The Nevada State Library, and its predecessor, the Territorial Library, has existed since the earliest days of Nevada’s political organization. In 1861 the Territorial Legislature created the office of the Territorial Librarian, which was filled, ex officio by the Territorial Auditor. As the Territory matured into statehood, the office and responsibilities of the Territorial Librarian also grew, and it was not until 1915 that a full-time librarian was deemed necessary.
Throughout the remainder of the 20th century, the Nevada State Library saw its duties and statutory roles evolve in accompaniment with Nevada’s growth; creating the Division of Archives in 1965, establishing the Nevada Center for Cooperative Library Services in 1967, splitting from the Nevada Supreme Court services in 1971 (allowing the Supreme Court Law Library to further expand and enhance its services), creating a State Publication Distribution Center in 1971, incorporating a regional library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in 1983, establishing the Records Management program in 1983, and transferring Imaging and Preservation services from the State Printing Office to Archives & Records in 1997. The Nevada State Library, Archives and Public Records continues to serve as the primary repository for the State of Nevada, as well as an unparalleled resource for Nevadans.