Museum to catalog every item from Las Vegas shooting memorial

The collection of crosses and everyday objects that evolved into a public memorial to victims of the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting are about to make one last stop on their journey to becoming an official part of Southern Nevada history.

And, as with most travel these days, paperwork is involved.

On Nov. 12, the array of mementos left by mourners was transported from the Strip median by the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign to the Clark County Museum, 1830 S. Boulder Highway. Since then, the crosses that formed the backbone of the accidental memorial have been displayed in the museum’s outdoor amphitheater.

Viewers have until Dec. 17 to see them. After that, the crosses will be taken indoors, and, along with other memorial pieces from sites on the Strip, stored awaiting formal processing into the museum’s permanent collection.

Mark Hall-Patton, Clark County museums administrator, said cataloging the thousands of items will take months, even a year or more, to complete. But, he says, when the process is done, the objects — many of which are fragile or have become so over the past two months — will be preserved for future generations.

Cyndi Sanford, the museum’s registrar, says objects in the collection include stuffed animals and toys, photos and cards, small crosses and angel pins, hotel room card keys and “a lot of tickets to area concerts and events — not the Route 91 concert, (but) other ones.”

Mourners also left perishable items such as flowers and food. While those won’t be preserved, photos of some will become part of the record.

The collection’s overall title — which also is being used by other area museums that are recording and preserving the events of Oct. 1 — is “Remembering 1 October.”

An exacting process

As part of the museum’s cataloging, each item will receive a number designating it as part of that collection. Additional subnumbers will identify the items more precisely.

Each item will be recorded in a computer database. Take, for example, a cowboy hat that Sanford recently cataloged. The number assigned to the item was inscribed on the hat with a lacquerlike liquid that resembles nail polish.

“We put down a base coat, write a number on it and put another coat on it,” Sanford says. “That way, even if it gets separated from the rest, the exhibit number will be on it.”

That number is entered into a computer record that includes a detailed description of the item. Sanford then measures the hat’s height, width and length. She describes its color, any stains on it, and notes the messages that mourners have written on it. She includes the materials that the hat is made of, its size and manufacturer. She also evaluates and notes the hat’s condition.

Finally, Sanford lists in the new computer record keywords that will allow future researchers to find the hat on the basis of multiple search terms, “because you never know what people will be searching for.”

The hat also is photographed from several angles. Those photos and the detailed description will become part of the hat’s museum record and eventually will be available online to anybody who wishes to read about it. For researchers who will need to see the actual hat, the record that has been created will offer museum staff an efficient way to find and retrieve it.

Hall-Patton says the same exacting, time-consuming process — known in the museum trade as accessioning — is used for any items processed into the museum’s collection. The only difference, he says, is that “we don’t usually get this many (items) in a collection at a single time.”

Once a memorial item’s computer record is created, the item will be packaged and preserved in materials designed for long-term storage, including acid-free folders and archive-quality bags and containers.

Volunteers will be needed

Such materials are more expensive than regular packing materials. Hall-Patton says he doesn’t yet know how much it will cost to catalog and preserve the Route 91 collection.

Hall-Patton says the archiving process has begun with, for example, items that were removed from other impromptu memorial sites that sprang up along the Strip. Although museum staff will oversee and do much of the work, Sanford says they are seeking volunteers to help.

But, Hall-Patton says, “it’s really a very boring, detailed job.”

If a volunteer’s notion is, “I want to get to play with everything, no, you’re not going to,” he says.

“This isn’t a game. This is a very serious process that needs to be followed and be done right, and it will be done right.”

Contact John Przybys at or 702-383-0280. Follow @JJPrzybys on Twitter.

Family remembers deceased mother
Family members of Adriann Gallegos remember her. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Restoring classic Corvettes to perfection
Members of the National Corvette Restorers Society Convention talk about what it takes to earn the NCRS Top Flight Award for a restored Corvette at South Point in Las Vegas on Tuesday July 17, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Clark County recount votes in commission’s District E primary
Clark County staff begin the recount requested by candidate Marco Hernandez in the democratic primary for the County Commission's District E seat on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Long-running local hip hop producer wants Vegas rappers to shine
Las Vegas Hip Hop producer and co-owner of Digital Insight Recording Studios Tiger Stylz reflects on 30 years of music production in the city. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Construction for new 51s ballpark underway
New home of the Las Vegas 51s is planned to be finished by March 2019 in Summerlin according to team president Don Logan. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Las Vegas judge’s ruling will halt tonight’s execution
On Wednesday Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez issued a ruling that will halt the execution of convicted murderer Scott Dozier. Alvogen Inc., which makes the sedative midazolam, filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing the Nevada Department of Corrections of surreptitiously obtaining the drug for use in an execution.
3 people shot in southeast Las Vegas
Three men were shot Thursday night in southeast Las Vegas, and two of them have life threatening injuries. Las Vegas police responded to the incident just after 10 p.m. on the 5000 block of Mountain Vista Street. The investigation is in its early stages and police were unable to describe the suspect or say how man people they think were involved. Police encourage anyone with information regarding this shooting to call Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555, or 3-1-1
Robbery suspects apprehended
Four robbery suspects were taken into custody Thursday morning after a vehicle and foot chase that ended in an east Las Vegas neighborhood. The incident began when a person was robbed at gunpoint around 4:45 a.m. near Maryland Parkway and Desert Inn. Officers arriving at the scene tried to stop two vehicles. One vehicle escaped but police chased the second into a neighborhood on Flamingo Road near Mountain Vista Street. Police surrounded the neighborhood and the suspects were apprehended. It looked like one police vehicle was involved in a collision with the suspects' car. One woman suffered an unknown injury and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. 01:04
Las Vegas police looking for robbery suspects
Two robbers who recently targeted three Las Vegas businesses remained at large Tuesday and police are asking the public to help identify them. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser gives update of officer-involved shooting
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser provides an update about an officer-involved shooting at Radwick Drive and Owens Avenue in the northeast Las Vegas on Thursday. A robbery suspect was shot and killed. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
LVMPD Looking For Robbery Suspect
The LVMPD Commercial Robbery Section is attempting to identify the pictured suspect who is responsible for committing robberies to businesses in the southern part of the Las Vegas Valley during the month of May 2018. The suspect enters the business, threatens the employee with a firearm and demands money from the register. The employee complies and the suspect flees the business.
North Las Vegas police are investigating a triple shooting that left one man dead
North Las Vegas police are investigating a triple shooting that left one man dead at 2500 block of Ellis St., on Friday, June 8, 2018. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
1 dead in shooting at southwest Las Vegas home
A dispute between roommates led to the fatal shooting of one man in the backyard of their southwest Las Vegas Valley home on Monday, April 23, 2018. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like