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Fourth Street-Prater Way Oral History Project Records

 Collection
Identifier: NC1370
The collection contains transcripts, audio files (.mp3 and .wav formats), digital photographs of interviewees, signed copyright forms, and biographical information relating to the Fouth Street-Prater Way Oral History Project. A majority of the materials are in digital format and are available through the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries' Digital Collections.

The dates for the digital records in the collection were determined by the record creation dates and the last modified dates.

Dates

  • 2011-2019

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Physical materials, such as those not available through UNR Libraries' Digital Collections or other online portals must must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Extent

0.4 Linear Feet (3 folders)

7 Gigabytes (129 objects)

Overview

In 2011, the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) initiated a comprehensive study of the entire Fourth Street-Prater Way corridor in Reno and Sparks, Nevada, intending to improve not only public transportation in the area but safety and livability. The oral history portion of the project served the dual purpose of documenting the corridor’s past and expanding public participation in planning its future. The collection contains transcripts, audio files, digital photographs, signed copyright forms, and biographical information relating to the Fouth Street-Prater Way Oral History Project.

Historical Note

In 2011, the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) initiated a comprehensive study of the entire Fourth Street-Prater Way corridor in Reno and Sparks, Nevada, intending to improve not only public transportation in the area but safety and livability. The conjunction of this and other factors made this transitional moment an opportune time to conduct an extensive oral history of the area. Sponsored by the RTC, the 4th Street-Prater Way Oral History project began under the auspices of the University of Nevada Oral History Program (UNOHP), which was directed by Dr. Alicia Barber from 2009-2013. The interviews were intended to help research the history of the area and gather input regarding planned multimodal improvements to the corridor. The oral history project served the dual purpose of documenting the corridor’s past and expanding public participation in planning its future.

The initial interviews began in October 2011, continuing through 2013, with additional interviews conducted by Dr. Barber through 2015 under a contract between the RTC and her consulting firm, Stories in Place LLC. In spring 2012, Dr. Barber was assisted in interviewing by students enrolled in her graduate seminar in Oral History Methods at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Interviewees, also known as chroniclers, were selected for their cumulative ability to represent a variety of voices covering different historical eras, commercial and residential history, and contemporary issues and concerns. The oral history project ultimately comprised interviews with 43 people representing a broad cross-section of local residents whose firsthand experiences shed light on the history and everyday experience of life along Fourth Street and Prater Way. They include current and past owners, employees, and regular patrons of many of the area’s shops, restaurants, and businesses; city employees and elected officials; police officers and firefighters; former residents of the neighborhood; and others with significant relationships to the area of study. Together, their interviews illuminate a world dating back to the 1930s, including stories of family markets, restaurants, bars, and other businesses; nearby schools; the residential neighborhood north of East Fourth Street that was largely destroyed in the 1960s by an urban renewal project; Prater Way’s transition from rural to urban; changes in area motels and hotels; the impact of Interstate 80; controversy over City of Reno homeless services; recent revitalization and promotional efforts; the corridor’s reputation; ongoing historic preservation and artistic endeavors; and much more.

Besides the oral history interviews, other components of the Fourth Street-Prater Way History Project include permanent historical displays in RTC 4TH STREET STATION and RTC CENTENNIAL PLAZA, eight new bus shelters with historical themes along 4th Street and Prater Way, entries about 4th Street on the smart phone app and website Reno Historical (renohistorical.org), entries about Prater Way on the Sparks NV Historic app, and a comprehensive website featuring a narrative history of the corridor, slideshows of historical photographs and maps, transcripts of oral histories, and selected audio clips from each interview (4thprater.onlinenevada.org).

Arrangement

Arranged without hierarchy.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County in March 2019.

Related Materials

The Fourth Street-Prater Way Oral History transcript is available through the Nevada Oral History Archive via the Internet Archive.

Source

Creator

Title
Guide to the Fourth Street-Prater Way Oral History Project
Status
completed
Author
Jessica Maddox
Date
April 2019
Description rules
dacs

Repository Details

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

Contact:
Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5665
775-682-5724 (Fax)