, summer is a season of travel and celebration. Beginning in June, cities across the United States hold LGBT Pride parades and festivals that draw thousands from the community and its allies. Las Vegas is no exception—the Las Vegas Pride Night Parade will be held on September 18th this year. The Southern Nevada Association of Pride, Inc. (SNAPI) has been in charge of planning Las Vegas LGBT Pride since 1995 and Special Collections has some of the records of one of its executive members, Strutt Hurley, from the early years of the organization.
Hurley was the Director of Entertainment of SNAPI in 1996 and 1997 and her collection features documents that demonstrate how the parades and Pride events were constructed. Among the documents are edited drafts of press releases and sample pages from Pride programs that show how much work and thought went into creating this one event.
Halloween Ball Invitation, October 1919. UNLV Special Collections, Wengert Family Papers (MS-00192); box 1, folder 5
Boo! Sometimes Las Vegas can be downright scary. At UNLV Special Collections, archival materials document the city’s rich history of celebrating Halloween. During my 2014 summer internship here, I have been delighted to stumble upon several ghoulish finds from Sin City’s Halloweens past. Take for instance an invitation for a Halloween ball in 1919. Found as I processed the Wengert Family Papers (MS-00192), this invite was sent to a young Las Vegas pioneer shortly after her arrival in Las Vegas. The October 31 ball featured dancing, apple-bobbing, and a costume contest at a local lodge. The artwork of the invitation itself remains in spectacularly good shape. Featuring a black cat, ghost, and witch, it remains an authentic piece of early Halloween history in America. Even in the early days of Las Vegas, residents found time to celebrate the holiday.