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.
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.