New Exhibit Available Highlighting Political Collections

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Getting the Word Out About Our Political Collections

Jacque poses with 2 of the 3 panels.

Jacque poses with 2 of the 3 panels.

Through lobbyist and friend of Special Collections, Keith Lee, we heard last month that space might be available in the Legislative Building in Carson City to hang a display of some of our politically related materials. We had been wanting to find a way to tell people about the materials we collect and have for use by students and other researchers, and to also see about receiving additional donations of materials from former politicians or others who worked with political issues.

We had never thought about presenting an exhibit on our materials outside of the Special Collections Department. Usually we create exhibits on themes or special subjects for display in our department and/or around the Knowledge Center building here on campus.

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