LAS VEGAS HISTORY
From the artesian wells once used by trading parties during the frontier days to its current place as a worldwide tourist destination, Las Vegas history spans Hoover Dam, World War II, the postwar years with the rise of organized crime, Howard Hughes, and the Nevada test site.
Blue Skies, Black Wings
A history of African Americans in aviation from the beginnings through the Tuskegee Airmen and their Double V struggle against discrimination, based on oral histories.
Information about 182 countries and territories. Includes an elementary school age edition of 66 countries and all 50 United States. Includes information on culture, famous people, recipes and photos.
Las Vegas Age
Read about early Las Vegas history straight from the source! Full digital images of the Las Vegas Age Newspaper - the original Las Vegas newspaper from 1905 to 1924! Digitized from the print copies from the Special Collections of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District.
Las Vegas Review Journal
Find articles in the Las Vegas Review Journal from 1990.
Los Angeles Times 1881-1988
Search for full-text and full-image Los Angeles Times articles from 1881-1988. The collection includes digital reproductions of every page from every issue - cover to cover - in downloadable PDF® files.
Online Nevada Encyclopedia
This multimedia encyclopedia offers articles on Nevada's history and peoples, natural history, arts and culture and business and the economy. Also includes the history and growth of gaming in the state.
U.S. History in Context
Provides integrated access to over 1,000 primary documents, more than 30,000 reference articles, and over 65 full-text journals covering themes, events, individuals, and periods in U.S. history from pre-Colonial times to the present.
LAS VEGAS HISTORY
Classic Las Vegas History
A local organization helping to preserve the 20th Century Las Vegas. Lots of great photos and stories in blog format.
The History of Las Vegas
What the City of Las Vegas has to say about itself, with links to information about Nellis Air Force Base, Hoover Dam, and other information!
The Neon Museum
The Neon Museum collection boasts over 150 donated and rescued signs. The core of this collection is contained in the Neon Museum Boneyard, a rambling park approximately two acres in size. Signs featured date from the late 1930s through the early 90s and represent motels, local businesses, and celebrated casino resorts from throughout the Las Vegas Valley. While the Boneyard is not electrified, the photogenic collection offers a glimpse into the storied past of Las Vegas and its most memorable art form. A portion of the Boneyard collection is available for tours and photo shoots by advanced appointment only.
LAS VEGAS EARLY YEARS
Before Gaming : Celebrating Las Vegas' Centennial
The UNLV Libraries has designed a concise collection of digital photographs that feature some of the earliest pictures available of Las Vegas. Many of these 37 photographs are from the private collections of families who arrived in Las Vegas around the time of its incorporation in 1905: Helen Stewart, Walter Bracken, William Ferron, Ed Von Tobel, and Fred and Maurine Wilson. A short narrative is provided to assist in browsing the collection, and/or the digital exhibit can be searched by prearranged topics.
Friends of the Fort
Information on the history and archeology of the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort, the oldest permanent structure in Las Vegas. The web site gives a detailed history of the Fort, including information about the area prior to the Fort's establishment, the explorations of John C. Fremont in the area, the Mormon settlement, then its uses as a ranch afterwards. The web site is maintained by the Friends of the Fort, a nonprofit organization.
Southern Nevada: The Boom Town years
Southern Nevada: The Boomtown Years brings together a wide range of original source materials found in widely diverse collections from UNLV Libraries Special Collections, the Nevada State Museum, and Historical Society in Las Vegas and the Clark County Heritage Museum. In addition to original source materials, the collection provides a wide variety of standards-based activities for elementary and high schoolers.
The Springs Preserve served as the original source of water for Native Americans living in the Las Vegas Valley thousands of years ago, and later for travelers on the Old Spanish Trail and Mormons who came to settle the west. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
The Las Vegas Valley Water District recently opened the Preserve to the public. On of the attractions is the Springs Preserve Library. The Preserve Library houses a small collection of items directly relating to the Southwest (animals, plants, geology, etc.), conservation, culture, and sustainable living. The Springs Preserve Library is not a part of the Las Vegas Clark County Library District, but has contracted with the Las Vegas Clark County Library District, to make their collection visible in the LVCCLD library catalog. The Preserve Library is open to the public, and is free. However, it is not a circulating library. You are welcome to visit the library and use the materials there, but you cannot check their library items out.
The Preserve Library is open 7 days a week, from 10 am - 6 pm. When you stop at the entrance to the Preserve, tell them you need a free ticket for the library. The Springs Preserve Library is located at:
The Springs Preserve 333 S Valley View Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89107
LAS VEGAS 20TH CENTURY
Digital Collections and Exhibits (UNLV Special Collections)
These digital collections and exhibits are taken from the unique materials housed at UNLV Special Collections. Includes The World Series of Poker exhibit.
History of the Las Vegas Strip
Scroll down to read a history of the Strip - which hotel was first? What was the first motel?
Jack I Gardner Special Collections Room
The Las Vegas history collection includes books, a biographical clipping file, microfilm, maps and a newspaper index. The gaming collection provides an overview of the gaming industry and the casinos.
Las Vegas and Water in the West
Las Vegas, Spanish for “the meadows,” was always about water. Its natural springs were a watering stop, for wandering Native Americans, Spanish and American traders, Mormon settlers, ranchers, and Senator William Clark and his San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad. As the railroad depot grew into a city, the pressure upon the water supply would be a permanent aspect of development. The collections presented here document this history back to the 19th century military and scientific surveys conducted by the U.S. government, directed ultimately toward the future settlement and exploitation of the West. Associated with the scientific expeditions to map a route for the transcontinental railroad were studies to explore the feasibility of irrigation to support agriculture. Irrigating the desert by controlling and diverting entire river systems was a manifestation of American engineering destiny. The monument of this remains Hoover Dam, constructed—miles from the small town of Las Vegas—essentially to provide water and power for California and Arizona.
Las Vegas Centennial Official Website
Links to all sorts of information about the history of Las Vegas
The story of Las Vegas as told through the pages of the Las Vegas Sun. Includes interactive maps, timeline of Las Vegas from 1829 to the present, Mob history in Sin City, personalities and voices that shaped Vegas and more than 30 history videos.
Menus: The Art of Dining
Menus provide a wealth of information beyond their purely aesthetic value and are a particularly rich resource for aspects of cultural and social history. They give us information on the most popular cuisine of a time period and region and are evidence of changing culinary tastes. They can indicate how particular food items have been used regionally, and in the case of notable restaurants can provide evidence of the work of well-known chefs. Design-wise they are examples of the graphic design elements illustrative of a particular historical time period. For students of menu design they can serve as examples of graphic design, placement and layout. Last but not least, they have a purely nostalgic value for those persons who have visited a particular restaurant or hotel and want to re-live that experience by reading through the menu.
No other icon epitomizes Las Vegas like the showgirl. While Las Vegas has become known primarily as a gambling resort, in fact its enteritainment is as important to its tourist industry as gambling.
Teen Oral History Project
An oral history was created by Las Vegas teens who conducted recorded interviews with long-time African American residents or elders of the West Las Vegas area. The interviewees talked about their experiences and what it was like living in Las Vegas between 1950-1980.
The First 100 years
A timeline look at the first 100 years 1905-2005 of Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas I Remember
Public radio's oral history segments for Las Vegas. Be sure to support Public Radio!
Welcome Home Howard
or "Whatever became of the daring aviator?" The exhibit draws from the Howard Hughes collections housed in the UNLV Libraries Special Collections, particularly from the files of Hughes PR director Dick Hannah. The exhibit focuses on Hughes the Aviator popularized in the current Hollywood film by Martin Scorsese. The exhibit also draws on unique unpublished documentation and interviews with Hughes.
Local History Projects
Henderson Libraries local history project includes photos from Basic Magnesium Industries and St. Rose de Lima Hospital.
BOULDER CITY/HOOVER DAM
Boulder City/ Hoover Dam Museum
The Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum tells the story of the Boulder Canyon Project as it was experienced by the men and women who braved the desolation of the Southern Nevada desert to build Hoover Dam and Boulder City.
Las Vegas and Water in the West
The planning and construction of Hoover Dam is the central and defining phenomenon of the history presented by this digital project.
The Story of Hoover Dam
Stories from the Hoover Dam Guides, and from other sources.
NEVADA TEST SITE & AIR FORCE
Nellis Air Force Base - History and Overview
A brief history of the air base
Nevada Test Site Historical Foundation
The Nevada Test Site Historical Foundation (NTSHF) was founded in 1998 to preserve the Nevada Test Site legacy.
Nevada Test Site Oral History Project
The Nevada Test Site Oral History Project documents the remembered past of persons affiliated with and affected by the Nevada Test Site during the era of Cold War nuclear testing. Nearly 200 full-text searchable transcripts and audio clips are available in this digital collection.
The history of the Air Force's stunt flying team, headquartered at Nellis Air Force Base
SEE ALSO HOT TOPIC
A collective biography of the one hundred most influential people in the history of Las Vegas.
Las Vegas : a centennial history
by Moehring, Eugene P
A Las Vegas History, fresh for the Centennial Celebration!
by Yep, Laurence
When he accidentally kills a Manchu, a fifteen-year-old Chinese boy is sent to America to join his father, an uncle, and other Chinese working to build a tunnel for the transcontinental railroad through the Sierra Nevada mountains in 1867. Sequel to "Mountain light."
The journal of Douglas Allen Deeds : the Donner Party expedition
by Philbrick, W. R
From the My Name is America series - Douglas Deeds, a fifteen-year-old orphan, keeps a journal of his travels by wagon train as a member of the ill-fated Donner Party, which became stranded in the Sierra Nevada mountains in the winter of 1846-47.
by Hobbs, Will
Rick, a fourteen-year-old foster child, escapes from a juvenile detention facility near Las Vegas and travels to Canyonlands National Park in Utah where he meets a bird biologist working on a project to reintroduce condors to the wild.
Bag of lucky rice : a novel
by Reichart, George.
Rusty, an old prospector, and Lo Fat and Lee, a Chinese father and son living in the small mining town of Rhyolite, Nevada, become friends and share the excitement of finding gold in the Amargosa Desert.
A color textbook designed for the 4th grade reader on Las Vegas History.
A color textbook designed for the 4th grade reader on Las Vegas History.
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