The Richard and Sheilagh Brooks Papers (1919-2003) are comprised of materials collected during their tenure as professors of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Included are correspondence, research papers, photographs, reports, books, article reviews, and student scholarship. There is also a file on reburial issues that contains correspondence and an amendment to Nevada State law regarding the handling of exhumed bodies.
Finding Aid PDF
Scope and Contents Note
The Richard and Sheilagh Brooks Papers (1919-2003) are comprised of materials collected during their tenure as professors of Archaeology and Anthropology, respectively, at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Material contains biographical files, correspondence, research papers, photographs, and reports. Also included are books, article reviews written by Richard and Sheilagh Brooks, student scholarship, two VHS recordings, and two Betamax recordings about pottery and weaving. There is also a file on reburial issues that contains correspondence and an amendment to Nevada State law regarding the handling of exhumed bodies. The bulk of the collection dates between 1970 and 1990 and centers on the Archaeological work done by the Brooks in Nevada and the Death Valley, California region.
Collection is open for research with the exception of material that is restricted to protect student records and will be open for research use on January 1, 2050.
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.
These materials were roughly grouped into three series. Materials within each series remain in original order:
Series I. Subject files, 1924-2003;
Series II. Reports, 1939-1992;
Series III. Books, reviews, and student scholarship, 1919-1990.
Biographical / Historical Note
Archaeologist Richard H. Brooks was born in Big Pine, California on July 5, 1926. He joined the Navy when he was 15 and after his service he began his college education, culminating in a Ph.D. in archaeology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He began working at Nevada Southern University (the future University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) in 1966 as an Archaeologist and Research Associate for the Desert Research Institute while still in school. He became Director of the Southern Branch of the Nevada Archaeological Survey and Museum Director of the UNLV Museum of Natural History. In 1973 he began teaching as an Associate Research Professor of Anthropology. Brooks worked together with his wife Sheilagh on many archaeological digs in Nevada including Tule Springs and the Stewart and Kiel Ranch burial sites.
Richard Howard Brooks passed away on June 24, 2011.
"Las Vegas Review Journal Obituaries," accessed October 09, 2018, https://obits.reviewjournal.com/obituaries/lvrj/obituary.aspx?n=richard-brooks&pid=152817944&fhid=13804
Sheilagh Thompson was born on December 10, 1923 to Robert and Leah Thompson. She grew up in Southern California and graduated from San Pedro High School. She earned her BA in 1944, her MA in 1947, and her PhD in 1951 all in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. She married Richard Brooks on November 10, 1951, and the couple had two children, Kathleen and Carolyn.
During her time at Berkeley, Brooks held several positions including museum curator and research anthropologist. She also worked as an instructor in anthropology. She taught part-time at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) beginning in 1960. She relocated to Las Vegas permanently in 1966, and became the first full-time anthropology professor at UNLV. In 1973, she became a full professor and chair of the Anthropology-Ethnic Studies Department at UNLV. The Sheilagh Brooks Osteology Research Laboratory at UNLV is named in her honor for her many contributions to the University and to the study of anthropology and archaeology.
In addition to her teaching career, Brooks authored several articles on anthropology and was recognized as an expert in forensic anthropology. She also served in local and statewide organizations devoted to Nevada history and archaeology. She oversaw the excavation of Kiel Ranch in North Las Vegas, Nevada.
After suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, Brooks passed away in 2008.
Sheilagh Brooks Biographical File, Richard and Sheilagh Brooks Papers, 1919-2003. MS-00885. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
Richard and Sheilagh Brooks Papers, 1919-2003. MS-00885. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
Materials were donated in 2018 by Kathleen Brooks; accession number 2018-028.
In 2018, Joyce Moore processed the collection and wrote the finding aid.
Some of the books and publications in this acquisition were removed from the collection and cataloged separately.