UNLV University Libraries Special Collections, which houses the Center for Gaming Research and one of the world’s largest collections of research material on gaming, has been awarded a $129,600 National Archives grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This grant will support a two-year project to prepare three archival collections on gaming and gambling for research by preserving them and making them accessible.
"America’s Great Gamble: A Project to Promote the Discovery of Sources About the Expansion of Legalized Gambling Across the United States" will increase the discoverability and usability of the Katherine Spilde Papers on Tribal Gaming (1974-2012), the Eugene Christiansen Papers on Gaming (1970-2008), and the Gary Royer Papers on Gaming (1955-1996). These collections will provide new evidence and historical context surrounding the rapid expansion of casinos and legalized gambling in the United States between 1970 and 2010.
The diverse perspectives of tribal leaders, regulators, politicians, lobbyists, economists, business owners, and concerned citizens represented in the collections will shed light on the social, political, cultural, and economic forces at play that both encouraged and controlled the nation’s gaming industry at the time.
“Making these collections more widely available will add to the UNLV University Libraries’ already strong reputation in documenting the gaming industry and help us continue to attract interdisciplinary scholars from around the world to study gambling and gaming at UNLV,” said Michelle Light, director of UNLV University Libraries Special Collections and the principal investigator on the grant.
The NHPRC grant will fund two temporary archivist staff members who will organize, preserve, describe, and publicize the collections. The UNLV University Libraries will then generate online finding aids and catalog records to help researchers discover the collections and use them.
“America’s Great Gamble” will officially launch on April 1, 2016.
About UNLV University Libraries
In support of UNLV’s mission and shared values, the UNLV University Libraries contribute to and support learners as they discover, access, and use information effectively for academic success, research, and lifelong learning. The UNLV University Libraries define the new academic research library—bringing people and information together in innovative ways.