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Nevada State Archives

History of the State Archives

People in each era examine the past for guidance, reinterpret its lessons in light of their own needs and perceptions, and act, thereby creating a record for those who follow.  The State Archives is a key component in this examination by safeguarding state government records of enduring value based upon historical, legal, administrative, fiscal, and operational values.  As the institutional memory of Nevada government, the State Archives identifies, preserves and makes available information that enables all citizens to better understand how public policy evolved from the past, governs the present, and affects the future.

Timeline of the Nevada State Archives:

  • 1861 ~ The Secretary of the Utah-Nevada Territory, Orion Clemens, was assigned the responsibility of preserving public records.  After Nevada became a state, this responsibility transferred to the Secretary of State, who became the de facto State Archivist.
  • 1937 ~ The State Board of Control transferred the reasonability for the maintenance of historical records to the Nevada Historical Society in cooperation with the Office of the Secretary of State.
  • 1965 October 4 ~ The Nevada State Archives officially opened its doors as part of the Secretary of States Office. John Koontz became the first State Archivist.
  • 1967 ~ Legislation to eliminate the Division of the Archives failed.  Instead it became the repository of noncurrent state government records.
  • 1973 ~ The Division of Archives' name changed to the Division of State, County and Municipal Archives
  • 1979 ~ The Archives became part of the State Library and Division of Archives
  • 1983 ~ Records Management was added to the functions of the Archives.
  • 1992 ~ The Archives became a part of the newly created Department of Museums, Library and Arts.
  • 2015 ~ The Archives and the Library became a division within the Department of Administration. The name was changed to the Nevada State Library, Archives and Public Records Division.

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