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

El Tiempo
January 22, 2019
Ida Gaines, a civil rights activist from Southern Nevada, heard Martin Luther King Jr. speak in Las Vegas in 1964. She was moved then, and today, almost 55 years later, she is still touched by her words and her work.
Las Vegas Review Journal
January 22, 2019
Longtime Southern Nevada civil rights activist Ida Gaines heard Martin Luther King Jr. speak in Las Vegas in 1964. She was moved then, and today, nearly 55 years later, remains moved by his words and his work.
Las Vegas Review Journal
January 3, 2019
Nedra Cooper was a 17-year-old “military brat” and a senior in high school when she settled in the Las Vegas Valley in 1971, after traveling with her father from base to base.
Las Vegas Sun
May 31, 2018
You don’t have to be a first responder to participate in UNLV Libraries’ “Remembering 1 October” oral history project, although it’s fine if you are. “We want to show how Las Vegas [rallied] together to support each other,” says Claytee D. White, director of UNLV’s Oral History Research Center.

Articles Featuring Claytee D. White

Lied Library
Arts and CultureDecember 19, 2017
National Endowment for Humanities awards UNLV Special Collections and Archives $100,000 to document contributions of Latino Communities to Southern Nevada's development.
Claytee White, Director, Oral History Research Center at the Historic Westside School
PeopleJune 14, 2017
Oral historian Claytee White has spent a career recording Las Vegans’ personal histories. Now she speaks about her own remarkable roots.
renderings of maryland parkway
Business and CommunityJuly 1, 2016
Through UNLV's Downtown Design Center, architecture students learn vital lessons in collaboration during neighborhood redevelopment.
Claytee D. White
PeopleJanuary 7, 2016
A compilation of UNLV media coverage profiling just a few of the many people of UNLV who made an impact in the community in 2015.