Digitizing History – Our Record Collection

This Spring through a combination of the UNLV Regent’s Service Program, and the generous donation following the 2020 Fall silent

Digitizing record player
Digitizing record player

auction by the Friends of NSMLV, the museum acquired a special record player and we embarked upon a new project – digitizing record albums!

Our history collection contains many vinyl records (6”, singles, 12”, LPs, albums, 78s) related to Las Vegas, and while some are under copyright of the original artists and record companies, we have many that were recorded by local individuals and community organizations, such as schools, churches and glee clubs.  These represent a slice of history that cannot be reproduced and should the discs warp or accidentally be damaged, then they carry the risk that they would never be heard again.
Amber Ruleas, UNLV Regent Service set-up and established procedures using our new ‘gadget’ which allows us to play and simultaneously digitally record the sound in a format (MP3).  Although this will make some of you feel very old, Amber had never seen a record player in the flesh before, and was most intrigued by how it all worked!  Undaunted by this, though, she digitized and cataloged many records and this has allowed us to listen to them for the very first time.
These recordings include Las Vegas High School graduation speeches from the 1950s, the West Charleston Elementary School Choir in 1967, and the Sam Melchionne Quartet at the Desert Inn Hotel and Casino to name just a few.  Click on the images below to enjoy some snippets of those recordings.

Click to listen to "Live from the Sky Room" by the Sam Melchionne Quartet at the Desert Inn
“Live from the Sky Room” by the Sam Melchionne Quartet at the Desert Inn
Click to listen to Las Vegas Graduation Speeches from 1953
Selection of Las Vegas Graduation Speeches from 1953
Click to listen to West Charleston Elementary School Choir
West Charleston Elementary School Choir