On April 20, 1955, The Rebel Yell made its debut as Nevada Southern’s student newspaper, its headline announcing the opening of the campus social season, the Confederate Cotillion. The six excited candidates for “Southern Belle” were pictured and described in detail. In another column a citizen’s committee was reported raising funds to acquire land for the new campus and to build a student union building. From this 50’s time-warp to today, The Rebel Yell has provided what its founding editors promised: “The paper stands to serve the students, and will try to fulfill every need. Its pages will contain news of every type – varying from feature articles to campus happenings.”
In fulfilling this mission The Rebel Yell has also succeeded in documenting the most important part of a university, its student life. Its pages reflect that microcosm of American youth culture represented by university students, morphing through hair and clothing styles, on a campus close to the throb of America’s fantasy city, Las Vegas. It is a reflection of collegiate life: campus events, student life, political issues and activism, theater, dance, and music. But beyond the traditional photos of sporting events and campus buildings, the life on an urban campus is an important part, not just of the history of the university, but also of its setting in the city of Las Vegas. For those of us at UNLV, it is our history.
This project captures over 30,000 pages of The Rebel Yell from its inaugural issue in 1956 through 2010, at which point it went online and is available on its own website with its own digital archive. The issues from 1955 through 1986 were digitized from microfilm and are in black and white, while issues from 1987 to 2010 were digitized from the original copies and include color.
Issues for 2010 until the present can be accessed online via Newsbank (ACE account required for off-campus access). Current issues can be read online under its new name, The Scarlet and Gray Free Press.
With a grant from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and financial support from Consolidated Students of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (CSUN) and the UNLV Graduate & Professional Student Association (GPSA), UNLV's student newspaper will gain increased visibility and will be infinitely more accessible.
Staff in the Digital Collections Department completed several tasks related to transferring the original issues of The Rebel Yell into powerful digital versions that can be searched by date, proper name, subject or any word in the text of the article. Some of the tasks taken on by the team include: