Neon and Nevada are inextricably linked. Nevada is the state that never sleeps, with bars and casinos open all hours of the night and their neon signs dazzling against the inky black skies of the desert. Neon is almost synonymous with the West, with the boom and bust of casinos and bustling nightlife. Although there are not nearly as many neon signs as there once were in Nevada, neon is still ubiquitous and can be found in almost every city, small town, and rural community. Sadly, many of Nevada’s neon signs are fading away. This is why the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries partnered with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Libraries, the Nevada Historical Society, and other neon experts and enthusiasts across the state to collect and curate this comprehensive digital archive of neon signs. This project was created to preserve and celebrate the rich history of neon in Nevada.
Here you will find thousands of images of neon signs, some that still exist in their original context and neon glory, and many that are no longer. Neon is an art form in which Nevada led the world in terms of creativity and ingenuity. It is a powerful form of media tied to the state’s history as well as to global and popular culture and entertainment. As change accelerates, buildings get torn down, and stories fade away, this interactive archive houses neon signs from every corner of the state to keep those signs and their stories alive.
Take a tour of Nevada's neon in style!