Southern Nevada historian and author Dennis McBride has been named director of the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas. McBride joined the state agency in 2007 as curator of history and collections and succeeds David Millman, who retired in early 2012.

dennis mcbride

A native of Boulder City, McBride is an often cited expert on the community and its cornerstone, Hoover Dam. His books include In the Beginning: A History of Boulder City, Nevada, Building Hoover Dam: An Oral History of the Great Depression with Andrew Dunar and Midnight on Arizona Street: The Secret Life of the Boulder Dam Hotel. McBride is also the authority on Nevada’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history and is completing a book on the subject.

McBride attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and has worked at both UNLV’s Special Collections Department and the Boulder City Museum and Historical Association where he built the museum’s library and research facility. In his new role, McBride will oversee operations of the brand new, $51 million Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas, opened on the grounds of the Springs Preserve on Nevada Day 2011.

“This museum’s collections have inspired me for some time. We have tremendous examples of Las Vegas’ history, in photographs and much more. Making them accessible and interesting to the public is something very important to me,” McBride said.

The new museum, designed by Steelman Partners, debuted as a 70,000 square-foot structure housing a 13,000 square-foot exhibit area, a changing gallery featuring works of regional significance, a research library and educational lab, as well as unconventional meeting space offering expansive nighttime views of Downtown and the Las Vegas Strip.

In April, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman honored the new civic treasure with the Mayor’s Urban Design Award for Buildings and Environment. Reflecting stucco, stone and organic spaces, the museum shares the grounds of the Las Vegas Springs Preserve, site of the community’s original water source, now filled with green museums, galleries, botanical gardens and trails.

The Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas is open Friday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 309 S. Valley View Blvd.