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Oral History Research Center at UNLV

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The Oral History Research Center at UNLV was formally established by the Board of Regents of the University of Nevada System in September 2003 as an entity of the University Libraries’ Special Collections Department.

The purpose of the Center is to conduct and collect audiotaped interviews, sometimes supplemented by video segments, of persons selected for their ability to provide first-hand observations on a variety of historical topics in Las Vegas and Southern Nevada.

Goals:

  • Design projects that will orally capture the history of Las Vegas and Southern Nevada.
  • Act as a clearinghouse for oral history projects throughout the UNLV campus as well as those at other locations in the Las Vegas area (libraries, historical societies, museums, the Community College System, etc.) to enable us to provide information to patrons and to serve as a repository for certain projects.
  • Play an active role in state, regional, and national oral history associations that will provide an audience for and critiques of our various projects.
  • Teach classes and seminars in the art of collecting oral histories.
  • Assist Special Collections in securing collections of historical documents where appropriate.
  • Promote Oral History as a method of gathering and preserving historical information.
  • Promote and foster professional standards and practices in the development of oral history.
  • Encourage those who produce and use oral history to recognize and apply the proper principles, rights, and ethical obligations for the creating and preservation of source materials

Academic Advisory Committee for the OHRC at UNLV Members:
Sue Fawn Chung, Associate Professor, History Department
Andrew Kirk, Assistant professor, Department of History
Patrick Carlton, Professor of Educational Leadership
Lawrence Mullen, Associate Professor, School of Communications
Dina Titus, Professor, Political Science

Purpose of Committee:

  • Make recommendations to the Director regarding viable oral history projects to undertake.
  • Identify patrons who may be interested in funding oral history projects. (These names will be submitted to the Director of Development)
  • Assist in grant writing activities.
  • Attend and support the Oral History Research Center at UNLV in events (receptions, teas, etc.) to award bound interviews to narrators.
  • Assist and support the public visibility of the Center.

Claytee White

Claytee D. White, Director Oral History Research Center at UNLV Libraries

With three publications to her credit using oral histories -- “Eight Dollars a Day and Working in the Shade: An Oral History of African American Migrant Women in the Las Vegas Gaming Industry” in African American Women Confront The West, 1600-2000; “The March That Never Happened: Desegregating the Las Vegas Strip,” Nevada Law Journal 5 (2004): 71-83; and “Marking the Unique Moulin Rouge Era,” Casino & Gaming International, 2006 Issue1, 15-21 -- Claytee practices what she preaches.

Growing up in rural northeastern North Carolina, she always wanted to live in an urban area but was told that her voice was too loud to live in a city where houses were close together. That loud voice has paid off as an oral historian in those instances where external microphones are place closer to soft-spoken narrators.

Claytee learned the art of collecting oral histories as a graduate student in UNLV’s history department. Currently she is ABD at the College of William & Mary.