Links: University Libraries, Contact Special Collections

Frequently Asked Questions

Visiting the Department

What are your hours and where are you located?

  • Special Collections is located on the 3rd floor of Lied Library on the UNLV campus. Turn right after you exit the elevator.
  • Academic year hours: 9am-7pm M-Thurs. and 9am-5pm Fridays.
  • Summer and winter break hours: 9am-5pm M-F.

Why isn't Special Collections open as many hours as the library?

  • Because our materials are rare and often one-of-a-kind, public services staff must be at service desk at all times when researchers are using the collections, and other staff must page materials. The large number of staff required means that we cannot be open as many hours as the rest of the library.

Where do I park on campus?

  • Parking information can be found in our visiting section. 

Where is the Oral History Research Center located?

  • The Oral History Research Center is part of Special Collections on the 3rd floor of Lied Library. To use materials in the collection, please inquire at the department's reference desk.

Where is the Center for Gaming Research located?

  • The Center for Gaming Research is part of Special Collections on the 3rd floor of Lied Library.  To use materials in the collections, please inquire at the department's reference desk.

Can I take a tour of the reading room?

  • You are welcome to view the collections in the Reading Room provided you leave your bag at the front desk. Please ask staff first if you would like to view a particular volume in the Reading Room.

Can I take my bag into the reading room?

  • For security reasons, you are required to store any backpacks, purses, or laptop sleeves in the lockers provided. You may take out notepads and laptops for your research.

Can I touch the material in the reading room?

  • Please ask staff if you would like to see a particular volume in the Reading Room.

Can I take pictures of the material in the reading room?

  • You are welcome to take photos of material in the Reading Room for personal or scholarly use, but please inform us if you are using those photos for any type of publication or commercial use.

Using the Collections

Do I have to register each time I come into Special Collections?

  • Patrons must register once each calendar year

Why are these books in your collection - they're not old?

  • Special Collections comprehensively collects the history of Las Vegas and gaming and as a result, many of the books in our collection are not rare or old. As it is our mission to preserve and provide access to these materials, they must remain in Special Collections and not circulate in the general collection.

Is there a limit to how much material I can view at one time?

  • Researchers are limited to three boxes of manuscript material at a time. Only five books may be requested at a time and each book requires an individual call slip.

How do I access photos in your collection?

  • Please consult our photographs page for complete information on accessing our photo collections and viewing some of the thousands of images that have been digitized. You are also welcome to come in and view the photographs in person during our regular hours. 

What is your website address?

Making Copies & Reproductions

Can I use my digital camera, phone camera, or tablet camera to take a picture of these documents or photographs?

  • Yes, patrons are welcome to use their digital cameras, phones, and tablets to take pictures for private scholarship and research purposes. If you are intending to publish, display, exhibit, or use the material in a film or documentary, you will need to fill out a permission form. Please note that Special Collections does not hold copyright of all images in our collection. Researchers are responsible for clearing copyright for all image reproductions used for commercial purposes.

Can I photocopy material?

  • Yes, patrons may self-photocopy most material in Special Collections (15 cents per page) provided they follow posted rules. Students and staff may use a Rebel Card to pay for copies and all other community users can pay at the Special Collections desk. Please use the book-friendly copier and copy only one page at a time, and consult staff before you copy fragile manuscript materials. Please note: It is the the researcher's responsibility to follow posted copyright regulations. 

How do I order photographs of old Las Vegas from your collections?

  • If you find images that you like on our digital collections site, via searching our online inventories of photographs or via searching our physical collections in person, check out our reproductions page for instructions on how to order digital reproductions for private or commercial use. Please note that Special Collections does not hold copyright of all images in our collection. Researchers are responsible for clearing copyright for all image reproductions used for commercial purposes.

Collections - What We Have and Don't Have

Do you have any collections relating to the newer casinos on the strip?

  • Our casino promotional and publicity files housed in the Reading Room have press kits and press releases on the newer Strip casinos. 

Do you have any material on Bugsy Siegel and the mob in Las Vegas?

Do you have any material on Elvis?

  • We have very limited material on Elvis - a few photographs, a program, and some published works. 

Where can I find historic Nevada newspapers?

Where can I find a UNLV yearbook?

  • The University Archives in Special Collections has copies of all UNLV yearbooks. Please note that these yearbooks ceased publication in 1986.

Where can I find UNLV course catalogs?

  • The University Archives in Special Collections has copies of nearly all undergraduate and graduate course catalogs, dating back to the late 1950s. 

Digital Collections

What is the address for the digital collections website?

How do I search your digital collections?

How do I order photographs that I find on your digital collections website?

What scanners does the library use?

  • Read more about the scanning equipment that we use in our digitization lab to create our digital collections.

How do I find out more about the technologies developed for UNLV's digital collections?

UNLV History

Who was the first student to graduate from UNLV ?

  • The first commencement at Nevada Southern University (UNLV) was on Wednesday June 3, 1964. Jon Eric Cobain was the President of the Class of 1964 and received the first diploma.

What was the first university building located on Maryland Parkway?

  • The first university building constructed on Maryland Parkway was Maude Frazier Hall. It was constructed in 1957.

How many times has the University changed its name in the past 50 years?

  • There have been three names for the university in the last 50 years. The first was the Southern Regional Division of the University of Nevada in 1957. Next, it was renamed Nevada Southern University in 1965. Finally, it was renamed the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1969.

Who was the first UNLV President?

  • The first campus officer to have the title president was Donald Moyer in 1964. However, William D. Carlson was the first Director or Executive Officer for the Southern Regional Division of the University of Nevada in 1957. 1957 was the year that the first university building was constructed on Maryland Parkway. The campus would eventually be renamed the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1969.

What was the original mascot For UNLV?

  • The original mascot for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) was “Beauregard.” This mascot was created in 1957. It was a wolf dressed in what looked like a Confederate Civil War uniform.

What type of material is in the University Archives?

  • The UNLV University Archives preserves material relating to all aspects of UNLV history, including official University records with enduring historical and administrative value, architectural records and plans, papers of prominent faculty, records of student organizations, select NSHE records, university and student publications, photographs, artifacts, and more.

Where is the University Archives?

  • In Special Collections on the 3rd floor of Lied Library.

Miscellaneous 

Do you sell  or appraise rare books?

  • Special Collections does not appraise books or manuscript material, but we can provide you the name and contact information of a local appraiser.

Can you repair my old books?

  • The Preservation Lab in UNLV Special Collections can only repair UNLV Libraries materials, however, the conservator is willing to answer questions relating to the preservation and repair of book and manuscript materials. He can also make recommendations for conservators who do private repairs.

Does that slot machine work?

  • The slot machine in the Reading Room is for display purposes only. You are welcome to take pictures of it.

Do you have the contact information for the Springs Preserve or Nevada State Museum?

  • Springs Preserve is (702) 822-7700 and Nevada State Museum is (702) 486-5205

Do you know the number for the Gamblers Book Store?

  • 702-382-7555