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Frequently Asked Questions

Ask and Archivist

Ask a Librarian

Ask State Records

Where can I find what I am looking for?

Most of our collection is listed by category on our Search the Archives page.

For more information about how the Archives operates, please visit the About page

If you are unable to find what you're looking for, please contact us We're happy to help!

Can I access confidential information?

NRS 378.300  Period of confidentiality of confidential public records

Except as otherwise provided in NRS 239.0115, public records acquired by the Division which have been declared by law to be confidential must remain confidential for 30 years or, if the record relates to a natural person, until the death of the natural person, whichever is later, unless another period has been fixed by specific statute.

For more information on the Archival Regulation and Laws in the State of Nevada, please visit the Statutes, Regulations and Resources page. 

What is the cost for reproductions and can they be sent to me?

The archives is happy to send the requested information to you, either electronically or by mail.

It is the policy of the Nevada State Archives that photocopies of archival material requested by patrons will be handled by archives staff only.  Maps, oversize, or bound archival records that require special handling will be sent to Imaging and Preservation Services (IPS).  Fees will be determined according to the work involved.

Public:  Copies of archival documents and photographs are $0.10 per page. However, there is no charge for orders with under 30 copies. Orders over 30 copies will accrue the $0.10 per page charge starting at page 1.  If you prefer, we can also scan and upload the copies to a flash drive. This is an additional $5.00.  Alternatively, patrons are welcome to bring digital cameras or portable scanners to makes their own copies of documents. There is no charge for this.

State Agencies:   State agency personnel may request photocopies and microfilm/microfiche reader-printer machines to duplicate materials for their agencies.  There is no charge for 300 pages or less.  More than 300 pages will be charged at $0.10 per page unless the agency supplies its own paper.

Mail, e-mail, or fax requests will be invoiced and payment must be received prior to starting any copy work.

Note: The archives only accepts cash or check. We are unable to make change. No credit or debit cards.

For more information about the cost of Archival Services, please visit the About the State Archives page and read the section on Fees.

How do I transfer records to the Archives?

For information and instructions on how to transfer records to the State Archives, please visit the Transferring Records to the Archives page. 

Do you have birth, marriage, divorce, or death records?

Vital Records 

The Nevada State Library and Archives does not have Birth, Marriage, or Divorce Records. The Vital Records Division transferred a small number of Death Records volumes to the archives since they are no longer confidential.  The volumes dates run from the 1920s-1954.  There were no birth or death records kept in Nevada until 1887 when the first vital statistics law was passed by the Nevada State Legislature. Prior to that date, the only possible sources available for proof of birth are newspapers or baptismal records. See the copy of existing newspaper indexes and their locations.

Birth and death records from 1887 to the present are recorded in each county, either in the office of the County Recorder or County Health Officer. The Nevada State Office of Vital Statistics has birth and death records from 1911 to the present for all counties.

The Carson City Recorder's office has indexed all births and deaths registered in the Ormsby County/Carson City County Recorder's office and made them available online.

Registers of births and baptisms for the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S.A., Nevada Dioceses 1862-1969 are at the Nevada Historical Society, 1650 N. Virginia St., Reno, NV 89503. For the Diocesan Archives contact the Nevada Diocese of Reno at (775) 326-9440.

From 1879 to 1911, incorporated cities required undertakers to obtain burial permits from the county coroner's office. Permits were issued upon the filing of death certificates. These certificates exist for Virginia City and Gold Hill for 1879-1887, and for Carson City 1893-1896. Transcripts of the Storey County Coroner's records are at the Nevada State Library and the Nevada Historical Society on microfilm.

Marriage and Divorce Records

Marriage certificates are filed with the County Recorder in the county where the marriage license was issued, not where the marriage took place. Divorces are civil court actions and are kept in the office of the County Clerk for each county. Civil court cases are filed by case number and indexed by plaintiff and defendant. For up-to-date listings of County Officials, check out the Nevada Association of Counties website.

The State Archives has some records for marriages and divorces for Carson County, Utah and Nevada territories, 1856-1862. The Nevada State Library has marriage records for Douglas, Lyon, OrmsbyStorey and Washoe Counties for 1862-1900. The latter are available on microfilm and are for research only. Certified copies should be obtained from the office of record.

Do you have county records?

With few exceptions, the Nevada State Archives does not have records created by counties in Nevada. Those records are maintained by the county offices that created them such as county recorders and county clerks. The exceptions to that statement include the following:

Territorial County records: some records created by the county commissions of Douglas, Ormsby (now Carson City), and Storey Counties were turned over to the State Archives. Descriptions of those records are found in our web pages describing Territorial records.

Ormsby County District Court case files: The case files of the Nevada 2nd Judicial District, 1861-1931 were transferred to the Nevada State Archives in order to provide a secure environment. They include civil, probate, and some criminal case files. There is an in-house index containing names of both plaintiffs and defendants.

County Tax Assessment Rolls: From 1891-1892 Nevada counties were required by the State Board of Equalization to compile duplicate tax assessment rolls and submit them to the State Controller's office. The rolls were audited by the Controller who specifically was looking for differences in how railroad lands were taxed by individual counties.

Do you keep track of campaign contributions?

Candidates for state political offices have to file campaign disclosure statements for contributions and expenditures in the Secretary of State's Election Division. The records are kept there for two general elections and transferred to the State Archives. They are filed by title of the elected office and because of the demand for this information, Archives staff created a name index to these records. The records begin in 1896 and are scattered until 1950. The most complete files begin in 1976 and continue through 1998. There is an eight year delay in receiving reports from the office of the Secretary of State. The forms for 1998 to the present are available on the Secretary of State's Election Center webpage.

Do you have info on the Civilian Conservation Corps?

There are no records of the CCC in the Nevada State Archives. The CCC was a federal program and the records are at the National Archives. They are in Record Group 35 "Records of the Civilian Conservation Corps." The records are arranged by state and camp number. Here is a guide to the records is available online.

The Civilian Personnel Archives provides information on how to request CCC records from the National Archives.

Written requests may be mailed to:

National Archives & Records Administration
Attn: Archival Programs
PO Box 38757
St. Louis, MO 63138

What about mining claims?

Mining Claims

All mining claims are recorded with the County Recorder. Taxes are assessed by the County Assessor and paid to the County Treasurer. All disputes over mining claims were decided in District Courts, whose records are filed with the County Clerk. The claim may also be described in the tax assessment records, filed with the County Assessor.

The State did not keep any records of individual mining claims except where the matter of location or claim was appealed to the Supreme Court.

Incorporated Mining Companies

Mining Companies incorporated in the State filed their articles of incorporation with the Secretary of the Territory from 1861 to 1864 and with the Secretary of State beginning in 1865. The State Archives has some of these incorporation records from 1861 to 1926. Mining companies that incorporated in another state were not required to file papers with the state until 1891. They did have to file information with the County Clerk in the County in which the corporation did business. The Secretary of state maintains a record of all active corporations or those that disincorporated after 1926.

A compilation of all domestic and foreign corporations, 1865-1912, can be found in the Biennial Report of the Secretary of State for the years 1911-1912, published in the Appendix to the Journals of the Senate and Assembly, in 1913.

State Mine Inspector

The State Mine Inspector kept card files showing mines in operation from 1909 to 1974. They are filed by company name by year. The records for the years 1909-1974 are in the State Archives with an alphabetical file of all company names for all years. This record series also includes some description of the mine's operation, addresses of managers, licenses of hoist operators (1922-1971) and mining accidents (1909-1971), both fatal and non fatal. These accident reports are now maintained by the Nevada State Industrial Insurance System.

Naturalization records?

The Nevada State Archives has NO naturalization records. Naturalization records are among the worst kept of all civil records. Some are found in district or federal courts and many just do not exist.

The background of the naturalization process sheds some light on why this is so. The first Act, in 1790, made naturalization possible for any free, white adult with four years of U.S. residency. From then, until 1906, any federal, state or local Court of Record could confer citizenship. At that time, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, established to bring order to the process, began reporting its findings to the judge of the relevant court, who then signed the Order. Naturalization of women and children differed in that, before 1952, children under 21 years of age received derivative citizenship and have no separate file. Women, on the other hand, received automatic citizenship by marriage after one year of residency, and needed no Declaration of Intent.

Many persons were granted citizenship outside the normal process. Blacks became citizens by constitutional amendment in 1868. Indians, who were wards of the state until 1924, became citizens by an Act of Congress. Citizens who were living in territories which were brought into the U.S. as a block, by treaty, were often awarded citizenship en masse. The incorporation of Texas in 1845 is a case in point.

The forms used for Naturalization documents have also varied. Before 1906, each court had its own form, usually one which required only the forswearing of allegiance to the Head of the State from which the applicant came, and the signature of two witnesses. The Immigration and Naturalization Service required forms to include name, age, date and place of birth, occupation, physical description, current and former residences, Ports of Debarkation and Arrival, name of the ship, date of arrival in the U.S. In 1912, names and birth dates of spouses and children were added. Beginning in 1930, photographs were often included.

The normal process has required two classes of documents. The Declaration of Intent was often filed upon arrival in order to begin establishment of residency without delay. With a copy of this filing in hand, final papers could be obtained from any court after residency requirements had been met. A two-to-seven year lapse between the Declaration and final papers is common. The final paper has four parts: Petition, which carries the most information; Affidavits of witnesses and petitioner; Oath of Allegiance; and Court Orders of admitting denial, or continuance. Name changes often occurred at this time.

In Nevada, naturalization records may be found with the state district court and U.S. District Court Records at the National Archives at San Francisco.

U.S. District Court
District of Nevada  
400 S. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89701  

National Archives at San Francisco
Leo J. Ryan Federal Building
1000 Commodore Dr.
San Bruno, CA 94066

Do you have Stewart Indian School records?


The Nevada State Archives does not have any records of the Stewart Indian School. The school was operated by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The Pacific Branch of the National Archives in San Francisco has Records Group 75.20.4 Records of the Carson/Stewart Indian School, NV.

Textual Records (in San Francisco): Coded files, 1911-44. Administrative files, 1914-24. Education Division records, 1924- 47. Correspondence with other agencies and schools, 1911-23. Letters received from Walker River, 1902-7. Stewart School correspondence, 1949-56. Individual student files, 1919-62. Enrollment records, 1931. Issue books, 1898-1913. Navajo program records, including administrative records, 1948-57, and student files, 1947-58. Employee records, 1890-1923. E.C.A. store invoices, 1943.

Sound Recordings: 500 items, in San Francisco, Soundscriber records of the Navajo school program, 1950-54.

Leo Ryan Federal Building
1000 Commodore Dr.
San Bruno, CA 94066

Are there student records in the archives?

All the records from the State Department of Education that have been transferred to the State Archives have been reviewed and NO student lists were found among them.

The records transferred include Minutes of Meetings of the State Board of Education, Deputies' Annual [Statistical] Reports, High and Elementary [Statistical] Reports, County Superintendents' Fiscal Reports, County Auditors' Reports and Teacher Retirement records. There is also a series of correspondence from school districts relating to funding, problems and occasionally an evaluation of school physical plants.

According to the Nevada Compiled Laws (1929-49), there was an annual census of all school age children taken by the teacher, or a designated census marshal for the school district. These census' were sent to deputy superintendents, located in regions around the state, who in turn compiled the statistical information to be included in reports to the state superintendent for the apportionment of funds.

The State NEVER collected information on individual students. This was done a regional level and kept in several offices around the state. When the more than two hundred school districts were consolidated into seventeen in 1956, the statutes made no provision as to the transfer, care or maintenance of student or local school district records. No one seems to know what happened to these records.

According to the 1911 "Act Concerning Public Schools...," teachers were supposed to turn their registers of students over to the trustees of the school district at the end of each year. The trustees were elected in local elections. One of trustees was to be elected clerk and maintain the records of the district. At least until 1949, the real and personal property of a dissolved school district was turned over to the county commissioners. If school districts were consolidated, then the real and personal property became the obligation of the new board of trustees. Records are not specifically mentioned.

From 1911 to 1949, census marshals took an annual census of school age children in each district. These were separate from teachers' registers. The report contained the full names, birth dates, gender and race of all children less than twenty-one years of age. These reports were approved by the clerks of the boards of trustees and sent to the Deputy Superintendent. This information was turned into statistics for the Deputy Superintendents' reports listed above. There was no obligation to keep these census reports after the compilation.

The records of defunct vocational and trade schools are at the office of the Nevada Commission on Postsecondary Education.

1820 E. Sahara Ave.
Suite 111
Las Vegas, NV; 89104-3746

What services are provided?

IPS staff provide consultation services to help determine which service is right for your agency or project.

For those interested in document or image scanning, IPS can:

Digitize paper documents in large quantities

Digitize bound volumes utilizing an overhead scanning system with independently moving book cradles that won’t damage the binding

Digitize oversized or fragile documents up to 44 inches in width

Digitize microfilm

Digitize photographic negatives and slides of varying sizes


Who can use IPS' Services?

IPS’s services are available to all State, local and municipal government agencies, including legislative and judicial branches at all governmental levels. Our services are not available to the general public or private businesses.

What is the cost for services?

There is no direct cost to executive branch state agencies that are under the State Wide Cost Allocation Program (SWCAP). For all other agencies, there is a Fee Schedule available. (See NRS 239.070).

How long do projects take?

Each project is different; therefore, each project will take a different amount of time. Here are some general timelines: 

1 banker’s box of records in good condition will take approximately 5 working days to scan, index and quality check. That means, 8 banker’s boxes will take approximately 2 months to complete.


Where is the library?

The library is located on the main floor of the State Library & Archives building at the Capitol Complex in Carson City. There is handicapped parking available on Musser St. and in the Capitol Complex parking garage on the corner of Stewart St. and Fifth St.

There is street parking on Musser St., as well as a parking garage located on the south end of the Capitol Complex, on the corner of Stewart St. and Fifth St.

Can I borrow materials?

The Library offers borrowing services to all Nevadans.

How do I check out books or other resources? 

Books and materials from our circulating collections may be checked out with any valid Nevada Co-op card.  If you have a library card from Washoe, Clark or Douglas counties, or one of the universities, please contact the information desk (775-684-3360) or apply online to obtain a Nevada Co-op library card.

How do I get a library card?

The State Library issues library cards to Nevada residents over the age of eighteen. Applicants must provide acceptable identification showing their current home address. Acceptable identification includes the following:

  • Valid Nevada driver's license or identification card
  • Nevada motor vehicle registration
  • Imprinted checks from a local bank
  • Local utility or telephone bill
  • Rental or lease agreement or receipts

Apply for a library card today!

How do I find what I am looking for?

Please contact Library staff for assistance. You may also explore the the library's collection on our Research and Collections page.

How do I access online databases?

The Nevada Statewide databases can be accessed in the library or remotely with any valid Nevada library card from our Research Resources site.  A few databases such as the Foundation Center's Candid databases are restricted to in-library use only due to vendor restrictions.  These exceptions are noted in the database descriptions.

How can I get information sent to me?

Information requested by patrons by phone or email may be sent via email or by US mail.  There is no fee associated with information sent by email; there is a 10 cents per single or double-sided black and white page charge for printed material.

Can I make copies?

The Library does not have a public photocopier, but staff can copy or print for patrons at 10 cents per page for both single and double sided black and white copies. Please view our photocopying policy.

Is there a public fax or scanner?

The library does not have a public fax or scanner.

Do you have Nevada resources?

The Library has a wide range of resources about Nevada. Holdings include digital and print information on Nevada state, county and local governments, Nevada’s history and peoples, natural resources, gaming, business and industries.  Explore the collections to learn more.

Do you have government publications? 

The Library collects government publications produced by federal, state of Nevada, county and local governments.  State documents are available in print in the State Publications Distribution Center and online through the Nevada State Library, Archives and Public Records Digital CollectionThe Library has a paper collection of federal government print publications beginning in 1864. Current federal government publications are available online.

Historical newspapers?

The Library has microfilm copies of historic Nevada newspapers. The Library subscribes to databases of current and historical newspapers which are available to state employees via IP authentication, and NSLAPR patrons with a library card barcode. Additionally, some papers are available digitally through the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America and through the Nevada university libraries digital collections (UNRUNLV).

What about genealogical information? 

The Library has various resources for researching Nevada family members.  Resources include historic Nevada newspapers, US and Nevada census records, military records, published histories for counties, mining districts and towns in Nevada (see our catalog).

Does your collection have fiction? 

We have a limited number of fiction titles written by Nevada authors and/or written about Nevada in our Nevada Collection.  The Library does not collect other fiction titles. We can assist you in locating fiction at your local public library.

Do you have children and young adult books?  

The Library does not collect children’s and young adult books.  We can assist you in locating children and young adult resources available at your local public library.

Do you offer legal help and information?

The Library has print and online access to the Nevada Revised Statutes, the Nevada Administrative Code and the United States Code.  Legal reference books, dictionaries and other legal publications are available in our reference and general collections.

However, the State Library does not provide legal help. We are not qualified to offer advice on filling out legal forms or providing advice on things like divorce paperwork, records expunging, etc. The Supreme Court Law Library does provide such information. They frequently host a free “Attorney in the Lobby” legal help session with Nevada Legal Services of Carson City.  Additional legal help is available at the Volunteer Attorneys for Rural Nevadans (VARN) Carson City office.

What about tax forms?

The library has federal 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ print forms and instructions, selected schedules and the 1099 series forms for each tax year.  Tax forms generally arrive from the IRS in late January through mid February.  Select forms from previous years are kept in the reference collection.  Online access to all IRS forms is available through the public computers.  Printing is available for 10 cents a page.


Are there resources for librarians?

Please visit Library Development for a full listing of resources available to Nevada libraries and library staff. Search the catalog to discover our extensive professional collection of library science books.  

Are there resources for library trustees?

Trustee Training covers Nevada laws and regulations pertaining to library boards and Open Meeting Laws requirements. 

Where is the State Records Center located?

State Records is located at 100 N. Stewart St. Carson City, NV 89701. We are on the lower level of the State Library, Archives and Public Records building. For more information, feel free to contact us.

Are the Archives and the State Records Center the same thing?

No. They are two separate programs. The Archives is permanent storage of records that are deemed historically significant. The State Records Center is temporary storage of records that are still within their retention periods.

Can the public retrieve records from the State Records Center?

No. State Records has no legal authority over the records it stores. If and when a record is needed the agency who owns the records must retrieve it from State Records and then give to the requester.

What is a retention schedule?

A retention schedule is a simple document that lists the names of the record series produced by your office, along with their approved retention periods and disposition methods.

What is the difference between a records officer and a records official?

A records officer acts as a liaison between the state agency and the Division on issues relating to the retention and disposition of the records of the state agency. They oversee and administer the records management program of the state agency established pursuant to NAC 239.696; approve or disapprove the documentation for each transfer of records from the state agency to the records center; approve or disapprove all requests for the disposition of a record pursuant to the appropriate schedule; attend training classes offered by the Division on the retention and disposition of records; and coordinate the training of officers, employees and agents of the state agency on the retention and disposition of records.

A records official shall carry out the duties imposed pursuant to NRS Chapter 239.008 on the agency of the Executive Department that designated him or her with respect to a request to inspect or copy a public book or record of the agency. The State Library, Archives and Public Records Administrator, pursuant to NRS 378.255 and in cooperation with the Attorney General, shall prescribe: (a) The form for a request by a person to inspect or copy a public book or record of an agency of the Executive Department pursuant to NRS 239.0107; (b) The form for the written notice required to be provided by an agency of the Executive Department pursuant to paragraph (b), (c) or (d) of subsection 1 of NRS 239.0107; and (c) By regulation the procedures with which a records official must comply in carrying out his or her duties.

Should I keep my paper records after they have been digitally stored?

No. As long as your agency is now designating their official records as digital, the paper copies are considered convenience copies and therefore are non-records. The State of Nevada does not recognize a specific media type for a record. Records are based on content whether it is paper, film, digital, etc.

Do I qualify for this program?

We do not determine eligibility. Page 2 of the application identifies who can sign your application certifying you qualify for the program.

How much does it cost?

There is no charge for this program. It is a federal program of the National Library Service, Library of Congress, administered by each state.

How do I find books to borrow?

We have several options to help you with this. You can review a bi-monthly audio catalog of new books, search our online catalog and the NLS catalog, ask Talking Books staff for help. 

What kind of books do you have?

Our collection is like a public library collection with popular titles, authors, series and subjects to choose from. We receive about 6000 new titles each year.

Can I play your books on my CD player or computer?

There is a list of third party players you can purchase on the NLS website, but you cannot play books on a CD player or computer. A player is loaned free of charge to each patron. Or, all books can also be downloaded and played on an Android or iOS device. We have instructions to help you with this process.

How do I get and return books?

All materials are sent postage free, back and forth, through the USPS as Free Matter for the Blind.