Las Vegas Behind the Glitz: University of Nevada at Las Vegas Documents the Rich History of "Sin City"
Chung, Su Kim, American Libraries
Las Vegas has long pervaded the American imagination with images of Elvis, showgirls, gambling, and nonstop neon. Its reputation as "Sin City" has attracted millions of tourists in the seven decades since gaming was legalized in Nevada. And, in recent years, its ranking as one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States has prompted scholarly inquiry into its status as a phenomenon of urban development.
The idea that Las Vegas could inspire serious research surprises many outsiders who perceive the city as lacking both history and culture. This is understandable when one considers the demolition of buildings that have often defined the city's past and reflected its mystique and excitement. But Las Vegas does have a unique history, and there exists a rich body of documentation of its evolution from a dusty railroad outpost to the gambling and entertainment capital of the world. Much of this material can be found in the special collections department of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas Libraries, which is charged with documenting the city's social, cultural, political, and physical history.
Originally established in 1967 within the then Nevada Southern University library, the department was the first central repository for historical documents in southern Nevada. Early collection efforts were directed toward assembling material on the area's history (especially the pioneer figures of early Las Vegas), gambling, and culinary arts (with the latter supporting the university's College of Hotel Administration). Greater emphasis has now been placed on documenting the city of Las …
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Publication information: Article title: Las Vegas Behind the Glitz: University of Nevada at Las Vegas Documents the Rich History of "Sin City". Contributors: Chung, Su Kim - Author. Magazine title: American Libraries. Volume: 34. Issue: 4 Publication date: April 2003. Page number: 80+. © 1984 American Library Association. COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group.
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