Welcome to the UNLV University Libraries' Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project - the story of a people and a city. This project reveals the integral roles that Jewish people have played in the history of Southern Nevada and preserves these stories for future generations.
This website is a work in progress. It serves as a gateway to primary sources about the Southern Nevada Jewish experience and includes oral history transcripts, audio clips, newspapers, historical documents, photographs, scrapbooks, videos, and more. To provide additional context about these sources, the site also features biographies, organizational histories, descriptions of themes, blog posts, and a timeline. New content will be continually added for the duration of the project.
The Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project at the UNLV University Libraries is a multi-year initiative to collect, preserve, and provide access to primary sources documenting the history of the Jewish community of Southern Nevada. The project's goals are to conduct oral histories that capture first hand testimony about Jewish life in Las Vegas; to seek personal and organizational archives about the community and ensure their preservation; to provide online access to selected historical resources that support research, teaching, and learning; and to engage the Jewish and Las Vegas communities in appreciation of this rich history.
The project launched in July 2014 when the UNLV University Libraries received a one-year grant through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and administered by the Nevada State Library and Archives. Within the first year, the UNLV University Libraries worked with community partners to collect and digitize oral histories and historical documents. Project staff collected 58 new oral history interviews, recorded 4 roundtable discussions with members of the Jewish community, and digitized 43 historical oral histories. In addition, 19 new archival collections and 1,500 digital files were donated to UNLV for long-term preservation. By July 2015 almost 2,000 items were digitized and made available online. Thousands of items related to the Southern Nevada Jewish community are now preserved and available for research at UNLV Libraries.
In year 2 of the project (July 2015-June 2016), the UNLV University Libraries continues to collect oral histories and historical items, digitize materials for online access, and build this website. Community support remains essential. For more information on how you can be involved, please see the Participate Page.