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What's New in Special Collections

Glenn Davis - Las Vegas Photographer by Maryse Lundering-Timpano

By Su Kim Chung on December 12, 2016 3:46 PM | Permalink


Glenn Davis photographed a sailboat on Lake Mead near the crest of Boulder Dam from the upstream Nevada side. The dam was officially renamed Hoover Dam in 1947.  (PH: 0020-0126)

UNLV history graduate student Maryse Lundering-Timpano worked as a summer intern in Special Collections this past June and July creating finding aids for our many historic photograph collections. Here she describes a collection of particular interest to her.


Here Davis photographed the main construction site of the Boulder Dam project from the downstream side. (PH: 0020-0072)

Decembers to Remember in Special Collections

By Su Kim Chung on December 3, 2016 12:23 PM | Permalink



Above: This photograph of a snow-laden tree in Las Vegas in 1930 is part of our Doris Hancock Collection. Mrs. Hancock was a teacher at the John S. Park School for 39 years, retiring in 1963.

December is a month of holidays and celebrations. For some of us, that traditionally means it's time to deck the halls! We thought we'd add to the festivities by sharing a few images from the archives. These wintry scenes (and other ephemera) help document the spirit of the season in Las Vegas and Southern Nevada over the past hundred years.

A photo essay by Nancy Hardy, Special Collections Outreach and Reference Assistant


A Cornucopia of Memories from Special Collections

By Su Kim Chung on November 21, 2016 8:14 AM | Permalink

Menu from Thanksgiving 1908 at the Binkley Hotel in Sherman, Texas (Bohn-Bettoni Collection)

With Thanksgiving approaching, we're feeling a sense of gratitude for many things, among them the growing diversity and expansion of our archives over the past year. In honor of the holiday, we're equally grateful to be able to share these photographs and ephemeral materials from our Special Collections. They recall several delightful ways that Thanksgiving was celebrated over the last century in Las Vegas, in Southern Nevada and across the country.  

A photo essay by Nancy Hardy, Special Collections Outreach and Reference Assistant

"The Future is Here" Early tech adopters in gaming seen through the Christiansen Papers, by Lindsay Oden

By Special Collections Technical Services on November 8, 2016 1:08 PM | Permalink

The widespread use of computers and the internet made an indelible mark on the world of gaming, as it did on numerous other aspects of our lives. The Eugene Martin Christiansen Papers held in UNLV Libraries Special Collections document how gaming companies, gamblers, race tracks, and casinos began looking into the forerunners of internet gaming as early as the 1970s and had been using networked computers as a resource decades before most people were online.

Special Collections OPEN October 28th

By Su Kim Chung on October 27, 2016 3:25 PM | Permalink

Special Collections will be open for all your research needs on the Nevada Day holiday Friday, October 28th. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Nevada to be a state on October 31, 1864, although the commemorative "Nevada Day" has been celebrated instead on the last Friday in October in recent years. Above, from our UNLV University Libraries Collection on Goldfield, Nevada (MS-00010), take a look at secretary M. E. Blanchard's notes on the Nevada Day festivities of the Goldfield Women's Club in 1908. The document is a good example of the many charming treasures awaiting discovery among our vast and varied manuscript collections.  

Six Secrets from Special Collections with Michael Frazier

By Su Kim Chung on October 24, 2016 7:35 AM | Permalink

Michael Frazier, Book and Paper Conservator, Special Collections Division

In our Secrets from Special Collections series, UNLV Libraries Special Collections staff members divulge what they consider to be the hidden gems of the library, sharing answers, based on their own experiences, to six intriguing questions. Here, Book and Paper Conservator Michael Frazier gives us a glimpse into life working among the rare treasures of the library.

1. When you first began working in Special Collections, what was the one item or collection that made your jaw drop, and why? Describe.

Telling Tales in Special Collections: Tales from the Pit

By Su Kim Chung on October 20, 2016 9:24 PM | Permalink


Tales from the Pit, a new publication edited by David G. Schwartz, Director of the Center for Gaming Research, inside UNLV Libraries Special Collections (Cover photo by Aaron Mayes, UNLV Special Collections Curator of Visual Materials)

UNLV Libraries Special Collections houses a vast collection of recorded, transcribed and/or digitized oral histories—first-person narratives told by Las Vegas pioneers and residents, some covering events that happened 100 years or more in the past. They are, in a way, self-portraits of people from many professions, cultures and lifestyles who have shared in Las Vegas’ eclectic history. What was it like to live and work near Hoover Dam during its construction? What was life like for a showgirl during the heyday of the Rat Pack? These stories are endlessly fascinating, even if you’re not a historian or researcher!

New Libraries Exhibit Features Items from University Archives

By Su Kim Chung on October 10, 2016 3:59 PM | Permalink

A new exhibit in Lied Library curated by social sciences librarian Heidi Johnson features a number of original documents, photographs, yearbooks, and copies of the UNLV student newspaper Rebel Yell drawn from the University Archives in Special Collections. The original documents were essential to chronicling the history of student activism at UNLV over six decades.  

“Documents from the University Archives offer examples of students working with administrators to change curricula and programming to meet the needs of a diverse student body,” said Michelle Light, director of Special Collections at UNLV University Libraries. “The exhibit contains powerful examples that showcase how student activism has helped initiate conversations on campus that led to change within the university.”