A group of 13 UCLA MLIS students, faculty, and friends traveled to Las Vegas on the weekend of February 15 for a weekend of archives, museums, tours, and a little debauchery. Friday afternoon started with a tour of University of Las Vegas Nevada Special Collections. Su Kim Chung, the Manuscripts Librarian, greeted and presented us with some collection highlights, including historic maps of Las Vegas, books on gaming, showgirl costume sketches, photographs of the Rat Pack, and much more. The highlight for us aspiring archivists was going behind-the-scenes and checking out the awesome UNLV Library Preservation/Conservation Unit.
Su Kim invited our group to a reception for a “Vegas Style” exhibit at the Nevada State Museum. We couldn’t say no to hors d’oeuvre and drinks! The museum is located on the Las Vegas Springs Preserve, making for a lovely reception site.
Saturday was spent at the Mob Museum and the Neon Museum and Boneyard. The Mob Museum is actually the location of an old post office and federal building, which fortunately was utilized well into museum exhibits. The Neon Museum is an excellent tour stop for any Las Vegas visitor. The guided tour is entertaining and informative. We completed our day with a stop at the Erotic Heritage Museum and night out. Fun times were had.
On our last day, Sunday, we met Brian Paco Alvarez for a tour of Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas. Paco is a Las Vegas native and a true expert on all things Vegas. He led a very entertaining tour of Las Vegas’ classic casinos and hotels.
Finally, our last stop was the Atomic Testing Museum. The museum documents the history of nuclear testing in Nevada. It has a wealth of images, objects, film, and text. Also worth a stop. And from there, our group braved the traffic back to Los Angeles. THANK YOU to our gracious hosts, Su Kim Chung and Brian Paco Alvarez!!