The Alice Key Photograph Collection (1930s-1990s) is comprised of color and black-and-white photographic prints of activist, dancer, and journalist Alice Key with family, friends, political figures, and performers. Materials include photographs of Senator Howard Cannon, Louis Armstrong, and Bill Robinson, and signed professional head shots. Also pictured are Key's coworkers and unidentified performers.
Finding Aid PDF
Scope and Contents Note
The Alice Key Photograph Collection (1930s-1990s) is comprised of color and black-and-white photographic prints of activist, dancer, and journalist Alice Key with family, friends, political figures, and performers. Materials include photographs of Senator Howard Cannon, Louis Armstrong, and Bill Robinson, as well as include signed professional head shots. Also pictured are Key's coworkers and unidentified performers.
Collection is open for research. This material has been digitized and is fully available online.
Materials in this collection may be protected by copyrights and other rights. See Reproductions and Use on the UNLV Special Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permissions to publish.
Materials remain as they were received.
Biographical / Historical Note
Alice Marie Key was born to Louise and Malcolm Key on March 18, 1911 in Henderson, Kentucky. She moved with her family to Riverside, California where she finished high school, graduating in 1928. Key then moved to Los Angeles, California where she studied journalism at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). While attending UCLA, she met Leroy Broomfield of the Cotton Club in Culver City, California and left school to pursue a career as a dancer and chorus girl. After dancing in California for five years, Duke Ellington recommended her as a dancer for the Cotton Club in Harlem, New York. Key traveled to New York City, New York and went on a six month Cotton Club show tour through Europe, including performances at the Moulin Rouge in Paris, France and the Palladium in London, England.
In 1943, Key stopped dancing to work as a writer for the
Throughout her life, and especially during the 1960s, Key passionately fought for civil rights through various community activities and public jobs. She worked as the public relations manager for the Nevada Committee for the Rights of Women, as the executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), as a member of the Clark County Economic Opportunity Board, and was appointed as Nevada's deputy labor commissioner by Governor Richard Bryan in 1983.
After retiring from public service in 1993, Key maintained her community activism through organizations such as the Barbara Jordan Democratic Women's Club, the Moulin Rouge Preservation Association, the Black Las Vegas Historical Society, Inc., and Ladies Who Danced.
Alice Key died in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 29, 2010.
"Alice Key: A Renaissance Woman."
Martin, Michael. "Wisdom Watch: Alice Key."
Alice Key Photograph Collection, 1930s-1990s. PH-00297. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
Materials were donated by Alice Key in 1995; accession number 1995-047A.
Materials were initially processed by Special Collections staff. In 2019, as part of an archival backlog elimination project, Billy Marino wrote the finding aid and entered the data into ArchivesSpace.