The Sagebrush Vernacular website is an exhibition of 120 photographs of rural Nevada architecture. These photographs are currently being exhibited in locations around Nevada along with the Smithsonian produced exhibition, Barn Again: Celebrating An American Icon. The images in the exhibition were selected from approximately 500 photographs of rural Nevada architecture taken by advanced photography students from the University of Nevada, Reno.
The entire collection has been deposited in the Special Collections Department of the University of Nevada, Reno Library where it is now part of its permanent photographic collections. The deposit of this collection makes its images available to scholars, students, and other individuals who are interested in researching traditional architecture in the Great Basin. The collection will be available for research long after many of the structures have disappeared.
To complement and add a Great Basin context to Barn Again!®, the Smithsonian exhibition of rural architecture now touring the Silver State, a Nevada-based exhibit was created to add materially to the knowledge of traditional or vernacular architecture in the rural parts of the state. Work on Sagebrush Vernacular began during the fall of 2001 when an advanced photography class from the University of Nevada, Reno, led by Foundation Professor of Art Peter Goin, traveled throughout the state photographing barns, farmhouses, and out buildings such as root cellars, blacksmith shops, and outhouses. They based their work on a 20-page list of historical buildings prepared with the help of the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office and knowledgeable residents from around the state.
The entire Sagebrush Vernacular project was coordinated by Nevada Humanities; Steve Davis, Assistant Director, was the curator of the project. Primary funding was provided by the E.L. Wiegand Foundation, with additional funding from the Clark J. Guild Jr. Charitable Foundation and the E.L. Cord Foundation.
The student photographers from whom the work originated are:
The Sagebrush Vernacular Collection is part of the historical photograph archive in the library's Special Collections Department. This archive contains approximately 200,000 images, which focus primarily on Nevada and the Great Basin Region, the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, the Lake Tahoe basin and its surrounding region.
The images were scanned at 8-bit grayscale or 24-bit color on a flatbed scanner at 400 dpi to create high resolution, uncompressed TIFF images; archival images are size at least 3000 pixels across the long dimension; web access images were resized to 768 pixels across the long dimension and converted to 72 ppi JPEG images for web delivery. Files were loaded into the CONTENTdm digital assets management software, assigned metadata, and uploaded to the library's CONTENTdm server.
The team that produced the project was:
Kathryn Totton, Photograph Curator Emerita
Glee Willis, Digital Projects Librarian (retired)
Justin Blum, Former Web Development Librarian
Bob Blesse, Former Head, Special Collections Department
For further information about digital projects at the University of Nevada, Reno Library, contact: