Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project

About the Project

Envisioned as a three-year project beginning in August 2014, the UNLV Libraries will:

  • initiate a strategic collecting initiative to ensure the preservation of and access to historical primary sources (e.g., photographs, documents, newspapers, and more) about the Southern Nevada Jewish community
  • conduct oral histories to capture first hand testimony about Jewish life in Las Vegas
  • create a digital collection to provide online access to these historical resources and support research, teaching, and learning

RESEARCH COLLECTIONS ASSEMBLED AND PRESERVED FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS

The UNLV Libraries Special Collections will actively seek personal and organizational archives to document the Southern Nevada Jewish community. We will carefully organize, preserve, and describe these historical resources for access. Students, faculty, journalists, film makers, and the general public regularly use our unique research collections because they provide original, unique evidence about our region’s history. Relevant collections already in our care include the archives of the Jewish Federation, the Jewish Genealogy Society of Southern Nevada, Shelley Berkley, Chic Hecht, Oscar Goodman, Edyth Katz Yarchever, multiple casino archives where Jewish individuals were prominent, and the Las Vegas Israelite and Jewish Reporter newspapers.

ORAL HISTORIES TO CAPTURE THE VOICES OF OUR COMMUNITY’S LEADERS

The UNLV Libraries’ Oral History Research Center will conduct more than 30 in-depth interviews with Jewish community leaders and will publish audio and transcripts on the web. We will film lively roundtable discussions. We will make available historic interviews with figures such as Irwin Molasky, Hank Greenspun, Al Levy, Chic Hecht, Abe Schiller, Steve Wynn, Burton Cohen, Gilbert and Edyth Katz Yarchever, and many others. Interviews from Holocaust survivors living in Southern Nevada will also be included.

AN ONLINE PORTAL TO MAKE HISTORY COME ALIVE

The UNLV Libraries will build a web and mobile resource that will connect researchers from around the world to thousands of historical items- photographs, brochures, scrapbooks, letters, drawings, videos, newspapers, and more -detailing the lives and contributions of Jews in Southern Nevada. It will include carefully researched biographies, timelines, and histories of institutions, events, and prominent themes. It will show the integral roles Jews have played in the history of Southern Nevada.