Museum’s photo collaboration garners another national award

June 4, 2019

Museum’s photo collaboration garners another national award

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – An innovative collaborative project between the Las Vegas News Bureau, Nevada State Museum Las Vegas and the greater Las Vegas community and visitors to identify people in thousands of historic photographs continues to earn national recognition.

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) recently conveyed its Award of Excellence to “Las Vegas Lineup,” the project by Kelli Luchs, archivist for the Las Vegas News Bureau, and Ilana Short, former manager of photography collections at Nevada State Museum.

The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 74th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

This is the third national award for the program, which invites the public to participate by identifying historical figures in the photographs. More than 100,000 people have viewed the photographs resulting in the identification of more than 1,000 people in the photographs.

It also received the Spotlight Award from the Society of American Archivists and the Special Projects Award from the Conference of Inter-Mountain Archivists (CIMA), an association of archivist, conservators, historians, and archival professionals in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, and New Mexico.

“Who knew, when Ilana Short and the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas established this collaborative program with Kelli Luchs and the Las Vegas News Bureau, that it would become so wildly popular?” asked Dennis McBride, director of the Nevada State Museum Las Vegas. “Not only has it become a regular Las Vegas cultural event, but other institutions across the country have begun to emulate it.”

In creating “Las Vegas Lineup” – a project to identify people and places in historic photos of the News Bureau – Luchs and Short developed a two-part framework.

The first was a traveling presentation featuring a popular “behind-the-scenes” look of the respective storage vaults of each institution, with an invitation for attendees to browse binders filled with copies of unidentified photos. The presenters encouraged participants to reminisce about Las Vegas history and supply any possible identifications.

The second component was a formal exhibit, which consisted of an array of unidentified photos on panels. Residents and visitors then provide identification suggestions.

“It’s a great venue for outreach into the community, and it’s an important tool for improving management of our respective photograph collections,” McBride said. “I’m very proud of everyone involved in making Las Vegas Line Up so successful.”

The Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas is always looking for gallery/exhibit space available to display the Las Vegas Lineup exhibit to the community. Anyone interested should contact Sarah Hulme at NSMLV, (702) 822-8738 or