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Local historian McBride named head of Nevada State Museum

Las Vegas’ Nevada State Museum, which celebrates its first birthday Oct. 28, has a new director: Southern Nevada historian and author Dennis McBride.

McBride, curator of history and collections since 2007, succeeds David Millman, who retired early this year.

The new $51 million museum, located on the grounds of the Springs Preserve, is "the only museum in this part of the state that includes the entire history of the state of Nevada, from prehistory – which means fossils – to present-day history," with a focus on everything from government agencies to showgirls, McBride said. "It’s the cultural repository for the state of Nevada."

Making the museum’s extensive collections "accessible and interesting to the public is something very important to me," he said.

A Boulder City native, McBride is an 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 Dunbar) and "Midnight on Arizona Street: The Secret Life of the Boulder Dam Hotel." McBride also is an authority on Nevada’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history and is completing a book on the subject.

McBride, who attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, has worked at UNLV’s Special Collections Department and the Boulder City Museum and Historical Association, where he built the museum’s library and research facility.

With a 13,000-square-foot exhibit area – including a gallery featuring works of regional significance, a research library and an educational laboratory – Las Vegas’ new Nevada State Museum is "not only the place for history to be deposited but a venue for community organizations," he said. "That’s a role we need to grow into. We’ve got a very good start with the new facility and all its resources."

Contact reporter Carol Cling at ccling@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272.

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