In a web-based world, postcards assist protect the historical past of Las Vegas – PHOTOS

Some of the millions of tourists who visit the Strip and downtown Las Vegas each year may not notice, but they become random archivists who help preserve our city for future historians.

If you take a moment to scribble a message on a postcard to send to family and friends back home, you are adding to the ever-growing Las Vegas historical archive.

The postcard collections at the Clark County Museum and UNLV Libraries Special Collections and Archives tell great stories – who we were long ago, from panoramas of the Strip, disappeared but not forgotten casinos, proud chefs showing off the bounty of a buffet, and tourists from Die 1960s play blackjack or watch a show.

Postcards offer historians a photographic record of the past, says Peter Michel, curator for collections of the UNLV libraries’ special collections and archives. “The interesting thing about postcards is how common they were and how far back historically they go.”

Postcards, maps, and atlases are “plebeian items, everyday things,” says Mark Hall-Patton, administrator of the Clark County Museum. “But in these common things there is history and the ability to understand how we have changed and where we came from and how we got where we are today.”

Contact John Przybys at jprzybys @ or 702-383-0280. Follow @JJPrzybys on Twitter.

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