Claytee D. White

Director, Oral History Research Center at UNLV Libraries
Expertise: African Americans in Las Vegas, The Art of Collecting Oral Histories, Oral History Workshops


Claytee D. White is the inaugural director of the Oral History Research Center for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Libraries. She collects the history of Las Vegas and the surrounding area by gathering memories of events and experiences from longtime residents. Her projects include early health care in the city, history of the John S. Park Neighborhood, The Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project, and a study of musicians who played with some of the greats in the entertainment field.

As one of five founders of the Las Vegas Black Historical Society Inc., she chronicles the history of the Las Vegas black community that was established in 1905. Her published writings on the subject include a book chapter, encyclopedia entries, and several articles.

White received her bachelor's degree from California State University, Los Angeles, master's degree in history from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and has completed work toward a doctorate at the College of William & Mary. White currently serves on the Board of Women of Diversity, the UNLV Presidential Debate Planning Committee, and the Historic Preservation Commission. White has also served on the Historic Preservation Commission for the city of Las Vegas, Nevada Humanities executive board, and is the past president of the Southwest Oral History Association.

Claytee D. White In The News
Frank Sinatra was certainly a driving force in the progress toward equality in Las Vegas. But contrary to a popular myth, the singer didn’t end the shameful legacy of segregation on the Strip. It took political action to do that. Around 1955, Sinatra refused to perform with the Rat Pack at the Sands unless the casino hotel allowed group member Sammy Davis Jr. to also stay there. In response, Davis was given his own suite.
K.T.N.V. T.V. ABC 13
It has been over five months since a gunman opened fire at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, killing three professors. Now, the UNLV Oral History Research Center is launching a new project that hopes to "enhance the historical record around that day with first-hand accounts of the tragedy, campus and community response, and recovery efforts."
Las Vegas Weekly
Professional sports in Las Vegas couldn’t be a hotter topic than it is today. But while locals and fans celebrate recent championships and successful events and look to future expansion, it’s easy to overlook the significant history of sports in the Valley and how we got here.
On a Sunday afternoon this month in North Las Vegas, Anna Bailey could be found at the back of the Aliante Casino, Hotel and Spa’s theater rehearsing her moves. Bailey, a dancer who has had a pioneering and historic career, had emerged from a half-century retirement to perform in a revival of “Follies.” Although you would never have guessed by watching her that the 97-year-old had not performed since the 1970s.

Articles Featuring Claytee D. White

students in spring
Campus News | May 1, 2024

News highlights starring UNLV students and faculty who made local and national headlines.

black and white photo of clara bow with dunes behind her
People | April 18, 2024

The original 'It Girl' — and subject of Taylor Swift’s latest song — has strong ties to Southern Nevada. Discover more from the UNLV Special Collections & Archives.