Archives 101: The Mark Fine Papers
Archival collections provide information not just about the individual donor or creator of the collection, they also provide a look at other individuals and organizations that he or she was involved with, or evidence of broader historical trends or processes. For example, developer Mark Fine donated his papers to UNLV Special Collections this year, and his collection,"The Mark Fine Papers," is not just about him as an individual. Researchers studying the development of the Las Vegas Valley will find valuable organizational records from companies that Fine worked for, such as American Nevada Corporation, or projects that he worked on, such as Green Valley. Fine was also a founding director of the Clark County School-Community Partnership Program and the chairman of the board of the Nevada Institute for Contemporary Art. Researchers studying education or art in Southern Nevada can find records of those organizations in the Mark Fine Papers, even though it's not the first place one would think to look.
Keeping Mark Fine's papers together in one archival collection provides a more complete picture of who he is and what he has done, and it also provides context for individual items in the collection. By describing the collection using archival standards and best practices, researchers are able to find documentation of organizations, events, and other individuals that they may not have realized exist within this collection. The collection is described in a finding aid, or collection guide, which is available on the Special Collections website. There you can search the full text of every online manuscript collection finding aid (select "manuscript finding aids" in the drop down menu of the search box), or you can search the summaries of the archival collections, oral histories, and photographs held by UNLV Special Collections (select Special Collections database). Information about our holdings is also entered into the UNLV Libraries catalog, and you can even discover our collections through a simple Google search.
When it comes time to see the materials in a collection, you can visit the Special Collections reading room or you can view select materials online via the Digital Collections website. For the Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project, we are making select materials available online and providing contextual information about the local Jewish community in this web portal.
Below are some examples of documents from the Mark Fine Papers (MS-00696) that were digitized.