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 …

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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. While 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 …

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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. The records of the Western Shoshone Defense Project …

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Canadian Filmmaker Hot on the Trail of Will James

Sometimes you simply don’t know who may be wanting to use our manuscript collections, and it is a surprise when it turns out to be an international user. In October I was contacted by Canadian filmmaker Claude Gagnon who is working on additional research concerning cowboy writer and illustrator Will James, author of the book …

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Exciting New Manuscript Collection from Western Shoshone Tribe

The Special Collections Department has received an extensive collection of records, the first from a Western Shoshone Tribal organization, and a grant from the National Historical Records & Publications Commission of more than $77,000 to organize, preserve and make the records available to the public. The department was one of only 15 organizations nationwide to …

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“Hurrah for the New State of Nevada”

After trying his luck at mining and ranching, Alfred Doten moved to Virginia City in October 1864 to take a job as a local reporter for the Virginia Daily Union newspaper. He was 35 years old, single, and full of life. Every evening, from the day he left Plymouth Massachusetts in 1849 on a ship …

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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. …

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A Model History Collaboration

I just returned from the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Public History full of new and good ideas for making our local history more accessible to the public, inspired and impressed by the professionals I met and reconnected with. One of the most inspirational presentations with the most impressive presenters was a roundtable session …

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