Paradise Misplaced: The

Xanadu Hotel-Casino

Planned in 1975 but never built,

this Martin Stern casino is an

interesting study in resort design.

Nevada Women's Archives

These collections document the

lives and careers of significant

Southern Nevada women.

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.

UNLV Special Collections houses

the largest collection of material

relating to Hoover Dam, including

film footage, maps, government

publications relating to the planning

and construction of the dam, and

well over a thousand photographs.


No other icon epitomizes Las Vegas

like the showgirl. While Las Vegas

has become known primarily as a

gambling resort, in fact its

entertainment is as important to

its tourist industry as gambling.

As Las Vegas has, in a sense, lived

up to its self-promotion as the

entertainment capital of the world

(online in 2006).

Dino at the Sands

In the early 1960s, the Rat Pack

made Las Vegas--and the Sands

Casino--an all-day party. This exhibit

features photos of Dean Martin and

the Rat Pack in action.

Jeanne Russell Janish,

Botanical Illustrator

During her lifetime, Janish

produced some 11,500 illustrations

for 32 major books and many

shorter works in biology, geology,

and botany. This exhibit contains

artwork painted and sketched

during her travels, 1930-1953.

World Series of Poker:

A Retrospective

This exhibit has materials from

the Binion's Horseshoe collection

and documents some of the history

of the world's longest-running

poker tournament.

Early Las Vegas

This presentation includes:

the Cottages, the Depot,

Fremont Street, Nightclub

Las Vegas, and Hoover Dam.

Neon Survey: Las Vegas Strip,

Sunset to Sahara

In the summer of 2002, the Neon

Museum and UNLV Special Collections

documented the current neon

landscape of the Las Vegas Strip.

This exhibit has photographs and

narrative descriptions of the famous

and obscure signs of the Strip.

One Millionth Volume

In April 2004 the UNLV Libraries

reached a landmark in its history,

its one millionth volume. To celebrate

and mark this event a volume was

specially purchased, chosen for its

significance as a book, as an artifact

of the culture of printing, and for its

relevance to our library, our university,

and our intellectual and cultural

community in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Gaming Art Gallery

This exhibit contains digital

images of some of the

gaming-related artwork on file

in UNLV Special Collections.

Southern Nevada and Las Vegas:

History in Maps

A digital project featuring over 80

historical maps from the UNLV Libraries

Special Collections Department,

documenting the cartographic history

and context of Southern Nevada,

telescoping in scale from the Western

Hemisphere to the streets of Las Vegas.

“Welcome Home Howard, or

Whatever Became of the Daring

Aviator?” A new exhibit drawing

from the Howard Hughes collections

housed in UNLV Libraries

Special Collections. The exhibit

focuses on Hughes the Aviator,

popularized in the Hollywood film

by Martin Scorsese. The exhibit

also draws on unique unpublished

documentation and interviews with

Hughes from the files of Dick Hannah,

Hughes's public relations director.

Hoover Dam

Built from 1931-1935, the dam

put Las Vegas on the map.

Hotel El Rancho Vegas:

The Strip's First Resort

The Las Vegas Strip began

in 1941 with this modest

resort. This exhibit has the

most complete assembly of

information about the

path-breaking casino

available anywhere.

About the exhibits

These galleries, collections

and exhibits are taken from

the unique materials housed

at UNLV Special Collections.

They show the scope and

diversity of matierals

available to researchers.

Browse the exhibits >

Read through the text

description of each gallery,

collection, and online


Nightclub Las Vegas

This gallery uses the unique

materials of UNLV Special

Collections to present a history

of Las Vegas entertainment.

Before Gaming . . . Celebrating

Las Vegas' Centennial, 1905-2005

Before Gaming. Before Hotels.

Before the tourists came. Where

Indians, explorers, settlers, and

ranchers wandered, set down, picked

up, and mostly moved on. Until the

San Pedro, Salt Lake and Los Angeles

Railroad stopped for water. Then Las

Vegas was a small railroad

depot-with-a-town in the desert.