Into Nature: The History Of Camping in the Far West

Join the University Libraries' Special Collections and University Archives Department on February 28th for a "Last Chance" talk and guided tour

A black and white image of a woman and children next to a car

Photo courtesy of Special Collections and University Archives Collection "Rolly Ross Ham Collection"

Into Nature: The History Of Camping in the Far West

Join the University Libraries' Special Collections and University Archives Department on February 28th for a "Last Chance" talk and guided tour

Photo courtesy of Special Collections and University Archives Collection "Rolly Ross Ham Collection"

A black and white image of a woman and children next to a car

Photo courtesy of Special Collections and University Archives Collection "Rolly Ross Ham Collection"

The University Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives Department is hosting “Into Nature: The History of Camping in the Far West,” a last chance talk and guided tour of the exhibit currently on display on the 3rd floor of the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center.

The exhibit focuses on the transition from camping being a necessity to being part of a vacation. The exhibit also explores homelessness as a form of camping and the difference between Native American experiences and summer camps when recreational camping was starting to become popular.

“This exhibit is important because recreational camping is so popular in today’s society,” said Kim Roberts, research assistant for the University Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives Department. “Learning the background and history behind the idea of camping helps people appreciate the experience more when they are out in nature. There is more to camping than people think. Camping was not always a fun activity and for some it still remains a way of life instead of a fun recreational activity.”

view of the left side of the Buick pilot car and trailer
Photo courtesy of Special Collections and University Archives Collection "Bourne Trailer Donation" c. 1951

The last chance talk and guided tour event will take place on Friday, February 28th from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Guests should meet in the Leornard Reading Room on the 4th floor of the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center. This event is the last chance to experience the exhibit before it is taken down in March. The University Libraries’ invites all community members to attend this free event. To attend, please RSVP to Robin Monteith via email at robinmonteith@unr.edu.

In her talk, Curator Kim Roberts will examine the economic, cultural and social factors that led to the rise of camping after the Civil War, culminating in an outdoor recreation boom during the early twentieth century. Following the talk, she will also lead a guided tour of the exhibit calling attention to key images and artifacts on display.

“I am excited for the opportunity to discuss the unique history of camping in Nevada because it is so different from other states,” said Roberts. “Lake Tahoe was a major part in developing the unique experience of recreational camping in Nevada. The Sierra Club was the beginning of the rise of recreational camping in Nevada. ”

Kim Roberts
Kim Roberts

About exhibit curator Kim Roberts

Kim spent her early childhood moving all over the Intermountain West before her family settled down in Colorado. She studied literature and history at Colorado State University and received her master's in the history of photography, landscape, and science at the University of Nevada, Reno. Kim has worked at libraries, museums and archives across the West and Midwest, including being the photo archivist for the University Libraries Special Collections and University Archives Department.

About the University Libraries

The University Libraries embrace intellectual inquiry and innovation, nurture the production of new knowledge, and foster excellence in learning, teaching and research. During each academic year, the Libraries welcomes more than 1.2 million visitors across its network of three branch libraries: the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, the DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library and the Savitt Medical Library. Visitors checked-out more than 80,000 items and completed more than 2 million database searches.

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