Thanks to a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the Katherine Spilde Papers on Tribal Gaming are now available for use in the Special Collections of the UNLV University Libraries.
Katherine A. Spilde, PhD, is a cultural anthropologist who specializes in the social, economic, and political impact of casino gaming on American Indian tribal governments and communities in the United States. Her papers include materials she collected about Native American gaming and the greater gaming industry. The materials date from 1789 to 2015, with the bulk of materials dating from 1995 to 2010. Materials dating from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are reproductions of key court opinions and treaties concerning Native American rights and sovereignty. The majority of the materials document Native American gaming following the passage of the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). The papers detail Native American gaming enterprises both on and off reservations, the socioeconomic impact of gaming, and the legislative history of Native American gaming in the United States. The papers include research and subject files created by Dr. Spilde during her employment with the National Gambling Impact Study Commission (NGISC), the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), and the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development (HPAIED).
An example of the kinds of research made possible by this collection can be found in this article by processor Lee Hanover, who assisted in processing the collection. He explained, his participation in the project as "invaluable as an opportunity to gain archival education and discover future research possibilities."
A complete finding aid to the collection is available here: https://www.library.unlv.edu/speccol/ead/MS_2013-28_Katherine_Spilde.pdf
Titled "America’s Great Gamble: A Project to Promote the Discovery of Sources About the Expansion of Legalized Gambling Across the United States," the $129,600 National Archives grant has funded two temporary archivists who are organizing and describing four collections: the Spilde Papers, the Eugene Christiansen Papers on Gaming, the Gary Royer Papers on Gaming, and the Harrah's Entertainment Corporate Archives. Once work on all four collections is complete (September 2017), each collection will be better organized and have a more complete finding aid, which will enable researchers to better use it.
This year, priority will be given to Eadington Fellow applicants who specify that they will be utilizing this and the other three collections that will be fully accessible in the 2017-18 academic year, giving scholars an excellent chance to perform gaming research in these wide-ranging collections.
David G. Schwartz