Spotlight Award: Kelli Luchs and Ilana Short

Kelli Luchs, Las Vegas News Bureau archivist at the Las Vegas Convention And Visitors Authority, and Ilana Short, former manager of photography collections at the Nevada State Museum, are the 2019 recipients of the Spotlight Award from the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes the contributions of individuals who work for the good of the profession and archival collections—work that does not typically receive public recognition.

Although working in different organizations, Luchs and Short came together to create Las Vegas Lineup, a program which aims to describe unidentified photos. The program invites the public to interact with collections and collaborate with the archives by identifying historical figures in photographs. Through their efforts, they shared their collections with more than one hundred thousand people who identified more than 800 photographs. In addition to managing two institutions’ collections, Luchs and Short highlighted the work of archivists for a wider audience and encouraged the public to invest in archives.

Las Vegas Lineup has been an immensely valuable and popular tool, providing opportunity for thousands of Nevandans to become directly involved in managing their state’s history through their personal knowledge and memories. Las Vegas Lineup has been featured in a variety of media, such as Fox 5 News This Morning and Las Vegas Review-Journal, and has been presented as a model for other projects at professional conferences, such as The Digital Library Federation and the American Association of State and Local History.