Nevada State Museum in Las Vegas

Nevada State Museum–Thoughts on Moving

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The staff at the Nevada State Museum is preparing for our long-anticipated move to our new facility at the Springs Preserve. We’ve always known that the move was coming and that we’d have to be ready at a moment’s notice.

But after dreaming and planning the museum for years, attending the groundbreaking in 2007, receiving the occupancy permits in 2009, and enduring the ongoing budget cuts that threatened the existence of the museum, the staff was forced to push back any feelings of excitement over the move. But now, the move is actually happening and it’s time to start planning and packing.

“Behind the Spring Mountains”

We have been in our current building for almost 30 years. As a museum, we are still in our infancy. But as a community, we have settled into our surroundings. Materials are stored everywhere and we even have our own language for it. For example, “behind the Spring Mountains” is not a geographical term. It refers to an area behind a giant photograph of the Spring Mountains and it is one of our main storage spaces for office materials and equipment. In addition to our office supplies, it’s possible that Jimmy Hoffa is somewhere behind the Spring Mountains.

Research Library–Manuscripts, Multimedia, Periodicals, Books, and Maps

Nevada State Museum in Las Vegas

Nevada State Museum in Las Vegas

As the Curator of Manuscripts at the Nevada State Museum I am in charge of the research library, which includes hundreds of manuscript collections, multimedia, periodicals, books, maps, etc. My coworkers tell me that I’m in better shape than other departments in the museum because most of my materials are already in boxes. I suppose that’s true, but because I’m in charge of maintaining the institutional memory, people cleaning out their offices always visit me before they visit the recycle bin. For example, if the exhibits manager is cleaning out his office and finds sketches he did for an exhibit in 1990, it’s my job to find a place for them.

Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem and this sort of material is a welcome addition to the institutional archive. But as our moving date approaches, everyone is cleaning their offices. Keeping track of their materials, along with research requests, plans for the new building, and my other duties as assigned makes for an exhausting work week that involves lots of improvisation and impromptu meetings held over mountains of boxes.

August 3rd Library Closing

The library will close on August 3rd, but in the meantime I have to figure out how to respond to research requests, help my boss finalize plans for the move, and keep my volunteers busy and happy in a library that is becoming increasingly cluttered with moving boxes and miscellaneous piles of stuff.

Everyone is anxious, excited, and impatient as we make arrangements for the move. After waiting for so long, it is sometimes hard to believe that we’re finally moving.

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Elizabeth Crane

Elizabeth Crane grew up not wearing a helmet, drinking from the hose and not wearing a seat belt. She managed to survive and now spends her time developing websites, drinking coffee, and eating chocolate.