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Clarabelle Decker Papers (MS-00258)


The Clarabelle Decker Papers (1926-1980) reflect the varied career of Clarabelle Decker as a teacher, librarian, and writer who worked in Nevada, Northern Arizona, and Southern California. Materials include Decker's writings and other published works, including books, booklets, poetry, as well as teaching aids, a grammar guide, posters, and fliers. Teaching materials primarily date from 1926 to 1952, while her library and writing materials date from 1954 to 1980.

Finding Aid PDF
0.46 Cubic Feet (1 box and 1 flat file)
2.09 Linear Feet
Resource Type
Access Note

This collection is open for research.

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.

Collection Type
Scope and Contents Note

The Clarabelle Decker Papers (1926-1980) contain materials that reflect the life of Clarabelle Decker as a teacher, librarian, and writer. This material includes printed teaching aids, such as children's books, pamphlets, and coloring posters. It also includes a copy of the Nevada Education Bulletin and Directory, a book manuscript, booklets, and various directories published by the Retired Teachers' Association. The papers include Decker's guide for junior high school libraries, poetry, and two short biographies. Also included are materials from the Clarabelle Decker Elementary School and a 1977 letter from Governor Mike O'Callahan congratulating her for the school being named in her honor.

The majority of the teaching materials in this collection date from 1926-1952. Some of these materials came from the Nelson School, Nevada. Clarabelle Decker's writings date from 1954-1980, including her manual for junior high libraries. The various directories were published by the Retired Teacher's Association from 1979-1980. Miscellaneous fliers on the Clarabelle Decker Elementary School are from 1978. Most of the materials in the collection are published works, including books, booklets, posters, and fliers.

Biographical / Historical Note

Teacher, librarian, and writer Clarabelle H. Decker was born Clarabelle Douglas in Bellevue, Colorado on November 03, 1900. She and her family moved to Oatman, Arizona, where Decker attended Northern Arizona State Teachers College (now Northern Arizona University) and received her Bachelor of Arts degree. She later earned a Master of Arts degree in English and School Supervision from the University of Washington, and a degree in library sciences from the University of Southern California.

Decker's educational experience prepared her for a career as both a teacher and a librarian. She taught in public schools in Arizona, Nevada, and California, and also worked as a librarian in Northern Arizona. Decker later became the first Clark County Supervisor of Libraries and assisted in setting up forty libraries in Clark County.

Decker's other accomplishments include her writing and her involvement in professional organizations. As an author, Clarabelle Decker contributed articles to the Nevada Educational Bulletin and to the Wilson Library Bulletin. Decker's other works include a booklet "Old Oatman, Arizona," published in 1970, and her book "Common Sense English Grammar," published in 1980. Some of her poems appeared in a book "A String of Lights" (1970).

Decker was active in several professional organizations, including the Las Vegas Business and Professional Women's Club and the Las Vegas Education Association. Decker helped organize the Nevada Library Association, and the Clarabelle H. Decker Elementary School is named after her. She passed away in 1984.


The material is are arranged by subject.

Preferred Citation

Clarabelle Decker Papers, 1926-1980. MS-00258. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Acquisition Note

Materials were donated in 1992 by Donna Andress; accession number 86-09.

Processing Note

Material was processed in 1995 by Donna Crail-Rugotzke. In 2017 Joyce Moore entered the data into ArchivesSpace. In 2018, as part of an archival backlog elimination project, Sarah Jones revised the collection description to bring it into compliance with current professional standards.

Separated Materials

The publications that were acquired as part of this collection have been separated and described individually in the University Libraries' catalog.

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