Mission of Special Collections and University Archives

We help people craft new understanding and experiences through research. teaching, and learning by collecting and expertly caring for northern Nevada’s unique, historically significant materials.

Vision Statement

We are a welcoming, inspiring, and vital primary source laboratory for inquiry and discovery in a wide range of disciplines.

Collecting Areas

Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) stewards unique, rare, and historically significant resources in a variety of formats documenting the northwestern Great Basin and the University of Nevada, Reno. This area encompasses the Reno/Sparks area and surrounding communities in Northern Nevada, the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, and the Lake Tahoe Basin. Within this geographic scope, our collections are strongest in the following areas:

  • Industry, particularly mining and railroads
  • Environment and public lands
  • People and places of Northern Nevada
  • Tourism and recreation
  • Nevada literature

Material we do not typically collect

  • Materials outside of our geographic scope
  • Materials in certain formats
    • Artifacts, collectibles, three-dimensional objects, art
    • Specimens (biologic, geologic, etc.)
    • Newspapers
    • Most yearbooks
  • Materials on Basque people (contact the Jon Bilbao Basque Library)
  • Materials that more appropriately belong in other repositories
  • Materials that we can’t preserve or properly care for
  • Official government records (held by State Archives, the National Archives or other governmental entity)
  • Materials which have restrictions which prevent or hamper use by the general public
  • University materials that must be retained by the originating office or for which inclusion in the archives would violate the records retention schedule or state or federal law and policy
    • Examples include student records and personnel records

Last revised: March 25, 2022