Campus welcomed to celebration and display tour Thursday, Nov. 16.
School News| Nov 15, 2017|By
Peter Michel University Libraries’ “50 Treasures for 50 Years” display is now on display in the Lied Library. (Aaron Mayes)
The 50 Treasures for 50Years exhibition from the University Libraries celebrates the 50th anniversary of Special Collections and Archives. The display, on screen through December 2017, highlights the many collections housed in Special Collections and Archives that record the history of Las Vegas and Southern Nevada.
The school neighborhood is invited to an event for the exhibition at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16 at 2:30 p.m. in the Lied Library lobby.
Among the most popular items on screen is a leisure of a Bechtel Scrapbook, handmade by library staff so the general public to leaf through the image collection.
Huge and awe-inspiring, Hoover Dam brought in swarms of professional photographers to document its construction in the 1930s. The UNLV University Libraries Unique Collections and Archives houses more than 1,000 photographs of the construction from professional photographers working for the U.S. Bureau of Improvement or the “Six Business,” the consortium that constructed the dam. These photos record the progress and successful completion of this enormous federal agreement.
Ben Glaha, an employee of the Bureau of Improvement, photographed all aspects of the dam’s construction. His photographs were used in press releases, regulars, books, pamphlets, and slideshows to demonstrate that the dam was structurally sound and federal government funds were utilized sensibly. The 6 Companies wanted its own photographic record to highlight its function and employed Walter J. Luebke as the main photographer. His pictures were collected into a series of scrapbooks entitled “Photographic Record, Hoover Dam Project, 6 Business” and presented to numerous agents of the companies. Few of these scrapbooks survive undamaged.
The scrapbooks in Special Collections and Archives were designated “W.H. Bechtel Scrapbooks, volume one and 2,” although just one original cover endures and is titled as volume 3. This cover is gilt stamped and bears the name W.H. Bechtel, president of Bechtel Business, the leading partner in the Six Companies. Whether the scrapbooks were originally all consisted of in volume three, or if there were 2 other volumes– one including a series of loose pictures that were gotten rid of from a scrapbook– can just be speculated. Comparing the scrapbook to ones at Oregon State University, it is clear that each was separately put together with a different selection of photographs, mounting methods, numbering, and descriptions.