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Glenn Davis Photograph Collection (PH-00020)


The Glenn Davis Photograph Collection (approximately 1914-1960) depicts life in Southern Nevada and the American Southwest. The images were created or collected by Las Vegas photographer Glenn Davis and include images of the construction on the Hoover Dam (formerly known as the Boulder Dam), landscapes, gaming, and residents of the region.

Finding Aid PDF


1914 to 1960


2.5 Linear Feet (11 hanging folders, 1 shared box of negatives, 1 flat file, 4 pages of negatives)

Related People/Corporations

Scope and Contents Note

The Glenn Davis Photograph Collection (approximately 1914-1960) depicts images of growth, entertainment, and iconic locations in Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition, there are images focusing on day-to-day activities in Las Vegas as well as the American Southwest such as gaming, Helldorado parades, prospectors, and wildlife native to the region. The materials provide significant historical documentation of the famed Hoover Dam. The items described include photographic prints, negatives, and slides; some of the prints have corresponding negatives or slides which are not listed separately. Items listed are photographic prints unless otherwise specified. Images listed specifically as negatives exist only in that format. Images listed specifically as slides exist only in that format.

Access Note

The collection is open for research. Portions of this collection have been digitized and are available online.

Publication Rights

Materials in this collection may be protected by copyrights and other rights. See Reproductions and Use on the UNLV Special Collections website for more information about reproductions and permissions to publish.


This collection is organized four into series:

Series I. Las Vegas, Nevada, 1914-1960;

Series II. Hoover Dam, 1930-1940;

Series III. The American Southwest, 1930-1949;

Series IV. People, 1930-1949

Materials remain in original order. Many of the photographic prints have corresponding negatives and slides. Negatives have been housed separately and can be found in box 4. Slides have been housed separately and can be found in binder 1.

Biographical / Historical Note

American photographer Glenn Augustus Davis was born March 22, 1894 in Portland, Oregon. He attended school in Oregon and Washington prior to working in the lumber camps and saw mills of Washington and British Columbia. He served in the US Army from 1915 to 1920. He was a member of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) on the Western Front in France during World War I. In the years following the war, Davis returned to the US and worked as a cook, a cotton grower, and a seaman before following his passion for photography.

Davis studied at Illinois College of Photography and became a professional photographer in 1927. He moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1930 and worked at the Oakes Photographic Studio (later known as the Vegas Studio and Camera Supply). From 1930 to 1941 Davis photographed life in the Las Vegas Valley and the construction of the Hoover Dam (then known as the Boulder Dam). Davis later returned to the State of Washington, where he lived for the remainder of his life. During his lifetime, Davis’ photographs received awards from organizations such as the Royal Photograph Society of London and the Royal Photograph Society of Edinburgh. Davis died March 27, 1980 at the age of 86.

Source: Garside, Sherwin (Scoop). “Legacy From Glenn Davis’ Camera.” The Nevadan, November 3, 1968.

Related Collections

The following resources may provide additional information related to the materials in this collection:

Colorado River Commission of Nevada. MS-00427. Special Collections, UNLV Libraries, Las Vegas, Nevada.

George Kelly Ryan Photograph Colleciton, 1929. PH-00044. Special Collections, UNLV Libraries, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Nevada State Parks Photograph Collection, MS-00136, approximately 1893-1960. Special Collections, UNLV Libraries, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Preferred Citation

Glenn Davis Photograph Collection, approximately 1914-1960. PH-00020. Special Collections, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Acquisition Note

Materials were donated by Glenn Davis.

Processing Note

Materials were processed by Special Collections staff. In 2016, as a part of a legacy finding aid conversion project, Maryse Lundering-Timpano wrote the collection description in compliance with current professional standards.

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