UNLV University Libraries Dean Maggie Farrell has selected Peter Michel to serve as the interim head of the UNLV Special Collections and Archives.
Michel, who previously served as director from 1995-2013, will serve in the interim capacity while the University Libraries launches a nationwide search to replace Michelle Light. Light left UNLV to serve as the Director of the Special Collections Directorate at the Library of Congress.
“We appreciate Peter’s willingness to step back into this role to lead our Special Collections and Archives division as we search for a new permanent director,” said Farrell. “Peter’s passion for and knowledge of Southern Nevada history, as well as his experience running the department, will provide a smooth transition as we continue our work collecting and preserving the history of our region.”
Michel, who was honored recently with the 2019 Conference of Inter-Mountain Archivists Lifetime Achievement Award, helped refocus Special Collections and Archives into an urban phenomenon. He established the library’s conservation laboratory and preservation program, in addition to launching the storied Oral History Research Center.
He worked to revitalize the Center for Gaming Research, and developed and expanded many of the division’s collecting areas: architecture, theater production/costume design, maps, fine press, railroad, and mining.
Since 2013, he has served as a curator in Special Collections and Archives, developing exhibits for library public spaces, and working with donors on bringing in new collections to enhance the archives available through the UNLV University Libraries.
“While we will greatly miss the leadership and expertise that Michelle brought to Special Collections and Archives, her new position with the Library of Congress is a testament to her many accomplishments here at UNLV,” said Farrell. “We wish her the best in her new position and know that she has positioned Special Collections and Archives for continued success.”
The University Libraries is currently evaluating the needs of the position, and will launch a nationwide search for a permanent replacement later this year.