New Online Oral Histories - February 2020

Digital Collections, part of Special Collections and Archives in the University Libraries, has digitized 10 oral histories and made them available on our website this month. These stories, collected as part of several projects from the UNLV Oral History Research Center, provide a detailed look at the many people different people who call Las Vegas and Southern Nevada home.

Our new online oral histories include:

New from Digital Collections: 1 October Twitter Data Tutorial Series

twitter data tutorial series

Learn how to design, collect, document, and analyze a collection of Twitter data by Miranda Barrie 

Navigating a collection of over 14 million tweets can seem like a daunting task. When the UNLV Libraries published its first-ever collection of Twitter data, we knew there was a need to make the data accessible to faculty and students across campus. The 1 October Twitter Data Tutorial Series features ten tutorials that take you step-by-step through the design, collection, and documentation process of curating a collection of Twitter data. Tutorials seven through ten feature tools to help students analyze the data they collect.

These tutorials are available now! You can scroll…Read More

Nevada History through Calendars of the Past by Ryan DiPaolo

Rhyolite Bottling Works 1909 Calendar

The Rhyolite Bottling Works from Rhyolite, Nevada calendar depicting Cascade Falls in Yosemite Valley, California, 1909, UNLV University Libraries Collection of Nevada Calendars, MS-00990

In celebration of a new year, Archival Backlog Elimination Project Archival Processing Assistant Ryan DiPaolo’s blog post highlights unique Nevada calendars from the UNLV University Libraries Collection of Nevada Calendars (MS-00990). DiPaolo recently received his MA LIS from the University of Arizona, Tucson.

The UNLV…Read More

Happy Thanksgiving from UNLV Special Collections and Archives

Orange menu from Don the Beachcomber restaurant

Thanksgiving Dinner menu, Don the Beachcomber, Sahara Las Vegas, approximately 1963, UNLV University Libraries Menu Collection, MS-00436

As we at Special Collections and Archives get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with our families and friends, we’d like to share some menus of Las Vegas Thanksgiving dinners from years past and express our gratitude for the hard work across our division this year that has made the UNLV University Libraries Menu Collection open for research.

Over the summer, we received generous donations from Mark and Marianne Haley and the UNLV University Libraries Advisory Board that allowed us to hire…Read More

Union Pacific Railroad Collection Water Resources Digitization Project Complete

The original Las Vegas Land & Water Co., located on North 2nd near Fremont Street (PH-00002). From the Squires Family Photographs Collection.

The Digital Collections department in UNLV University Libraries Special Collections & Archives has completed work on a grant-funded project to digitize documents related to water resources from the Union Pacific Railroad Collection.

“The founding and growth of Las Vegas as a major metropolitan area is due to the railroad industry, specifically the Union Pacific Railroad,” said Cory Lampert, head of UNLV Digital Collections. “Given the vital issue of water resources management, we prioritized the…Read More

Understanding the Nature of the Nuclear West at Yucca Mountain by Billy Marino

Atmospheric nuclear bomb test at the NTS in the 1950s.

Image Credit: Film Transparency showing an atomic explosion at the Nevada Test Site, circa 1950s,” L.F. Manis Photographs, 1900-1969, PH-00100. Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Billy Marino received his BA and MA from UNLV’s Department of History where he studied environmental history and the American West before working as an archival processing assistant at UNLV Libraries Special Collections & Archives. His thesis focused on the ways environmental perceptions of the West shaped decisions regarding the space race during the 1960s, including extensive research the role of the Nevada Test Site (today called the Nevada…Read More

The Golden Age of Auto Travel by Lauren Paljusaj

US 50 travel placemat with drawing of scenery and destinations along highway with text description below

The Travel Mat for US 95 shows tourist attractions from Lovelock, Nevada to Blythe, California, featuring the Nevada Test Site and Boulder Dam, approximately 1940-1970, UNLV University Libraries Menu Collection, MS-00436

In today’s age of Google maps, Yelp, and the multitude of smartphone apps available for travel and leisure, taking a road trip is somewhat different from the post-World War II era, when long-distance car travel was a momentous occasion. The post-war economic boom of the 1940s and 1950s meant more people could afford cars, and this, along with more employers offering paid vacation time, meant that road trips were a popular family…Read More

Snapshots of America by Kyle Gagnon

Over the course of sorting and processing thousands of historic menus, I have come across nearly identical looking menus from completely different restaurants. These menus featured a design of visually stimulating patterns of dots that created a sort of optical illusion effect in the background of the interior, and even more interesting patterns on the back. Inside, different sections of the menu were neatly squared off and organized, with some of them accompanied by charming and detailed illustrations of food. But why were these menus practically the same, when one is from Sanford, North Carolina, and the other is from Ville Platte, Louisiana?

Cover of menu depicting green grass and tree

Palomino menu, approximately 1970-1980, UNLV University…Read More

If You're Game by Mary Anilao

In the early stages of the menu project, I came across a menu that had nothing on the front except the text “If you’re game.” The black text stood out from its white canvas background, but other than that, there was nothing exceptional about this menu. Until I opened it.

If You're Game menu, approximately 1980-1990, UNLV Universities Libraries Collection of Menus, MS-00436

The first item on the menu is octopus soup. I knew then that the menu was not as simple and normal as the cover led me to believe! The food described in the menu includes bug-centric meals such as roast locusts with mutto grass as well as Spanish worms in butter and wine sauce. Other options include various and unique meats including camel curry and saute badger. Other dishes on the menu…Read More

An Unexpected Memory by Paola Landaverde

From sewing music scores in the preservation lab to categorizing and identifying menus in the menu collection, working in the Special Collections and Archives division of the UNLV University Libraries has enriched my knowledge. This summer, I have been working on the menu project with four other undergraduate students. Coming across menus from old Las Vegas casinos such as the Stardust or the Desert Inn, as well as menus with elaborate designs and food items from different states, has sparked my curiosity about the evolution of gastronomy. Seeing menus from a diverse array of countries including France, Australia, Benin, and even Kuwait has been amazing, but I never expected to come across a restaurant guide from El Salvador, my home country!

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