The Truth Behind the Icon: The Real Story of the 1899 Nevada Women’s Basketball Team

Their eyes gleam with intensity and barely a smile cracks their faces. Their uniforms are bulky and cumbersome, long gathered skirts and full sleeves, prim and buttoned collars. The number 99 is conspicuously emblazoned on each. One of them holds a basketball, gazing steadily at the camera. Unlike many turn-of-the-century portraits of women, carefully posed …

Continue reading ‘The Truth Behind the Icon: The Real Story of the 1899 Nevada Women’s Basketball Team’ »

Snapshot of Mill Street

Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. For this reason, historians are increasingly turning to visual imagery as primary source material in archival research. The wealth of information contained in a simple photograph is immense, each one representing a unique moment in time and place. Even unidentified photos can provide invaluable information to …

Continue reading ‘Snapshot of Mill Street’ »

Sparks Theatre

It is a common misconception that photographs represent an unbiased record of the truth. On the contrary, images are constructed, staged to tell a particular story or to make a particular point. Even the most obvious landscape involves a set of decisions—including angle, aperture, and shutter speed—which affect the finished image and guide the viewer’s …

Continue reading ‘Sparks Theatre’ »

The Secret Life of Lake Tahoe

Cave Rock, the majestic guardian of Lake Tahoe, presides with regal silence over a shadowy and mysterious realm, harboring a hidden world full of secret beings who live in and around the lake. Hordes of people flock to Tahoe’s shores, single-mindedly absorbed in their pursuit of the perfect vacation, so busy enjoying the many outdoor …

Continue reading ‘The Secret Life of Lake Tahoe’ »

Reading a Photograph: Notes on a Simple Portrait with Multiple Meanings

It has often been noted that photography is as much a literary art as it is visual. This is because of the photograph’s ability to stand in for any number of ideas, coming to represent things not a part of the original image itself. Take this carte de visite of a young boy, for example. …

Continue reading ‘Reading a Photograph: Notes on a Simple Portrait with Multiple Meanings’ »

The Byways and Recesses of this Sublime Wilderness: John Muir in Nevada

It has been said by those who know it intimately that the Great Basin hides itself from view. Seen from the interstates and highways that lope restlessly across its surface, it appears as little more than a haphazard jumble of rocks, barren and uninteresting to passersby. Even John Muir felt overwhelmed by the emptiness he …

Continue reading ‘The Byways and Recesses of this Sublime Wilderness: John Muir in Nevada’ »