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What's New in Special Collections

Eadington Gaming Fellow Jonathan Cohen: In Residence November 9 - December 11

By Su Kim Chung on November 16, 2015 6:44 PM | Permalink


The Center for Gaming Research and UNLV Special Collections welcome our latest Eadington Fellow, Jonathan Cohen.

Cohen (MA University of Virginia 2015) is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia. He is interested in the relationship of social mobility, economic inequality, and lived religion in the United States. His dissertation examines the rise of state lotteries in the social, political, cultural, economic and religious climate of the late twentieth century, arguing that lotteries represent the product of shifting ideas about hard work, education, wealth, and traditional Christian values. A graduate of McGill University, he is also the managing editor of BOSS: The Biannual Online-Journal of Springsteen Studies.

October 24 - International Day of Climate Action: Documenting Environmental Activism in Special Collections

By Su Kim Chung on October 23, 2015 2:28 PM | Permalink

Wild horses roam the Nevada Test Site. U.S. Department of Energy Photograph Collection on the Nevada Test Site PH-00282

In honor of International Day of Climate Action  on October 24, archival collections assistant Lindsay Oden ('15 MA History) has written a thoughtful blog post on our many important collections that document the history of environmental activism work in Las Vegas and southern Nevada.

As Oden notes, "These collections help researchers explore how and why Southern Nevada became such a highly contested region to activists, anti-war protesters, and the military. Moreover, these collections illustrate fundamental aspects about Nevada’s history: they portray complicated interplays between humanity and the land, indigenous and non-indigenous settlers, humans and animals, and scientific curiosity and compassionate caution." 

Special Collections: A Laboratory for the Study of Las Vegas and Gaming

By Su Kim Chung on October 23, 2015 2:00 PM | Permalink

Students examine material from the Syphus-Bunker Papers (T-85) for a class assignment. 

Have you ever wondered  what comes out of the research conducted in Special Collections? A new blog post for UNLV Research Week, "A Laboratory for the Study of Las Vegas and Gaming," provides some insight into the many scholarly works that have utilized our important historical manuscript collections and books.  We hope that it will inspire students and faculty in a variety of disciplines to think about the kinds of discoveries that they can make about our region's rich history and the history of gaming in UNLV Special Collections. 

Eadington Gaming Fellow Alex Kupfer: In Residence October 19 - November 15

By Su Kim Chung on October 20, 2015 2:10 PM | Permalink

Alex Kupfer with the Binions Horseshoe Collection MS-00325

Alex Kupfer received his doctoral degree from the Department of Cinema Studies at New York University in fall 2015. His research and teaching interests focus on American film history, nontheatrical motion picture exhibition, and sports culture. He is currently working on a book project which examines the relationship between intercollegiate football, higher education, and American film industries before television.

Happy Electronic Records Day!

By kirwin on October 6, 2015 11:56 AM | Permalink

October 10th is Electronic Records Day, a tradition begun by the Council of State Archivists (CoSA) in 2010 in order to raise awareness about the importance of managing and preserving electronic records.   Electronic records are "born digital" files produced in a computer environment. UNLV Special Collections is working to ensure these electronic files survive well into the future, just as we do with boxes of paper based materials.

Dorothy Keeler: Deputy County Clerk and Motorist, by Angela Moor

By Cyndi Shein on September 29, 2015 9:56 AM | Permalink

Angela Moor, UNLV PhD candidate and Special Collections intern, 2015

Before beginning my internship in Special Collections this summer, I hoped I might come across materials that would be useful for my doctoral dissertation about the history of weddings and divorce in Las Vegas during the 1930s and 1940s.  When I worked on the Dorothy Keeler Papers (MS-00195), I was excited to find some great materials about the early Las Vegas wedding industry and 1930s in Southern Nevada.

Dorothy Keeler portrait, undated

UNLV Special Collections in the News

By Su Kim Chung on September 21, 2015 5:09 PM | Permalink

Image  featured in the Mid-Century modern exhibit in Special Collections. from the Glenwood Development brochure, Farnsworth Collection, MS-00177

We are thrilled that the work of Special Collections staff has been the subject of recent feature articles in the local Las Vegas press:

The French Connection exhibit curated by Karla Irwin was highlighted in the Las Vegas Weekly : UNLV Exhibit Takes Historical Look at the Feather-Decked Icon of the Vegas Showgirl.

Las Vegas Pride! by Franklin Howard

By Cyndi Shein on September 14, 2015 11:40 AM | Permalink


For many in the LGBT community, summer is a season of travel and celebration. Beginning in June, cities across the United States hold LGBT Pride parades and festivals that draw thousands from the community and its allies. Las Vegas is no exception—the Las Vegas Pride Night Parade will be held on September 18th this year. The Southern Nevada Association of Pride, Inc. (SNAPI) has been in charge of planning Las Vegas LGBT Pride since 1995 and Special Collections has some of the records of one of its executive members, Strutt Hurley, from the early years of the organization.

Hurley was the Director of Entertainment of SNAPI in 1996 and 1997 and her collection features documents that demonstrate how the parades and Pride events were constructed. Among the documents are edited drafts of press releases and sample pages from Pride programs that show how much work and thought went into creating this one event.

Exhibit Highlight: From Tract House To Bauhaus The Modern House In Mid-Century Las Vegas

By Su Kim Chung on July 29, 2015 2:11 PM | Permalink

Illustrations:  Paradise Palms housing development brochure. From the Farnsworth Collection MS-00497.

Special Collections Curator Peter Michel has created a new exhibit about mid-century modern home design in Las Vegas.  The exhibit cases feature original architectural designs drawn from UNLV's collections on architects Elmo Bruner, James B. McDaniel and Dale Scheideman as well as the Las Vegas Historical Building Survey Collection, historical housing development brochures from the Farnsworth Collection, color photographs of mid century moderns homes from the Mancuso Casino Collection, excerpts from the "West Charleston Neighborhoods: An Oral History Project of Ward 1" and others. 

Staff Highlight: Our Award-Winning Staff

By Su Kim Chung on July 23, 2015 4:34 PM | Permalink


Some of our award-winning staff:  Su Kim Chung, Lindsay Oden, Cyndi Shein, and Michael Frazier. Not pictured: Silvia Southwick. 

The spring 2015 semester saw a number of Special Collections staff honored for their work both in the UNLV Libraries and campus-wide. Please join us in congratulating our staff on their accomplishments!

Special Collections Head of Public Services Su Kim Chung was selected as "McPhee Librarian of the Year" by her peers in the UNLV Libraries.  She was nominated by Director of Special Collections, Michelle Light. 

Silvia Southwick, Digital Collections Metadata Librarian, was honored for her significant scholarship contributions (including important work on linked data) with the UNLV Libraries Outstanding Faculty Scholarship award.