Joseph F. McDonald Papers

Identifier: NC429
The Joseph F. McDonald Sr. collection is contained in 21 archival boxes. Because of the variety of Mr. McDonald's associations the collection has been divided into three major subgroups and into series within the subgroups. The first group includes personal and family papers as well as material generated as a result of Mr. McDonald's involvement in civic organizations and his service on boards and commissions. Group two contains material relating to Reno newspapers, and group three concerns Lake Tahoe.

Joseph McDonald maintained files on a wide variety of subjects and in many cases those files, including correspondence, have been kept intact. He also collected and saved a large assortment of printed material and being a newspaperman, quantities of newspaper clippings. A representative portion of these have been retained.


  • 1911-1970



Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.


19 Cubic Feet (20 boxes)


Contains personal papers, 1911-1970; material related to Reno newspapers, 1928-1963; and records and related material of the Nevada-California Lake Tahoe Association, 1957-1968.

Biographical Note

Joseph F. McDonald was born on August 4, 1891 in Denver, Colorado. He and his mother moved to Goldfield, Nevada in 1906 and then to Rawhide, Nevada in 1908. That same year, Joe McDonald enrolled in the University of Nevada High School at Reno and, soon after, entered the University as a freshman. After graduation in 1915, he started his career with the Reno newspapers. Beginning as a reporter for the Reno Evening Gazette, he worked for both Reno newspapers and in 1939 became editor of the Nevada State Journal and later, publisher. He retired in 1956 as president of Reno Newspapers Incorporated. During that year, he received an honorary Doctor of Journalism from the University of Nevada.

Following retirement, Joe McDonald was asked by the Fleischmann Foundation to head an organization which would guide development at Lake Tahoe. As president of the Nevada-California Lake Tahoe Association, he initiated the first planning efforts at the lake.

Throughout his active life, Joseph McDonald served on numerous boards and commissions and participated in a variety of organizations and community projects. He was an enthusiastic Democrat and counted many well-known state and national Democratic political figures among his friends. Joseph McDonald died on March 24, 1971. An oral history, completed in January, 1971 by Mr. McDonald for the University of Nevada, may be consulted for further biographical information.


Series 1. Personal Papers

SubSeries 1
SubSeries 2
Personal and Family Files
SubSeries 3
University of Nevada
SubSeries 4
Nevada State Board of Parole Commissioners
SubSeries 5
California State Automobile Association
SubSeries 6
Civil Organizations and Interests
SubSeries 7
SubSeries 8
Printed Material

Series 2. Reno Newspapers

SubSeries 1
SubSeries 2
Operational Files
SubSeries 3
Subject Files
SubSeries 4
Old Newspapers

Series 3. Nevada-California Lake Tahoe Association

SubSeries 1
Association Papers
SubSeries 2
SubSeries 3
Financial Records
SubSeries 4
Subject Files and Printed Material
SubSeries 5
Lake Tahoe Area Council
SubSeries 6
California-Nevada Interstate Compact Commission
SubSeries 7
Lake Tahoe Photographs

Related Archival Materials

98-05: Addendum to Joseph F. McDonald papers, 98-05

NC1200: Lake Tahoe Area Council Records

NC459: Fred H. Settelmeyer Papers

NC1060: Walter E. MacKenzie Papers (regarding the Lake Tahoe Area Council)


A Guide to the Joseph F. McDonald Papers
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)