Get Help - Special Collections
Springs Preserve is (702) 822-7700 and Nevada State Museum is (702) 486-5205
In Special Collections on the 3rd floor of Lied Library.
The UNLV University Archives preserves material relating to all aspects of UNLV history, including official University records with enduring historical and administrative value, architectural records and plans, papers of prominent faculty, records of student organizations, select NSHE records, university and student publications, photographs, artifacts, and more.
The first campus officer to have the title president was Donald Moyer in 1964. However, William D. Carlson was the first Director or Executive Officer for the Southern Regional Division of the University of Nevada in 1957. 1957 was the year that the first university building was constructed on Maryland Parkway. The campus would eventually be renamed the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1969.
There have been three names for the university in the last 50 years. The first was the Southern Regional Division of the University of Nevada in 1957. Next, it was renamed Nevada Southern University in 1965. Finally, it was renamed the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1969.
The first university building constructed on Maryland Parkway was Maude Frazier Hall. It was constructed in 1957.
The first commencement at Nevada Southern University (UNLV) was on Wednesday June 3, 1964. Jon Eric Cobain was the President of the Class of 1964 and received the first diploma.
Read about the software used to create our digital collections at UNLV.
Read more about the scanning equipment that we use in our digitization lab to create our digital collections.
Here are some helpful tips on searching our digital collections: http://d.library.unlv.edu/cdm/helpdocs
The University Archives in Special Collections has copies of nearly all undergraduate and graduate course catalogs, dating back to the late 1950s.
Consult our section on newspapers to find out more about the historic Las Vegas and Nevada newspapers in Special Collections. However, please check out the Microfilm Collection in the UNLV Libraries for a comprehensive listing of historic Nevada newspapers on microfilm.
Our casino promotional and publicity files housed in the Reading Room have press kits and press releases on the newer Strip casinos.
Due to resource constraints, we are unable to license images in our holdings, even when UNLV holds the copyright. In addition to copyrights, our images may be subject to publicity rights, privacy rights, trademarks, and other rights not owned by UNLV.
Here are some helpful resources:
Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right of a copyright owner to control reproduction of his or her work. Section 107 of copyright law lists various purposes for when a reproduction might be fair, including criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. Also see the Copyright Office’s fact sheet on fair use.
Cornell University has provided a helpful chart that will help you determine whether material might be copyrighted or in the public domain: Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States.
The UNLV Libraries has digitized many of our unique historical holdings and made them available on the web to support teaching, learning, and research. We support the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries.
- We collect unique materials about Southern Nevada as part of our mission to document the history of our region, support research and scholarship, and help preserve our region’s memory and identity. We are an educational institution.
- In the past few decades, when individuals and companies have donated their archives to UNLV, we have asked the donors to sign a gift agreement that transfers physical ownership and copyrights to UNLV. However, this gift agreement only transfers those rights that the donors owned. In a typical archival collection, the donors did not own the copyrights to all of the material they collected in their files. Their archives often contain materials - brochures, photographs, letters, videos, and more - from a variety of sources and other creators who retained their copyrights. Upon request, we can check whether we have a gift agreement for a collection and share the terms of the agreement. We do not have gift agreements for all of our collections. It is your responsibility to determine how the gift agreement applies to the image or item you want to use.
- Even though we don’t own the rights to all of the historical materials in our collections, we believe it is important that we preserve these materials for future generations to access. We are a trusted physical custodian for our region’s rich history.
- We welcome all to use the materials we collect in accordance with copyright law and fair use.
- The copyright holder has the exclusive right to do or authorize the reproduction, distribution, performance, or broadcast of his or her work. Please see Title 17 of the United States Code. Special Collections only grants permission to broadcast or publish items when UNLV clearly holds the copyright to that item. Please note that we often do not own the copyright to the historical materials in our collections. We cannot grant permission when we do not own the copyright.
- Please see our policies on Reproductions and Use for further information.
If you find images that you like on our digital collections site, via searching our online inventories of photographs or via searching our physical collections in person, check out our reproductions page for instructions on how to order digital reproductions for private or commercial use. Please note that Special Collections does not hold copyright of all images in our collection. Researchers are responsible for clearing copyright for all image reproductions used for commercial purposes.
Yes, patrons may self-photocopy most material in Special Collections (15 cents per page) provided they follow posted rules. Students and staff may use a Rebel Card to pay for copies and all other community users can pay at the Special Collections desk. Please use the book-friendly copier and copy only one page at a time, and consult staff before you copy fragile manuscript materials. Please note: It is the the researcher's responsibility to follow posted copyright regulations.
Yes, patrons are welcome to use their digital cameras, phones, and tablets to take pictures for private scholarship and research purposes. If you are intending to publish, display, exhibit, or use the material in a film or documentary, you will need to fill out a permission form. Please note that Special Collections does not hold copyright of all images in our collection. Researchers are responsible for clearing copyright for all image reproductions used for commercial purposes.
Please consult our photographs page for complete information on accessing our photo collections and viewing some of the thousands of images that have been digitized. You are also welcome to come in and view the photographs in person during our regular hours.
Please ask staff if you would like to see a particular volume in the Reading Room.
For security reasons, you are required to store any backpacks, purses, or laptop sleeves in the lockers provided. You may take out notepads and laptops for your research.
You are welcome to view the collections in the Reading Room provided you leave your bag at the front desk. Please ask staff first if you would like to view a particular volume in the Reading Room.
The Center for Gaming Research is part of Special Collections on the 3rd floor of Lied Library. To use materials in the collections, please inquire at the department's reference desk.
The Oral History Research Center is part of Special Collections on the 3rd floor of Lied Library. To use materials in the collection, please inquire at the department's reference desk.
Parking information can be found in our visiting section.
Because our materials are rare and often one-of-a-kind, public services staff must be at service desk at all times when researchers are using the collections, and other staff must page materials. The large number of staff required means that we cannot be open as many hours as the rest of the library.
- Special Collections is located on the 3rd floor of Lied Library on the UNLV campus. Turn right after you exit the elevator.
- Academic year hours: 9am-7pm M-Thurs. and 9am-5pm Fridays.
- Summer and winter break hours: 9am-5pm M-F.