Links: University Libraries, Contact Special Collections

Here are some brief tips for locating materials in Special Collections and Archives. Staff are also happy to assist you with any questions you may have about this search process. To contact us before your visit, please email


  • All books in Special Collections have been cataloged and their records can be found in the Library catalog. A keyword search is available to locate items, but they are also searchable via title, author, subject, call number, and ISBN number if you have it.                            
  • To request a book, please fill out and sign a call slip (provided at the front desk) for each book that you request. For oversize books, please indicate OVERSIZE on the call slip next to the call number.


Periodicals or magazines are cataloged (by title ONLY) and their records can be found in the Library Catalog.

To request a periodical, please fill out and sign a call slip with the periodical title you would like, and include the date range of the issue or issues you would like. For example: Casino Journal, Jan-Dec 1995. Please include only one periodical title per call slip.

Oral Histories

  • A list of our oral histories can be found in the Special Collections searchable database which provides information on whether a transcript is available for patron use. In some cases, a digitized transcript will be linked to the record. Please note that some oral histories have been cataloged and their records (searchable by interviewee’s name, call number, interviewer name, subject, and call number) can be found in the library catalog.
  • To request an oral history, please fill out and sign a call slip for each oral history interview transcript that you would like to view.
  • If there is no transcript available, please ask at the reference desk if a digitized audio version of the oral history interview is available for patron use. We do not permit use of original audio cassette tapes, due to their age and fragility. We will digitize audio cassettes on demand for a fee, but please note that this make take up to a week.
  • For remote users, please note if there is no release form is on file for the interview, the interview is accessible on site only.

Manuscript Collections

  • All manuscript collections in Special Collections have a brief catalog record and can be found in the Library Catalog. They are cataloged by title and subject and include a collection summary and link to a complete finding aid when one exists.
  • A brief collection summary for each manuscript collection (with a link to a complete finding aid when it exists) is also listed in the Special Collections database (top of page).
  • There are also lists of manuscript collections by subject, and lists of manuscript collections by title.
  • In some cases, a manuscript collection may not yet have an online finding aid or inventory, and a hard copy will be available in the white binders above the vertical file cabinets in the reading room.
  • To request a manuscript collection, please consult a finding aid or inventory first to determine which boxes you would like to see. When filling out a call slip, include the collection name, number, and the box numbers you are requesting. Only three boxes are allowed per call slip.


  • Over 400 photograph collections are available in Special Collections. Each collection is organized by name, and each individual photograph is listed by caption and number within a collection. The majority of them are searchable by their individual captions in the Special Collections database.
  • Other photographs are located within individual manuscript collections and must be searched via finding aids.
  • Many of our photographs have also been digitized, and can be searched in our digital collections. Instructions on requesting digital reproductions of photographs can be found on our Reproductions and Fees page.
  • To view photographs in person in the reading room, please list photograph collection numbers and individual photo numbers (####-####) on a sheet of paper and request at the reference desk.
  • If you are requesting photographs that you located in one of our digital collections, please include the digital id number listed in the photograph's metadata at the bottom.
  • Alternatively, you can browse the photo collection binders available in the reading room which are organized by collection number and individual photo numbers.


  • The majority of maps in Special Collections have been cataloged and their records can be found in the UNLV Libraries online catalog. Maps located in Special Collections are marked as UNLV Spec Maps.
  • To find maps, search by SUBJECT or KEYWORD using the word "maps" with a geographical or subject term. For example: Maps – Las Vegas or Maps – Nevada or Maps—Railroad
  • Nevada’s USGS topographical maps, both 15 and 7.5 minute series, are arranged alphabetically in the map cases in the Special Collections Reading Room.
  • To request a map, please fill out and sign a call slip for each map and present it at the reference desk. Alternatively, you may browse the map cases in the reading room to find a map that you would like.
  • Please do not refile maps; leave them on the table or on top of the map cases.

Vertical and Biographical Files

  • Vertical or subject files are located in the Reading Room and organized alphabetically by file name in the vertical file cabinets. Patrons may browse these files, and take out what they need.
  • Please do not refile vertical files; make sure to leave them in the wire basket on top of the file cabinets.
  • Index cards listing available biographical files can be found in the card catalog next to the vertical file cabinets. Please fill out and sign a call slip listing the name of the bio file that you are requesting and present at the reference desk.

University Archives

  • Materials in the University Archives can be searched in the Special Collections database (top of page) or the University Archives web page.
  • To request an item or items, please fill out and sign a call slip for each box you would like with the name and number of the item from the UNLV records series, library series, faculty papers, or publication series that you would like.
  • UNLV yearbooks (Epilogue) and the Rebel Yell newspaper can also be requested via call slips. Please note that all back issues of the Rebel Yell have been digitized.