Nevada Historical Society

Learn and discover Nevada through its oldest yet most informative museum in the state. The Nevada Historical Society is the home of various collections of manuscripts and artifacts that record the history of Nevada. Each collection depicts the lives and the way of life of the prehistoric people, first explorers and its white settlers. The museum also includes historical facts about mining and gambling that shapes Nevada’s economy.

The Nevada Historical Society keeps its collections in the Shepperson Gallery. The gallery is divided into five divisions that tell stories about the cultural heritage of Nevada. The five stories include "Living on the Land," "Riches from the Earth," "Passing Through," "Neon Nights" and "Federal Presence." Each story is related to each other connecting the history from over a thousand years ago.

“Living on the Land” represents the early times of the Nevadans in the eastern part of Sierra Nevada and the Great Basin. It shows how farming and ranching met their everyday needs. “Riches from the Earth” displays the mineral wealth of Nevada. During this period, the discovery of remarkable blue clay that is rich in silver ore resulted to the “Rush to Washoe.” Mined salt and turquoise are also found in the exhibit. Another division, “Passing Through,” has the collections of vehicles used during the early period by the Euroamericans, white people from south of the Colorado River and east of the Mississippi River. While “Neon Nights” represents the clear and exact picture of Nevada and its famous industry. It does not only show the image of the city but also how it boomed to a bigger and profitable industry. Lastly, the “Federal Presence” explains through exhibits the back to back battle of Nevada to the federal government. The first battle is the fight of the tribes against the United States government-approved Reclamation Act of 1902 and the second battle is the disagreement of Nevada against the federal government’s proposal that will make the state to be a nuclear waste depot of the country.

Apart from the gallery, the Nevada Historical Society has a research library which offers different collections namely, manuscript collections, photography collections and digital collections. Manuscript collections consist of over 3000 collections from 1850 up to the present. It includes general collection and individual manuscript collections varying from schools, business, churches and charitable institutions. The photography collections store pictures from 1862 up to the present. It covers the entire state but it focuses more in the Nye County. Anything that a tourist can think of Nevada, from gambling to the early constructed railroads, the photography collections have it. The digital collections have Nevada maps, in digital Sanborn, and the Johnson Jeffries Fight. The museum is open for donations by accepting historical documents, artifacts, photographs, paintings, textiles and basketry.

Nevada Historical Society is located at 1650 North Virginia Street, Reno, Nevada and it can be found online at