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Behind the Scenes

Halloween Happenings in Las Vegas, by Ian M. Baldwin

By Cyndi Shein on October 23, 2014 1:19 PM | Permalink

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.

Collection Highlight: Thunderbird Hotel Records, by Dallas Reiber

By Cyndi Shein on September 2, 2014 3:36 PM | Permalink

Thinderbird Hotel Records, promotional material

The Thunderbird Hotel Records (MS-00180) are comprised of material that documents the work of this Las Vegas, Nevada hotel's entertainment department from 1964 to 1973. The records consist of photographs, memos, newspaper clippings, and publicity materials. The hotel hosted many entertainment acts that included showgirls, whose costumes exposed various amounts of skin. As I went through the nine boxes of records, I found many interesting images related to showgirls.

Collection Highlight: Nat Hart Professional Papers by Hannah Robinson

By Cyndi Shein on August 18, 2014 11:58 AM | Permalink

Growing up in eastern Washington, frighteningly faraway from any “good” delis, I always looked forward to visits from my Grandpop (and his carry-on insulated lunchbox full of delicious salty belly lox). Every time I visited my Grandpop in his row house in Bensalem on the outskirts of Philadelphia, he would trick me into trying what he described as the sweetest and most delicious dessert, halvah, an experience I liken to taking a bite out of a stick of chalk. Since my visits with my Grandpop were few and far between, he successfully pulled this practical joke two to three times before I got wise to him. Conversations I had with my Grandpop and other members of my Mom’s family while eating Jewish food like belly lox and poppy seed bagels, matzah ball soup, kasha with onions, pot roast, and bowtie noodles, and (only under coercion) halvah, were a window into my Jewish heritage.

Collection Highlight: Leonard Blood Papers by Kayla McDuffie

By Su Kim Chung on August 4, 2014 9:49 AM | Permalink

Throughout the summer I worked on many collections – the one I found to be the most interesting was the Leonard Blood Papers (collection number: MS-00161). This collection documents the life of Leonard Blood, who was responsible for hiring people for the Boulder (Hoover) Dam project between 1931 and 1938. The collection contains a scrapbook of articles featuring Blood, documents from the Boulder Dam project, his Navy and Naval Reserve paperwork, and his employment history.

Throwback Thursday ~ by Hana Gutierrez

By Su Kim Chung on July 31, 2014 3:58 PM | Permalink

(Photos of Renee Lee come from the Renee Lee papers, MS-00587)

While working in Special Collections I have come across many collections with interesting pieces, but one collection that has remained in my mind is the Renee Lee Collection. The collection documents the later years of Renee Lee’s career as an actress and singer in Las Vegas. My favorite items in the collection are two images of Ms. Lee. The first image is a picture of her posing in a showgirl outfit in the 1960s. The second image is of her again posing in a showgirl’s outfit, but about 40 years later. As soon as I saw the two photos juxtaposed, I was reminded of the popular “Throwback Thursday” internet trend in which a person recreates a photo from her past to show how she has changed or stayed the same. I admire the pride Lee took in her body and professional image no matter her age.

Hana Gutierrez is an undergraduate student assistant in UNLV Special Collections.


Behind the Scenes in Special Collections

By Su Kim Chung on July 24, 2014 10:15 AM | Permalink

Front Row: L to R: Dallas Reiber, Christina Molina, Ian Baldwin,Kayla McDuffieSecond Row: L to R: Karla Irwin, Hana Guiterrez, Lindsay Oden, and Hannah Robinson. Not pictured: Jocelyn Ascensio

Behind the Scenes in Special Collections

By Su Kim Chung on March 14, 2014 12:22 PM | Permalink

Ever wonder what happens behind the scenes in UNLV Special Collections to get a collection ready for patrons to use in our reading room? Here is the LASR intake area in Lied Library that allows staff to gain physical and intellectual control over large collections. Cyndi Shein, Head of Special Collections Technical Services and Tom Sommer, Special Collections Technical Services Librarian are currently working on bringing order to the Spilde Collection on Tribal Gaming for the upcoming NCAIS Workshop to be held in Special Collections, March 19-21.