What You Can Find at the Nevada State Library and Archives

The mission of the Nevada State Library and Archives is to identify, preserve, and make Nevada’s heritage documentary accessible, and act as the State’s institutional memory. As the custodians of Nevada State’s Institutional memory, Nevada State Library and Archives ensures that the state government remains transparent, accountable, and supports Nevada citizens. The Nevada State library services are designed to provide fundamental internal support for the employees and agencies of the State of Nevada and serve Nevada’s special libraries, schools, academics, and public as well as silver state residents. The Nevada State library features an extensive collection of resources that are often used in business, education, and scholarly research. Other resources included in the library include a rich collection of books, government records, photos, memoirs, letters, maps, and diaries with a lot of useful information. The Nevada State Archive hosts documentation pertaining to Nevada State’s government’s history since 1851. The Nevada State Archives is the custodian of the historical documentation of the State and territory as defined in the state statute, representative of the three government branches: Judicial, executive, and legislative. The Nevada State Archives features more than 100,000 images of places and people and over 17,000 cubic feet of state government territorial records, offering visual data to complement the documentation of the State of Nevada.

In each era, people examine history to gain insight, rediscover its lessons in light of their own perceptions and needs, and act, consequently establishing a record to be used by people in the future. State archives are a crucial part of this inquiry, preserving a state’s institutional memory and accumulating knowledge of perpetual value. As Nevada’s government’s institutional memory, The Nevada State Archives is responsible for the preservation and dissemination of knowledge to allow all citizens to better understand the transformation of public policy from the past and how it influences the present and the future.

A Nevada State Record refers to any official record of the State of Nevada including but not limited to: Photographs, maps, unpublished books, and papers; data stored on a computer or magnetic tape, optical disc or laser; resources created or received by an agency of the State and preserved by the state agency or the agency that succeeds it as evidence of the policy, operation, organization or any other activity by the state agency or due to the information the material contains; and materials that can be read by a machine including but not limited to audio, visuals and microform materials.

On the other hand, public records refer to any of the above records that are accessible for public inspection, unless the law declares such a record confidential.

To access public records, you can contact the particular State agency responsible for the creation of the records and request for it. The Nevada State Library and Archives does not retain other State agencies’ records to service Public Record Requests. The only exception to this is the State Archives. The State Archives may be in possession of the records you seek. However, it’s essential to note that the Archives only retain records that have historic or perpetual value once they are no longer of business service to their agency.