For Educators

As educators stretch to find ways to prepare students for the 21st century, they learn that deep thought, analysis, interpretation, and creativity are critical to future success. Researchers regularly practice these behaviors and are exceedingly aware that the best way to learn is to delve head-first into topics. They begin by reading works of others to gain a basic understanding of the topic. This is called relying on "secondary" or "tertiary" sources. Eventually, researchers want to learn the truth behind what others have written... they want to interact with original sources, called "primary sources," and form independent conclusions.


Today's libraries are offering just this type of research opportunity to their users. Educators can engage students as they seek answers from original sources and help students decide whether their conclusions match those in textbooks and other authoritative resources.


For Teachers Only!

We've put together some starting points for using this digital collection to engage your students.

View them here...

What's in this Collection?

This collection offers an incredibly diverse range of media. From pictures to technical reports and maps to letters, the collection tells the story of early Las Vegas and its surrounding communities. It uses contracts, newspapers, postcards, licenses, meeting minutes, and charts to communicate about the events that shaped Southern Nevada in terms of its water resources and uses. Reports, legislation, books, and flyers dot the archives of this collection to provide a snapshot of conflicts and resolutions that shaped today's water issues.


For the geographer, the collection addresses natural phenomenon such as floods, geologic compositions of specific parts of the Las Vegas Valley, and sizes and volumes of artesian basins hidden below the desert's caliche-hardened surface. Political scientists will find the collection's access to resources about water metering, public voice against conglomerate ownership, and diplomatic relationships among citizens and community leaders particularly enticing. The environmentalist will enjoy the collection's mass of resources showing the juxtaposition of public and private views of water availability. Civil engineers will get their hands dirty with city designs destined to succeed or fail based on finding wells and managing post-war population and resource shifts. And, the historian will find the excitement of the western frontier hidden in stories about early Nevadan cowboys, miners, and settlers.

How Can I Use This Collection?

Inquiry Questions

Educational resources appear throughout the collection to assist independent learners as well as educators. Near contextual overviews, embedded questions entice learners to explore the collection. The intention of these inquiry opportunities is to invite the collection’s visitors to go beyond a simple search-and-find method of seeking specific artifacts, instead viewing the collection as a complex collection of interwoven stories to be discovered and debated.


The timeline provides extensive encyclopedic resources including simple-language explanations of events, eras, and people, teaching suggestions, questions for classroom discussion or individual assignment, and links to sources both inside and out of the Historic Landscape of Nevada collection.

Introduction to Collection's Content

To start using the collection, visitors should visit the "Getting to Know the Collection" section where they will explore artifacts and water-related topics while honing their knowledge of and skills for using the site’s metadata.

Primary Source Sets

Those seeking quick explanations of certain topics or teachers hoping to focus on a specific unit of study may want to take advantage of the site's primary source sets. These sets provide an overview of single topics. For each, there is a pre-selected collection of annotated artifacts relating to that topic, and teacher suggestions for using the kit within educational contexts.

Enjoy exploring. Discover a part of your history that you never knew. Find a meaningful gem that changes the way you think. And let us know what you think!