Last Chance to View Revealing Political Exhibit

Nevada Can't Beat the StorkWhile the national election has come to its surprising end, our political exhibit, “On the Road to Office: Campaigns, Elections and Governance” lives on until November 18.  You still have time to view the politics of Nevada’s past by seeing items pulled from our many political collections.

Fierce campaign battles have been going on every election between candidates and among their supporters, and from those who see that change is needed to keep going forward.

Our exhibit shows the many ways in which campaigns have been handled:Burning Man, 2008

  • How the growth of Nevada’s population after World War II had overwhelmed existing school buildings and the work to get bond measures passed for their construction;
  • How building support among many organizations and individuals concerned with the fate of the Black Rock/High Rock desert area created its National Conservation Area;
  • Or the campaigns of Senator Paul Laxalt for the election and re-elections of President Ronald Reagan;
  • And Laxalt’s own tough 1980 campaign against Mary Gojack. (In his victory speech he used the phrase “We are committed to making American great again.”)

There is also a primer on how to run a campaign which has examples of many people’s way of addressing the suggested 10 points. Point #9 is to not run a negative campaign!

Does history really repeat itself?  Can individuals learn from the past?  Our goal in creating this exhibit is to help reveal the state’s political past by exposing those various historical events to both new as well as contemporary generations of Nevadans so that they understand the present and can make informed decisions about their future.

 

Campaign Matters: Insider Views

Campaign Matters postcardWe are getting very close to our event!  Don’t forget that the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries’ Special Collections Department invites the public to a unique panel discussion called “Campaign Matters: Insider Views.” The free event, 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 24, will feature a variety of family, staff and volunteers who have helped on past political campaigns. Attendees will hear stories about Nevada’s political history from some of the state’s “political veterans.”

Featured will be moderator Keith Lee, longtime political lobbyist and attorney; panelists include Patricia D. Cafferata and her daughter Elisa Cafferata, who both helped their mother and grandmother Barbara Vucanovich on her elections, as well as running campaigns of their own; Susan Lynn, rural representative for Jim Santini when he changed political parties to run for the U.S. Senate; Neena Laxalt, daughter of former U.S. Senator Paul Laxalt; and Paul Bible, attorney and son of U.S. Senator Alan Bible.

Questions to the panelists will include: What were they asked to do? Did they volunteer or were they paid staff? What worked for the campaigns they helped with, or what didn’t?  What would you like to know more about? Send your questions to:  specoll@unr.edu.

“Campaign Matters: Insider Views” will be held in the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center’s Wells Fargo Auditorium. Seating is limited, so RSVPs are required: http://campaign-matters.eventbrite.com. Free parking is available in the Brian J. Whalen Parking Complex.

“Campaign Matters” is being held in conjunction with the Special Collections current political exhibit, “The Road to Office: Campaigns, Elections, and Governance.” The exhibit will be opened during the program. For more information or questions, contact the Special Collections and University Archives Department from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday by phone at 775-682-5665, or email specoll@unr.edu.

We hope to see you there!

New Exhibit Available Highlighting Political Collections

RoadtoOffice case signage_27x7

Once again, politics have permeated our airwaves and our attention. To honor the political season, Special Collections presents a new exhibit that offers a snapshot of Nevada’s political past and explores the men and women who campaigned for offices in Nevada. Entitled On the Road to Office: Campaigns, Elections and Governance, the exhibit runs through Nov. 18, 2016.

Through the files of the many political papers housed in Special Collections, the exhibit explores how people grappled with issues of the day, ran for and remained in office, and assisted others in gaining a role in the democratic process.

UNRS-P2015-12-00278One highlight of the exhibit is Paul Laxalt’s continued role in the campaigns to elect and re-elect Ronald Reagan as President of the United States. Friends since they were governors of their neighboring states and often referred to by media as “the First Friend,” Laxalt was called upon by Reagan to be his national campaign chairman in pursuing the nation’s highest office beginning in 1976.

While their first attempt failed, Reagan’s 1980 election and his 1984 re-election changed the course of national politics and political dialogue. During his work for Reagan, Laxalt also ran his own re-election campaign for the U.S. Senate in 1980 against his challenger, Democrat Mary Gojack. Items from Gojack’s manuscript collection show her fight in that election.”

William Raggio DA Re-election Poster William J. Raggio, the state’s longest serving senator, is also featured in the exhibit as are materials from other numerous Nevada politicians and their campaigns. The exhibit also displays how individuals, organizations and legislators have collaborated on important issues of the day.

Public Radio station KUNR’s Noah Glick visited the exhibit.  Listen to his report of August 18th  via this link:

http://kunr.org/post/history-repeats-itself-new-unr-political-exhibit#stream/0

Located on the third floor of the Knowledge Center, On the Road to Office: Campaigns, Elections and Governance is open for viewing from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. For further information, please contact the Special Collections at (775) 682-5665 or email: specoll@unr.edu.

Cliff Young’s Legacy in Special Collections

Clifton Young died on April 3, 2016, and his passing got me to thinking about him. I met Cliff Young when I received a call from his staff about the possibilities of donating additional materials he had to Special Collections. He had already donated materials about himself and his family to be included in our manuscript collections, but before my time working in Special Collections. At the time of the call, he was one of Justices on the Nevada Supreme Court, formerly its Chief Justice, and had made the decision to retire from the bench. Consequently, he had to do something with all the accumulation of files that went beyond his court work. In 2002, I traveled to the Supreme Court building in Carson City to talk with him and see the files he had.

Walking into his office was a bit of a surprise as it wasn’t exactly what I expected. It was a complete surprise, actually. The walls were filled with photographs but also an amazing amount of mounted animal heads and fish, trophies of his time hunting and fishing throughout his life. He told me stories about most of the items, too. He had a love for the outdoors.

The materials that he wanted to donate to our department involved a continuation of items about his family plus his own work with the National Wildlife Federation and the Nevada Wildlife Federation, a lot of personal correspondence (and he knew everyone!), and items from his political career. Justice Young served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1953-1957, and had an unsuccessful campaign in 1956 where he lost to Alan Bible. He also was a state Senator from 1966-1980. Much of his political career was organized into a number of scrapbooks.
Cliff Young book

Since he knew about the court system, Young had also published a book entitled From Kings’ Court to Justice Courts: a Notable Judicial Odyssey in 1994, a project of the Nevada Judicial Historical Society. But as many authors have found, not all the research one does ends up between the covers, but it’s still good stuff that you hang onto. Consequently, he retained his research files on Nevada’s justice court system, plus drafts of the manuscript on its way through the publication process.

It was a treat to meet Justice Young and accept his donation. It was obvious that he loved to talk with people and had wonderful stories to regale you with. Those interested in his two manuscript materials can view the guides to his papers in Manuscript Collections 96-06 and 2002-14. He also conducted an oral history in 2002 and you can view the transcript here.

Paul Laxalt’s Reagan Years: Campaigns, Elections and the Road to the White House

Often referred to by media as “the First Friend,” Nevada’s United States Senator Paul Laxalt’s friendship and working relationship with President Ronald Reagan was well known in its day. UNRS-P2015-12-00278While much has been written about Reagan, few sources relating to Laxalt’s work overseeing Reagan’s presidential campaigns have been available to researchers.

The Reagan materials found in the extensive Paul Laxalt U.S. Senatorial Papers, housed in Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries, are now open for use. This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Nevada State Library and Archives. Available online is the collection’s guide and a selection of documents and photographs which were digitized.

This portion of the Paul Laxalt U.S. Senatorial Papers covers the years 1975-1987 when Laxalt was Reagan’s national chairman for his presidential campaigns in 1976, 1980 and his reelection campaign in 1984. The election materials fill a void in depicting Reagan and Laxalt’s close friendship. They are comprised of correspondence, reports, scrapbooks, audio/visual resources and photographs, which provide a wealth of information for researchers.

Senator Paul Laxalt talks with Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office

Senator Paul Laxalt talks with Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office

Paul Laxalt, a longtime Republican public figure in Nevada, became a notable and highly visible player on the national political stage. The son of Basque immigrants, Laxalt rose through Nevada’s political ranks to governor before becoming the first Basque-American ever elected to the U.S. Senate (1974-1987). His tenure was marked by a dedication to conservative politics and his friendship with Ronald Reagan.

“We are very grateful to have received the grant from the Nevada State Library and Archives which allowed us to hire a project archivist to organize and prepare these important historical political materials for use,” Jacquelyn Sundstrand, Special Collection’s manuscripts and archives librarian who oversaw the processing work for the collection, said. “We know that the Laxalt-Reagan friendship was extremely important to both men as well as to the state of Nevada within the American political scene. These materials compliment and expand our knowledge about what is already known concerning both Paul Laxalt and President Reagan’s legacies.”

To access the Paul Laxalt-Ronald Reagan manuscript collection guide and for the selected digitized collection, visit http://innopac.library.unr.edu/record=b1297504~S1.

For additional information concerning the Paul Laxalt and Ronald Reagan materials at the University, please contact Special Collections via email, specoll@unr.edu, call 775-682-5665, or visit http://knowledgecenter.unr.edu/specoll/.

Western Shoshone Exhibit Closing March 18

WSDP exhbit2_2-26-2016 Closing on March 18 is our latest exhibit “Whose Land is It? The Dann Sisters and the Western Shoshone Defense Project.”  The exhibit is based on just one new collection, the Western Shoshone Defense Project Records, we recently prepared through a grant from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.

The records of the Western Shoshone Defense Project were maintained by Carrie and Mary Dann, two traditional Western Shoshone ranchers living in northeastern Nevada. The Defense Project’s mission was to affirm Western Shoshone jurisdiction over Western Shoshone ancestral homelands by protecting, preserving, and restoring Shoshone rights and lands for present and future generations based on cultural and spiritual traditions. It was established in 1991 by the Western Shoshone National Council to provide support to Mary and Carrie Dann as they faced confiscation of their livestock which they grazed on Western Shoshone homelands without paying grazing fees to the Bureau of Land Management.

Dean Kathy Ray takes a selfie with Carrie Dann, the remaining sister, at our opening reception in September 2015.

Dean Kathy Ray takes a selfie with Carrie Dann, the remaining sister, at our opening reception for Western Shoshone in September 2015.

Voices are being raised about the uses of our public lands and if their control should be turned over to the states and not held by the federal government.  These are the same issues raised by the Sagebrush Rebellion during the 1960s and 1970s. The current media coverage on the Bundy family members’ armed standoffs with their supporters concerning fees and uses of what are now considered public lands has some parallels with the issues raised by Western Shoshone peoples.  However, the Western Shoshone pursued solutions about their ancestral lands through the courts.

The exhibit is available on the third floor of the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center at the Special Collections Department through March 18, 2016. Please contact the department if you have any questions. Email: specoll@unr.edu; phone: 775/682-5665. Hope to see you soon!

Nevada in Film

Over the years, Nevada has been a popular place for the filming of motion pictures. UNR, specifically, has been featured in a number of films. During the 1940s-1950s, the charming, traditional ‘academic’ style of campus buildings made the University of Nevada an ideal location for filming movies with campus settings. In that time, eight Hollywood films were shot on campus: Andy Hardy’s Blonde Trouble (1944), Margie (1946), An Apartment for Peggy (1948), Mother is a Freshman (1949), Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (1949), Captive City (1952), 5 Against the House (1955), and Hilda Crane (1956). From 1944-1948, the film studios utilized the university’s student body as a ready pool of extras. However, after 1948, due to the number of students cutting class, the studios were banned from using students as extras. With the new restrictions, Hollywood made only three more films. In 1954, the Board of Regents drafted a policy limiting future studios to shooting on campus only during university vacations.

Campus isn’t the only setting for films, though. One of the most famous films shot in Nevada was The Misfits. Filming took place in many prominent locations including Pyramid Lake, the Mapes Hotel, Harrah’s Casino, Misfits Flats, and on Virginia Street. Another film, The Winning of Barbara Worth (1926), was filmed on the Black Rock Desert and surrounding areas, including Devil’s Canyon and Paradise Valley.

For more information on the filming of The Misfits, please see our Library Guide The Misfits in Nevada.

New Exhibit Opening Soon!

Next week, beginning Monday, September 28, Special Collections will be opening a new exhibit based on one new manuscript collection, the Western Shoshone Defense Project Records. We’re very excited to be able to present these materials to the public and are working hard to prepare our exhibit.Exhibit Room-empty

The records of the Western Shoshone Defense Project were maintained by Carrie and Mary Dann, two traditional Western Shoshone ranchers living in northeastern Nevada. The Defense Project’s mission was to affirm Western Shoshone jurisdiction over Western Shoshone ancestral homelands by protecting, preserving, and restoring Shoshone rights and lands for present and future generations based on cultural and spiritual traditions. It was established in 1991 by the Western Shoshone National Council to provide support to Mary and Carrie Dann as they faced confiscation of their livestock which they grazed on Western Shoshone homelands without paying grazing fees to the Bureau of Land Management.

WSDP PostcardThe exhibit will be available on the third floor of the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center at the Special Collections Department and will be up through March 18, 2016. Please contact the department if you have any questions. Email: speccoll@unr.edu; phone: 775/682-5665. Hope to see you soon!

Maya Miller Papers Now Available

Maya Miller

Maya Miller

Special Collections would like to announce that the Maya Miller Papers, Manuscript Collection 95-107, are now available to researchers. We thank the family’s Orchard House Foundation for its generous support in assisting us on this project.

Many Nevadans may remember Maya Miller as a political activist who worked for social justice especially for women in many areas of her life. Here is a short description of her work and a glimpse into what one will find in her papers.  She served as the Chairperson on the Board of Directors for the Las Vegas-based community development corporation, Operation Life from the mid-1970s through the early 1990s where she lobbied for the rights of Nevada’s welfare mothers. Continuing with her belief in working for social justice, Miller worked to promote the civil rights of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe in Nevada as well as for the indigenous peoples of Nicaragua during the time of the Sandinista revolution in the 1980s, traveling to that country to help set up a Peace House.

Miller served in varying capacities with the national and Nevada League of Women Voters as well as with the Democratic Party and issues surrounding women and their role within the party. She may be best remembered, however, as being the first woman in Nevada since Anne Martin in 1920 to run for a seat in the U. S. Senate.  While she lost to then Lieutenant Governor Harry Reid in her 1974 race, her campaign revealed that there was support from a base of women’s electoral groups for her.

Kit Miller, Maya's daughter, views a box of the completed collection during a visit to Special Collections with staff members Jacque Sundstrand and Edan Strekal.

Kit Miller, Maya’s daughter, views a box of the completed collection during a visit to Special Collections with staff members Jacque Sundstrand and Edan Strekal.

The collection covers the years 1953-2003 and includes correspondence, speeches, campaign materials, news clips, reports, photographs, and audio/visual resources, with particular emphasis placed on Miller’s position as Chairperson on the Board of Directors for the Las Vegas-based community development corporation, Operation Life. Of particular interest are the oral history interviews conducted by Maya’s daughter, Kit Miller between 1993 and 1994.

View the online catalog record and accompanying guide to the contents for the Maya Miller Papers.

For those interested in seeing a selection of these materials, we have put together a webpage to highlight aspects of Maya Miller’s life and work taken from her papers. Here is a link to the digital collection website.

Visiting Us and Changes in Campus Parking

Changes have just occurred in your campus parking options which you will want to know about if you’re coming to use Special Collections, the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center (a.k.a. the library), or other facilities on campus.

Beginning June 1, the metered parking lot located just south of the 15th Street entrance and north of the Whalen Parking Complex is closed, permanently. This closure is due to the construction starting on a new building, the E. L. Weigand Fitness Center. The new fitness center takes the place of the Lombardi Recreation Center, which has outgrown its ability to handle the use from the increasing numbers of our student population.

Consequently, short-term hourly parking is now located on the top floor of the Brian Whalen Parking Complex at $1.50 per hour, with a four-hour maximum. For those needing daily parking, it is available on the top floor of the West Stadium Parking Complex which has access from North Virginia Street off of 16th Street. Visitor Parking Area Map June 2015

The new E. L. Weigand Fitness Center will be offering areas for weightlifting and training as well as fitness classes and activities, plus an indoor 1/8th mile running track. Three full-court gymnasiums will be available for basketball and other indoor multi-use court sports. The Wiegand Fitness Center’s projected opening date is early 2017.

We welcome this new fitness facility to fulfill the needs of our growing campus. But we will miss the view to the west out of the KC’s windows as well as complicating the parking situation in the short term for the users of Special Collections. We hope you continue to find your way to us!