Alicia Barber

Professional Historian

Alicia Barber, PhD, is a professional historian and award-winning writer whose work focuses on the built environment and cultural history of Nevada and the American West. After earning a doctorate in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2003, she moved to Reno, where she taught at the University of Nevada, Reno for the next ten years, and directed the University of Nevada Oral History Program from 2009-2013.

She is the author of the book Reno’s Big Gamble: Image and Reputation in the Biggest Little City as well as multiple articles and chapters for both popular and scholarly publications, and the co-founder and editor of Reno Historical (renohistorical.org), a map-based smart phone app and website that identifies and describes historic sites throughout the city. Founder of the historical consulting firm Stories in Place, Dr. Barber collaborates frequently with government agencies, museums, artists, architects, and community groups on projects ranging from oral histories to historical displays and exhibits. In 2014 she was honored with the Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.

Photo provided to the University of Nevada Oral History Program by Mary Forson.

The Second World War prompted the establishment of many new military installations throughout California and Nevada, including the Sierra Army Depot. It was built in Herlong, California in 1942 as a storage facility for ammunition. To learn more, we join professional historian Alicia Barber for this segment of Time & Place.

Located about sixty miles north of Reno, Herlong became one of the destinations for Italian prisoners of war who were captured overseas by the United States and their Allies.

Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries

When Reno was known as the Divorce Capital of the World, some local stringers made extra cash by reporting on who was getting those quickie divorces. 

To learn more, we turn to professional historian Alicia Barber. She's the host of KUNR's new program Time & Place.