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Nevada Desert Experience Records (MS-00524)

Abstract

The Nevada Desert Experience Records (1951-2009) are comprised of files from the anti-nuclear organization, the Nevada Desert Experience (NDE), as well as its predecessor, the Sagebrush Alliance, and those of earlier unincorporated protests at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). Materials include board of directors meeting minutes, financial records, scrapbooks, personnel records, event speeches, correspondence, newspaper clippings, cartoons and other artwork, newsletters, brochures, fliers, research files on nuclear issues and other anti-nuclear organizations, and congressional testimony. The records also contain audiovisual materials, photographic prints and slides, screenplays, manuscripts, and newspapers related to the NDE's media efforts.

Date
1951 to 2009
bulk 1982 to 2006
Extent
29.66 Cubic Feet (28 boxes, 2 oversized boxes)
27.30 Linear Feet
7 digital_files (0.374 GB) MP3
Resource Type
Collection
Creator/Contributor Links
Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research, with the exception of materials that are restricted to protect personally identifiable information. Restrictions are noted at the file level of this inventory and will be open for research use January 1, 2075. Arrangements must be made in advance to access digital files; please contact UNLV Special Collections and Archives for additional information.

Conditions Governing Use

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.

Collection Type
Scope and Contents

The Nevada Desert Experience Records (1951-2009) are comprised of files from the anti-nuclear organization, the Nevada Desert Experience (NDE), as well as its predecessor, the Sagebrush Alliance, and those of earlier unincorporated protests at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). Materials include board of directors meeting minutes and agendas, financial records, scrapbooks, personnel records, event speeches, correspondence, newspaper clippings, cartoons and other artwork, newsletters, brochures, fliers, research files on nuclear issues and other anti-nuclear organizations, and congressional testimony. The records also contain audiovisual materials, photographic prints and slides, screenplays, manuscripts, and newspapers related to the NDE's media efforts. The collection materials focus on major events for the NDE such as the August Desert Witness protests (1985-2005), the Lenten Desert Experience protests (1982-2006), and the Millennium 2000 protests (1999-2000). Select audiocassettes have been digitized and are available as digital files and are noted at the file level of the inventory.

Biographical / Historical Note

The Nevada Desert Experience (NDE) was founded in Oakland, California in 1984 to organize protests against nuclear weapons and nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) 65 miles outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a Franciscan and Roman Catholic organization with roots in earlier movements started by Quakers in 1957. In 1977, to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of Quaker protests at the NTS, Sister Rosemary Lynch organized a similar event, and over the next five years, Lynch and several others returned to the NTS to protest. In 1982, in celebration of Saint Francis of Assisi's 800th birthday and the 25th anniversary of the Quaker protest, Lynch, Father Louis Vitale, theology student Michael Affleck, and others organized a six-week protest at the NTS to coincide with the Christian observance of Lent. The organizers and participants decided to hold a protest annually, calling it the Lenten Desert Experience.

The 1983 protest further inspired the participants to create a formal organization, and they incorporated the Nevada Desert Experience in May 1984. The following year, the NDE organized the first August Desert Witness, which would become another annual event.

Between 1986 and 1994, more than 536 demonstrations were held at the NTS, leading to almost 16,000 arrests, including the arrests of six Democratic members of the U.S. Congress, actors Martin Sheen, Robert Blake, and Kris Kristofferson, and astronomer Carl Sagan. In 1992, the United States halted its full-scale nuclear weapons testing, but the NDE continues protesting for environmental justice and international peace, particularly focusing on efforts against U.S. drone attacks.

Source:

Lindsey, Robert. "438 Protesters are Arrested at Nevada Nuclear Test Site." New York Times, February 6, 1987. http://www.nytimes.com/1987/02/06/us/438-protesters-are-arrested-at-nevada-nuclear-test-site.html.

Arrangement

Materials are arranged into six series:

Series I. Administrative Records, 1957-2009;

Series II. Events, 1978-2006;

Series III. Sagebrush Alliance, 1966-1986;

Series IV. Anti-Nuclear and Peace Organizations and Conferences, 1974-2005;

Series V. Subject Files, 1963-2006;

Series VI. Audiovisual and publications, 1951-2005.

Related Materials

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

Nevada Test Site Oral History Project. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Preferred Citation

Nevada Desert Experience Records, 1951-2009. MS-00524. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

EAD ID
US::NvLN::MS00524
Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials were donated in 2007 by Leslie Brouillette and 2012 by Jim Haber; accession numbers 2007-04 and 2012-24.

Processing Information

Materials were processed by Megan Sharp Weatherly in 2010 and by Special Collections staff in 2012. In 2014, as part of a legacy finding aid conversion project, Lindsay Oden revised and enhanced the collection description to bring it into compliance with current professional standards. Subsequently Lindsay Oden entered the data into ArchivesSpace. In 2019, as part of an archival backlog elimination project, Billy Marino rehoused and arranged additional materials, enhanced the finding aid, and entered the data into ArchivesSpace. In 2020, Jimmy Chang added additional materials to the collection. In 2021, Sarah Jones updated the finding aid to reflect the digitized audiocassettes.

Finding Aid Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
English