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Reno, Nevada
Digitizing Tahoe’s History and Culture
The Steamer Tahoe at the Tahoe Tavern in Tahoe City. NEH funding helped the University of Nevada, Reno establish a publically-available digital record of the Tahoe region. Image courtesy of the University of Nevada, Reno.

With a grant from the NEH, the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) co-hosted a digitization day in 2016 to capture a visual record of the Tahoe region’s natural beauty, history, and culture. Lake Tahoe is one of the world’s most spectacular alpine lakes; it hosts more than 3 million visitors per year and is of both cultural and ecological significance. For more than 30 years, UNR photography professor Peter Goin has been tracking down photographs and other images of Lake Tahoe, finding that many of the region’s limited records were dispersed elsewhere in the United States. By hosting the North Lake Tahoe Digitization Day, Goin hoped to fill the significant gaps in the historical record and contribute to a substantial archive that would be accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

“People don’t realize the [cultural] value of what they have. Yet, when their house is on fire, that’s one of the first things they will take out of it—their photographs.”
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