The Elizabeth von Till and Claude N. Warren Professional Papers (1916-2021) are comprised of the personal and professional papers of anthropologist Claude N. Warren and historical preservationist Elizabth von Till Warren. The materials in this collection primarily consist of research files, maps, and drawings on various archaeological and historical preservation projects in southern Nevada of which they both were involved. This collection includes field notes and surveys from archaeological projects such as the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort and the Las Vegas Springs Preserve. Records on von Till Warren's involvement with the Old Spanish Trail Association, Southern Nevada Historical Society, and historic preservation work around southern Nevada are represented. Also included are Robert H. Crabtree's archaeological research files, a colleague of Claude Warren who bequeathed his professional files to him upon his death.
Collection is open for research, with the exception of materials that are restricted to protect personally identifiable information. Restrictions are noted at the box level of this inventory. The dates when these materials will be open for research use are listed throughout the inventory.
Where use copies do not exist, production of use copies is required before access will be granted; this may delay research requests. Arrangements must be made in advance to access digital files; please contact UNLV Special Collections and Archives for additional information.
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.
The Elizabeth von Till and Claude N. Warren Professional Papers (1916-2021) are comprised of the personal and professional papers of anthropologist Claude N. Warren and historical preservationist Elizabth von Till Warren. The materials in this collection primarily consist of research files, maps, correspondence and drawings on various archaeological and historical preservation projects in southern Nevada of which they both were involved.
Elizabeth von Till Warren’s papers consist of correspondence, meeting agendas, reprints, photographs, financial records, reports, manuscript drafts, photographs, slides, and negatives pertaining to the academic career and professional work of Elizabeth von Till Warren. The series also contains organizational records from von Till Warren’s involvement with the Old Spanish Trail Association (OSTA), Goodsprings Citizens Advisory Council (GCAC), Goodsprings Historical Society (GHS), and Preservation Association of Clark County (PACC). Research files related to Nevada preservation efforts, site exhibits, and trail markers from locations such as Big Springs, the Old Mormon Fort, and Valley of Fire are represented. The series also contains research files from von Till Warren’s dissertation on the Las Vegas Springs, in addition to dissertation drafts.
Claude Warren’s papers consist of archaeological maps, surveys and reports, manuscript drafts, and administrative college faculty files. His papers also include organization and associational records, personal correspondence, and academic records. The majority of Warren’s papers consist of research files from Nevada and California, in addition to manuscript drafts and files pertaining to his employment at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Warren’s papers also contain the professional papers of Robert H. Crabtree. Crabtree’s files were bequeathed to Warren upon his death, and contain archaeological research surveys and notes, academic records and dissertation research, archaeological associational resource files.
The collection also contains digital files pertain to Elizabeth von Till Warren and contain research files, manuscript drafts, presentation notes, and photographs. Digital files from Claude Warren contain manuscript drafts, excavation site photographs, research files, and files pertaining to Robert Crabtree.
Claude Nelson Warren was born March 18, 1932 in Goldendale, Washington. Growing up as the youngest of four children, he attended Centralia Junior College from 1950 to 1952. In 1953, he enrolled in a Columbia Plateau archaeology field school in Washington, where he became associated with Robert Crabtree. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1954 with a bachelor's degree in anthropology. Warren then attended graduate school at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois as a Carnegie Fellow in the African Studies Program. It was also at Northwestern University where he met Elizabeth von Till, who was also attending the African Studies Program as a Carnegie Fellow. The two were married in December 1955, and returned to Washington. Warren continued excavation work on the Columbia Plateau until he graduated with a master's degree in 1959 from the University of Washington, Seattle. It was at this time that he also began work with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Archaeological Survey Office as a research archaeologist alongside colleague and friend Robert Crabtree. Warren continued his excavation work in Southern California, and refined understanding of the San Dieguito and La Jolla complexes near San Diego. He also worked on excavations in the Parowan Valley in Utah.
In 1964, Warren earned his Ph.D. in anthropology from UCLA. The dissertation expanded on his studies of the San Dieguito and La Jolla complexes. Later in 1964, Warren became an Assistant Professor at Idaho State University. In 1967, Warren was hired as an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), where he taught anthropology and worked in the Mojave Desert. In 1969, Warren moved to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) as an Associate Professor and from 1970 to 1972 served as chair of UNLV's Anthropology and Sociology Department. Warren led numerous field schools throughout the Mojave region, and in 1971 led a joint UNLV-UCLA field school in Santa Barbara, California. Warren also led an archaeological survey in 1972 of the Big Springs that discovered artifacts dated back thousands of years and diverted the U.S. Highway 95 around what is now Springs Preserve in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In 1974, while still teaching at UNLV, the Warrens moved to Goodsprings, Nevada. This placed Warren even closer to his research passion of the Mojave Desert. From 1991 to 1994, Warren served as the Chair of Anthropology and Ethnic Studies at UNLV. He retired from teaching at UNLV in 1998 and held emeritus professorship. Despite being retired, Warren continued to teach field schools and served as the archaeologist for Joshua Tree National Park.
Along with his wife Elizabeth, the Warrens have been credited with advocating for many of Southern Nevada'’s iconic historic sites. The 1972 excavation of the Big Springs was not their only time coming to the defense, as Warren challenged the City of Las Vegas in 1980 regarding a proposal for a runoff basin near the Springs. The Warrens also assisted with the preservation of the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort, the Huntridge Theater, Spring Mountain Ranch, Las Vegas High School, the Las Vegas Pioneer Trail, and the Historic Fifth Street School among many more sites.
Claude and Elizabeth have four children together: Claude Jr., Susan, Louis, and Jonathan.
Claude Warren passed away on November 4, 2021.
Katsilometes, John. "Warren Family Backs Huntridge Theater and Asks, 'Who Else Wants In?'" Las Vegas Sun, July 14 2013. https://lasvegassun.com/blogs/kats-report/2013/jul/14/warren-family-backs-huntridge-theater-and-asks-who/
MacNeil, Sara. "'Protectors of History' Honored for Decades of Activism in Southern Nevada." Las Vegas Sun, May 30, 2021. https://lasvegassun.com/news/2021/may/30/protectors-of-history-honored-for-decades-of-activ/
Simms, S.; Schneider, J.; Pavesic, M.; Alexander, L.; Jenkins, D.; Sutton, M. "Pioneers: Memories of Claude Warren (1932-)." Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 39, no.1 (2019): 97-105.
Springs Preserve. "Our History." (n.d.) https://www.springspreserve.org/about/history.html
Warren, Claude N. "Robert Herre Crabtree Remembered." Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 8, no. 1 (1986): 4-6.
Winslow, Diane Lynne; Wedding, Jeffrey R.; Schneider, Joan S. (2000). "Claude Nelson Warren: An introduction to his life and times." In Schneider, Joan S.; Yohe II, Robert M; Gardner, Jill K (eds.). Archaeological Passages: a volume in honor of Claude Nelson Warren. Hemet, California: Western Center for Archaeology and Paleontology, Publications in Archaeology.
Mary Elizabeth "Liz" von Till was born April 16, 1934 in Brooklyn, New York as the fifth of eight children. Her family moved around the Northeast portion of the United States while she was a child, which she attributed to her interest in a variety of environmental and cultural topics. She graduated high school in 1951 and went on to Barnard College. In 1955, she graduated from Barnard with a bachelor's degree in anthropology. She then began graduate studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois as a Carnegie Fellow in African Studies. It was also at Northwestern University that she met Claude Warren, and the two were married in 1955. That same year, the couple moved to Seattle, Washington.
The Warrens moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1969, and that was also when von Till Warren took on her first major preservation project to save what would become Tule Springs State Park. She also led the "Hold the Fort" campaign to save the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort, while her husband performed the excavation work. In 1972, she became involved in the preservation of the Las Vegas "Big Springs," which diverted the U.S. Highway 95 around what is now Springs Preserve. She also led the Friends of Big Springs organization to lobby for the site's preservation. This was not the only time that the Warrens would come to the aid of the springs, though, as they returned in the 1980s and 1990s to prevent urban development and officially protect the historic site.
In 1974, the Warrens moved to Goodsprings, Nevada. It was also that same year that von Till Warren graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) with a master's degree in history. In 1981, she was a driving force in the preservation of the Goumond House and its move from downtown Las Vegas to the Clark County Museum. In 1992, she applied for the Huntridge Theater to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which she won in 1993. In 2001, she received her Ph.D. from Washington State University, with her dissertation focusing on the history of the Las Vegas springs and water management.
von Till Warren has been widely regarded as a historic preservationist for her advocacy and work with several historic sites throughout Southern Nevada. She has been credited for preserving Spring Mountain Ranch, the Historic Fifth Street School, Las Vegas High School, and Goodsprings Elementary School among many more. She also served as an interpreter in the commemoration of the Las Vegas Pioneer Trail. She participated in the creation of the Neon Museum, visitor centers for the Valley of Fire and Red Rock Canyon, and Clark County Wetlands Park.
von Till Warren founded the Old Spanish Trail Association and fought for its designation as a historic trail in 2003. She was also president of the Southern Nevada Historical Society, and served on the Goodsprings Citizens Advisory Council and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She taught at UNLV, Clark County Community College, Clark County School District, and the Nevada Wet Project. She also worked as a historian for HRA, Inc. Conservation Archaeology and in the Women's Archives inside of UNLV Lied Library's Special Collections and Archives.
Elizabeth and Claude had four children together: Claude Jr., Susan, Louis, and Jonathan.
Elizabeth von Till Warren passed away on April 21, 2021.
Elizabeth von Till Warren oral history interviews, 2010 July 07, 2011 November 18. OH-01919. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
Hawley, Tom. "Leading Southern Nevada Preservationist Dies at 86." (6 May 2021). https://news3lv.com/news/local/leading-southern-nevada-preservationist-dies-at-86
Katsilometes, John. "Warren Family Backs Huntridge Theater and Asks, ‘Who Else Wants In?'" Las Vegas Sun, July 14 2013. https://lasvegassun.com/blogs/kats-report/2013/jul/14/warren-family-backs-huntridge-theater-and-asks-who/
MacNeil, Sara. "'Protectors of History' Honored for Decades of Activism in Southern Nevada." Las Vegas Sun,May 30, 2021. https://lasvegassun.com/news/2021/may/30/protectors-of-history-honored-for-decades-of-activ/
Springs Preserve. "Our History." (n.d.). https://www.springspreserve.org/about/history.html
Warren, Elizabeth von Till (2001). The History of Las Vegas Springs, A Disappeared Resource. Pullman, Washington: Washington State University.
Warren, Elizabeth von Till. Interview with Marlene Adrian. Women of Diversity Productions, Inc. Las Vegas, December 7, 2013.
Warren, Jonathan. "Elizabeth von Till Warren April 16, 1934-April 21, 2021." (26 April 2021). https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/elizabeth-von-till-warren-april-16-1934-21-2021-jonathan-warren
These records are organized into two series:
Series I. Claude Warren papers, 1916-2019;
Series II. Elizabeth von Till Warren papers, 1934-2021.
Legacy media and disks that failed to transfer are housed in boxes 361 and 362.
Elizabeth von Till and Claude N. Warren Professional Papers, 1916-2021. MS-00906. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
The materials were donated in 2019 by Louis Warren; accession numbers 2019-052 and 2019-160.
In 2020, Jose Andre Guevara, Karla Del Toro Paz, Sarah Jones, and Tammi Kim accessioned the collection and created the finding aid in ArchivesSpace. In 2020 and 2021, Jose Andre Guevara and Tammi Kim transferred files off of electronic media. No access copies were created for any of the files at this time. In 2021 and 2022, Kassidy Whetstone processed and rehoused the materials, created an inventory, and updated the finding aid in ArchivesSpace.
In 2022, Jose Guevara processed the digital materials stored on optical discs, 3.5" and 5.25" floppy disks. One optical disc and 74 floppy disks failed to transfer. No access copies were made. Kassidy Whetstone reviewed the files and incorporated digital files into the finding aid.