UNLV University Libraries Digital Collections works to digitize their library to make items more accessible to users. The University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV) is a member of the Mountain West Digital Library and makes content accessible through www.mwdl.org as well as their own site. It also contributes to the Digital Public Library of America, DPLA. 

 

Some popular online collections include:

 

Maps

Southern Nevada and Las Vegas: History in Maps – The historic map collection housed in the UNLV Libraries’ Division of Special Collection dates from the 17th century to the present, including significant collections concerning the exploration of the American West, the American Southwest, Nevada, and Southern Nevada. This collection contains the original published reports of the great 19th century U.S. government surveys of the West, as well as the series of maps and atlases by Fremont, Emory, Beckwith, Warren and Wheeler that accompanied the published accounts.

 

Minorities

  • Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project (2014 – 2017) – The Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project preserves the history of Jews in Southern Nevada through collection and digitization of oral histories, family and organization records, and photographic documentation.
  • Documenting the African American Experience in Las Vegas (2011-2017) – Roughly 75 oral history interviews previously conducted by the UNLV Libraries’ Oral History Research Center are searchable via keywords or full text. Additional audio clips(52 mp3 files) complement the text, as well as photograph collections(398 total images) and a small selection of items from the manuscript collections(14 documents) that are relevant to the project’s focus. Each narrator(47 total) is represented in the collection with a biographical information record in the collection that joins related materials together in one place for easy user access. 

 

Oral Histories

  • Southern Nevada: The Boomtown Years, 1900-1925 – The project contains over 1500 items. Most prominent and popular of these collections are the photographs and photograph albums taken, collected, and preserved by individuals and families who lived and contributed to the boom years. These photographs record the life of most of the mining towns of Southern Nevada. We are especially fortunate that in this period cameras and photography were easily accessible and affordable for many people. Because traveling west was still the Great Adventure at the turn of the 20th century, people readily recorded their experiences and where they lived with their own cameras. Every small town had its own professional photographer whose studio produced postcards, portraits, and local views, all of which were avidly purchased, collected, and saved, providing priceless documentation of people and the towns and landscapes they lived in.
  • The Nevada Test Site Oral History Project (2003-2007) – The Nevada Test Site Oral History Project at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is a comprehensive program dedicated to documenting, preserving and disseminating the remembered past of persons affiliated with and affected by the Nevada Test Site during the era of Cold War nuclear testing.

 

Photos

  • Photograph Collection – Special Collections maintains a photograph collection of over 80,000 individually cataloged images, including black and white prints, color prints, scrap books, slides, negatives, color transparencies, and glass plates. A number of additional photographs are located in manuscript collections. The photographs primarily document the history of the city of Las Vegas, the Southern Nevada region, the gaming industry, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The department also maintains a nearly comprehensive series of aerial photographs of Las Vegas and other environments from the early 1970s to the present. 
  • Southern Nevada: The Boomtown Years, 1900-1925 – The project contains over 1500 items. Most prominent and popular of these collections are the photographs and photograph albums taken, collected, and preserved by individuals and families who lived and contributed to the boom years. These photographs record the life of most of the mining towns of Southern Nevada. We are especially fortunate that in this period cameras and photography were easily accessible and affordable for many people. Because traveling west was still the Great Adventure at the turn of the 20th century, people readily recorded their experiences and where they lived with their own cameras. Every small town had its own professional photographer whose studio produced postcards, portraits, and local views, all of which were avidly purchased, collected, and saved, providing priceless documentation of people and the towns and landscapes they lived in.

 

Biographies/People

  • Welcome Home, Howard! – This collection of over 100 cubic feet is the single most comprehensive collection documenting the press coverage of Hughes, and how that coverage was managed and controlled. But beyond that, as an integral part of Hughes enormous information-collecting operation, it also documents what interested Hughes. The collection also contains most of the official Howard Hughes photographs which Hughes authorized for use by his public relations machine. It was one of the many paradoxes of Howard Hughes that a man so paranoid and obsessed with avoiding the public eye was such a master of public relations. Not since Louis XIV has a public figure gone to such lengths to control the public’s perception of himself.
  • Dean Martin: Dino at the Sands! – Dean Martin first performed in Las Vegas in 1949 at the Flamingo Hotel with Jerry Lewis. Martin and Lewis were at the height of their nightclub career. Together they were paid $15,000 a week. By the end of the first week, Jerry Lewis had run up a casino debt of $137,000. In 1952, the Sands Hotel opened under the baton of Entertainment Director, Vice-President and later President Jack Entratter, the night club impresario from New York’s Copacabana Club. Entratter brought the biggest names in show business to the Sands by offering the biggest money. 
  • Showgirls – Showgirls Collection documents the unique history of the Las Vegas entertainment industry. Many artists and entrepreneurs were influential in the birth of a Las Vegas icon: the showgirl. Showgirls Collection features unique materials relating to costume design and theatrical production associated with Las Vegas shows and performers. The collection features design sketches and photographic prints about various productions and the theatrical artists who created them: including producers, dancers, and choreographers.

 

History

  • Dreaming the Skyline – This project draws exclusively from the architectural collections of UNLV Libraries Special Collections. These consist primarily of sets of architectural drawings and renderings from the offices of the two major hotel architects working in Las Vegas from 1954 to the 1980s: Martin Stern, Jr., and Homer Rissman. Stern’s drawings were acquired in 1996 when he closed his Los Angeles office. Soon after, Homer Rissman agreed to donate his drawings and records, although the collection was not transferred from his Las Vegas office until after his death in 2001. The photographic images for this project are drawn from the UNLV Special Collections photograph collections.
  • – The Historic Landscape of Nevada: Development, Water and the Natural Environment (HLN) is a collection of original materials in a variety of formats, from many different sources and perspectives. The materials, which were selected entirely from UNLV Libraries Special Collections, document the landscape of Southern Nevada and the history of man’s interaction with it. The text of the website offers a contextual framework for the project and its collections. It is designed to provide a narrative structure, to identify and explain a number of issues and themes, and to provoke questions and subjects for further inquiry.
  • Menus: The Art of Dining – Menus provide a wealth of information beyond their purely aesthetic value and are a particularly rich resource for aspects of cultural and social history. They give us information on the most popular cuisine of a time period and region and are evidence of changing culinary tastes. 
  • The Historic Landscape of Nevada: Development, Water, and the Natural Environment – This collection contains several Primary Source sets designed to immediately connect educators with historical materials. These sets build on the wealth of digitized material in the Historic Landscape of Nevada and can be used to supplement teaching in a wide range of disciplines including: geoscience, math, political science, environmental science, history, and more! Use primary source sets to help reveal the deeper issues and most complex narratives of Nevada’s historic landscape.

 

Ongoing Projects include:

 

Newspapers

  • – Digitized newspapers are made available on the Chronicling America website, hosted by the LC. Each state that is awarded the NEH grant selects, digitizes, and delivers 100,000 pages of historic newspapers to the Library of Congress. Currently, there are about 8.1 million pages of historic newspapers from 39 states and territories
  • Early Las Vegas Newspapers Project (2017-2018) – The Early Las Vegas Newspaper Project grant goals were to create a complete, online, searchable version of the Las Vegas Age newspaper as well as the region’s first, but short-lived newspaper, the Las Vegas Times. The proposed project will result in digital access to the Las Vegas Age in its entirety from 1905-1947, and to the Las Vegas Times from 1905-1906.
  • Rebel Yell Digital Collection – This project captures over 30,000 pages of The Rebel Yell from its inaugural issue in 1956 through 2010, at which point it went online and is available on its own website with its own digital archive. The issues from 1955 through 1986 were digitized from microfilm and are in black and white, while issues from 1987 to 2010 were digitized from the original copies and include color.

 

Government

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