The UNLV University Libraries has made the Harrah’s Entertainment Corporate Archives available to researchers through the Special Collections and Archives Division at Lied Library.
Caesars Entertainment Corporation, formerly called Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., is a gaming corporation based in Nevada. Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. and its predecessors can be traced back to 1946 when businessman William (Bill) Fisk Harrah purchased a casino in Reno, Nevada and named it Harrah's Reno Club. In 1956 Bill Harrah, the sole owner, expanded the Harrah's brand and opened Harrah's Tahoe Club in Stateline, Nevada. In 1971 Harrah decided to take the company public and Harrah's Inc. made its initial public offering. After Bill Harrah's death in 1978, Holiday Inns, Inc. purchased Harrah's Inc. In 1985 Holiday Inns, Inc. was renamed Holiday Corporation. In 1990 Holiday Corporation created The Promus Companies, a corporate spin-off that included the Harrah's brand. In 1995 Promus rebranded as Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. and continued expanding across the United States. The company was renamed Caesars Entertainment Corporation in 2010.
The Harrah's Entertainment Corporate Archives (dating from 1811 to 2004 with the bulk of the materials dating from 1940 to 2000) contain the promotional and corporate files of Harrah's Entertainment Inc. and its predecessors, as well as Bill Harrah's personal papers, playing card, and card game collection. The collection is primarily comprised of casino and employee periodicals, reports, manuals, promotional files, ephemera, and newspaper articles that document Bill Harrah's casinos in Reno, Nevada and Lake Tahoe as well as Harrah's Inc., Holiday Inns, Inc., Holiday Corporation, the Promus Companies, and Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. Also included are photographs that document the construction of Harrah's properties, business operations, the people who worked and performed at Harrah's properties, Bill Harrah's family, and his automobile collection.
Processing of the collection by UNLV University Libraries Special Collections and Archives was made possible by a $129,600 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). A complete summary of the items available in the collection can be found online at https://www.library.unlv.edu/speccol/finding-aids/MS-00460.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 grant funded two temporary archivists who have organized and described four collections: the Gary Royer Papers on Gaming, the Eugene Christiansen Papers on Gaming, the Katherine A. Spilde Papers on Native American Gaming, and the Harrah's Entertainment Inc. Corporate Archives.
For 50 years, UNLV University Libraries Special Collections and Archives has collected and preserved the history of Las Vegas and Southern Nevada, and made it available for researchers. For more information about Special Collections and Archives, visit www.library.unlv.edu/speccol.
David G. Schwartz