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Collection highlight

Book. Art. Object. by Peter Michel

By Su Kim Chung on November 15, 2018 5:01 PM | Permalink

Curator Peter Michel reflects on the collection of Artists' Books held in UNLV Special Collections and Archives. Photography by Aaron Mayes, Curator of Visual Materials

Collection Highlight: Lifting the Lid on Early Photograph Albums by Melise Leech

By Su Kim Chung on August 2, 2018 2:06 PM | Permalink


Crowd watching sporting event at park opening in Los Angeles, CA, c. 1911

Melise Leech is an archival processing assistant  in UNLV Libraries Special Collections & Archives. 

Among the many interesting, unique, and important photograph collections in the UNLV Special Collections and Archives there are also smaller collections holding photographs that – while perhaps not as historically important– offer a glimpse of the lives and times of the people who owned them. These small collections hold photographs that open a window into what their owners considered important; family, home, work, holidays . . . even poignant momento mori taken to preserve the memory of a lost child. 

The Visual Art of Printing: The Curious and Their Collections (Part II) by Peter Michel

By Su Kim Chung on June 4, 2018 5:55 PM | Permalink

From the German Baroque to Revolutionary France, with Bill Harrah’s playing cards in between, the art of printing and printmaking has captured the eye of collectors. This Reading Room exhibit highlights the visual arts of printing from three collections representing three very different collectors: a European scholar of literature, an unknown American collector of Napoleana, and a Nevada gaming mogul.

In part two of this series on his exhibit "The Visual Art of Printing," curator Peter Michel considers Bill Harrah's extensive playing card collection housed in Special Collections & Archives.

Bill Harrah and his Collections

Voices from the Archives: Holocaust Remembrance Day by Nancy Hardy

By Su Kim Chung on May 2, 2016 10:49 AM | Permalink


Yom HaShoah marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and is observed during the Week of Remembrance, this year beginning the evening of May 4th. (Holocaust remembrance event at the Jewish Federation, circa 1998-2000. Jewish Federation of Las Vegas Records, MS-00602)

No voices recorded among our archived oral histories are more powerful or heart wrenching than those of Southern Nevadans who recounted their personal memories of one of the greatest war crimes of the modern world. These oral histories, along with biographical essays and video interviews with Holocaust survivors, are accessible online to everyone as part of the Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project

Asian-Pacific Heritage Month Photo Essay: The Tomiyasu Family by Nancy Hardy

By Su Kim Chung on April 29, 2016 10:10 AM | Permalink

As part of UNLV Libraries’ observance of Asian, Pacific Islander & Middle Eastern Heritage Month, we’re sharing—and celebrating—an incredible life story documented in our Tomiyasu Photograph Collection. Yonema “Bill” Tomiyasu is notable in early Las Vegas history for the 160-acre ranch he operated near what is now Pecos and Warm Springs Road. The Tomiyasu Farm provided a surprising array of luscious produce for Las Vegas and even the remotest areas in Southern Nevada, as well as for workers at the Boulder Dam construction site.  By Nancy Hardy, Outreach and Reference Assistant, UNLV Libraries Special Collections. 

A portrait of Yonema “Bill” Tomiyasu taken in California sometime between 1908 and 1910.  (Tomiyasu Photo Collection, PH: 0294-0004)

Heroines of “Sin City” Pulp Fiction by Nancy Hardy

By Su Kim Chung on March 18, 2016 3:19 PM | Permalink


UNLV Libraries Special Collections includes many unexpected items of ephemera and literature, from elegant 19th Century hotel menus to lurid crime novels based in a fictionalized Las Vegas. 

For Women’s History Month, Public Services Outreach Assistant Nancy Hardy investigates a few of the female characters who populate the tantalizing guilty-pleasure paperbacks of Las Vegas-based pulp fiction that are a unique part of Special Collections.


Cover image of The Only Girl in the Game by John D. McDonald (UNLV Libraries Special Collections)

Celebrating the Nevada Women's Archives

By Su Kim Chung on March 11, 2016 12:41 PM | Permalink

Mesquite Club mother/daughter luncheon, Las Vegas, Nevada, probably late 1920s or early 1930s. The oldest women's club in Las Vegas, it was founded in 1911 and still exists today. Betty Ham Dokter Collection PH 0012 0001.