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Matthew O'Brien Papers (MS-00849)

Abstract

The Matthew O'Brien Papers is comprised of records from approximately 2001 to 2011 that document writer Matthew O'Brien's work for two of his Las Vegas, Nevada based non-fiction novels, Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas and My Week at the Blue Angel: and Other Stories From the Storm Drains, Strip Clubs, and Trailer Parks of Las Vegas. Collection materials include research files, chapter drafts, photographs, and correspondence. The collection materials document O'Brien's process in researching the homeless community in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Finding Aid - PDF
Date
2001 to 2011
Extent
2.96 Cubic Feet (5 boxes, 1 flat folder)
6.27 Linear Feet
560 digital_files (0.710 GB) JPG, MP4, PDF/A
Resource Type
Papers
Creator/Contributor Links
Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

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 Matthew O'Brien Papers is comprised of records from approximately 2001 to 2011 that document writer Matthew O'Brien's work for two of his Las Vegas, Nevada based non-fiction novels, Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas and My Week at the Blue Angel: and Other Stories From the Storm Drains, Strip Clubs, and Trailer Parks of Las Vegas. Collection materials include research files, chapter drafts, photographs, and correspondence. The collection materials document O'Brien's process in researching the homeless community in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Biographical / Historical Note

Matthew O'Brien is a journalist, author, and college instructor known for his nonfiction book Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas about homeless people living underground in the Las Vegas Valley. O'Brien was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in Atlanta, GA. He graduated from the University of West Georgia and earned an MFA from UNLV.

O'Brien was a staff writer, news editor, and managing editor of the alternative weekly Las Vegas CityLife from 2000 to 2008. During his tenure at Las Vegas CityLife he wrote two stories about people living in the storm drains beneath Las Vegas with co-author Joshua Ellis, and then went on to complete a solo-authored book Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas about this topic in 2007. His research and exploration of the underground drains and their residents was widely covered in the national and international press in both print and television. O'Brien also founded the Shine a Light charity to help residents of the tunnels. The charity supplies water, food, clothes, blankets and other items and also provides a variety of services, including housing, drug counseling, medical and mental-health counseling, case management and referrals.

He later wrote a non-fiction compilation of stories entitled My Week at the Blue Angel: And Other Stories from the Storm Drains, Strip Clubs, and Trailer Parks of Las Vegas about various characters and his experiences in modern-day Las Vegas that was published in 2010. Since 2017, O'Brien splits his time between Las Vegas, Nevada and San Salvador, El Salvador where he teaches world literature at Escuela Americana.

Sources:

"Bio." Beneath the Neon. Accessed June 04, 2018. http://beneaththeneon.com/biography/

Arrangement

Materials remain as they were received.

Preferred Citation

Matthew O'Brien Papers, approximately 2001-2011. MS-00849. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

EAD ID
US::NVLN::MS00849
Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials were donated in 2017 by Matthew O'Brien; accession number 2017-094.

Processing Information

These records are unprocessed. A rough box-level inventory of the accession was created by Tammi Kim in 2018. To prepare the inventory, the described materials were reviewed to create a contents list, estimate dates, and identify material types. No other work has been performed on the materials. Born-digital files were minimally processed during accessioning. Files were transferred off of optical discs. BUP and VOB video files were converted to MP4, TIF image files were converted to JPEG, and DOCX files were converted to PDF/A for access. Duplicate files are not included.

Finding Aid Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
English