Campus Images

Site Information

Digital Projects at the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries


About the collection

Over 8,900 photographs reflecting the early history of the university
campus from its beginnings in Elko in 1874 through the present


To date, over 8,900 images have been added to this collection of images of the University of Nevada, Reno.  The  scanned historical photographs include one of the first University of Nevada campus in Elko more than 125 years ago; the born-digital photographs document current campus activities and events. The collection is the result of a collaboration between the University Libraries and various campus entities that have contributed either historical or more recent images of UNR: the University Archives; Digital Initiatives; and Teaching and Learning Technologies.

These photographs reflect the University of Nevada, Reno's history from its founding in Elko to its present location and growing campus.  The decision to move the institution to Reno, nearer the state's busiest mining district, the Comstock Lode, and the state capital of Carson City was the crucial turning point in its history.  The Regents selected a site on "the Hill" north of Reno, overlooking the Truckee Meadows.  They authorized the construction of Morrill Hall, which is probably the most photographed building on the campus.  Within a decade, four mansard-roofed buildings stood in a cluster in the sagebrush about a mile north of the center of Nevada's second largest town.  The population of the state in 1890 was about 47,000, about 3,500 of whom lived in Reno.  Congressional appropriations for land-grant education were a major source of financial support.*

This collection traces the growth of the university through, among other things, the buildings as they were first erected on campus.  Represented are images of virtually every campus building, the Quad, the athletic facilities, and the university farm, including new buildings such as the Mathewson/IGT Knowledge Center, which is scheduled to open in 2008.  More images of faculty and campus administrators remain to be added, but at least one portrait of every university president is already included. Student life is reflected in various organizations, activities, and campus events. These include "Mackay Week" which was instituted in 1913, student athletics, clubs, homecoming, and commencement ceremonies.

Many of these photographs are over 100 years old, deteriorating, rare, not cataloged and, therefore, have not been readily accessible until now. Newer digital photographs are continually added to the collection, with current photographs added soon after they are taken. This digital collection offers the campus' history photographically to students and researchers at all levels, and to the general public for its enjoyment.

The University of Nevada, Reno holds the copyright for the photographs in this digital collection. All rights are reserved.  The "Ordering and Permissions Information" field in each image record includes contact information for any use of the images for other than research or personal purposes.

Glee Willis
Digital Projects Librarian

Molly Beisler
Metadata Librarian

February 2008                                                             *Hulse, James.  History of the University