Museum Artifact Collection PDF Print

Fraternal - Knights of Pythias ritualist regalia, c1870s

As the oldest museum in the State of Nevada, the Society's museum artifact collection  consists of many unique artifacts that encompass more than 15,000 artifacts and works of art, including paintings, objects related to the mining and ranching industries, clothing, and objects used in the daily lives of 19th and 20th century Nevadans. A wonderful collection of Nevada and Great Basin Native American basketry, pottery, and tools are collected. 

In addition, the museum collections include numerous artifacts pertaining to Nevada's gaming industry such as early slot machines, gaming cheating devices, neon signage, an extensive textile collection that includes Hello Hollywood Hello show-girl costumes, and souvenirs produced by casinos.

The museum artifact collection continues to actively seek objects for the permanent and educational collections. Collection materials of interest include textiles, Nevada art, decorative arts, household accessories including dishware, mining minerals and equipment, Nevada fossils, Native American objects, toys, ceremonial artifacts, military and fraternal equipment and regalia.

Many of the Society's finest artifacts can be seen in the permanent and temporary exhibits. The permanent exhibition on Nevada history illustrates the highlights of the state's history, including the lives of the earliest inhabitants of the Great Basin, the desert stretches of the Immigrant Trail, the Comstock era, the effects of Nevada's liberal marriage and divorce laws, and the rise of the gambling industry. Temporary exhibitions are short term displays exploring topics relating to Nevada History.

Recent temporary exhibits have examined subjects such as photography during the Comstock era, neon in Nevada, the Society's Centennial Celebration, Senator Key Pittman, the New Deal in Nevada, Red Cross in Nevada, Nevada quilts, and women in the west.