(A Sampling)



“Paul Revere Williams in Northern and Central Nevada”

Commissioned by the Nevada Museum of Art in 2021, this essay presents Dr. Alicia Barber’s research into the designs of Los Angeles-based architect Paul Revere Williams in the northern and central regions of Nevada in the 1930s and 1940s. The essay can be read in full here.

Suffrage and Women’s Rights in Nevada

Nevada State Historic Preservation Office Historic Context co-authored with ZoAnn Campana for Kautz Environmental Consultants, Reno, Nevada. 2020-2021. Available online here.

Historic American Building Survey/Historic American Engineering Record

HAER No. NE-11 Scotts Bluff Summit Road

HABS No. CA-2718 Maritime Child Development Center

HABS No. CA-2720 Richmond Field Hospital


Cities, Sagebrush, and Solitude: Urbanization and Cultural Conflict in the Great Basin (2015)

The chapter “Errant into the Wilderness: Reno’s Acts Against Nature,” on Reno’s relationship with its physical environment, appears in the edited collection, Cities, Sagebrush, and Solitude (2015, University of Nevada Press). The book explores the transformation of the largest desert in North America, the Great Basin, into America’s last urban frontier. In recent decades Las Vegas, Reno, Salt Lake City, and Boise have become the anchors for sprawling metropolitan regions. The blooming of cities in a fragile desert region poses a host of environmental challenges. The policies required to manage their impact, however, often collide with an entrenched political culture that has long resisted cooperative or governmental effort. The alchemical mixture of three ingredients–cities, aridity, and a libertarian political outlook–makes the Great Basin a compelling place to study. This book addresses a pressing question: are large cities ultimately sustainable in such a fragile environment?

“Local Places, National Spaces: Public Memory, Community Identity, and Landscape at Scotts Bluff National Monument”

Barber, A. (2004). Local Places, National Spaces: Public Memory, Community Identity, and Landscape at Scotts Bluff National Monument. American Studies, 45(2), 35–64.

Imagining the Big Open: Nature, Identity, and Play in the New West (2003)

The chapter “Reno’s Silver Legacy: Gambling on the Past in the Urban New West” appears in the edited volume, Imagining the Big Open: Nature, Identity, and Play in the New West, published by the University of Utah Press. From the cover: “The American West has long played a role in our consciousness as a place apart, a site of perpetual optimism and romanticism. In Imagining the Big Open a wide range of scholars deftly examine our projections upon and uses of the New West—a projection that not only includes how we imagine the West but how we use Western places. Addressing the history, popular culture, geography, and public policy of the region the contributors unravel our collective psyche where SUVs and REI cards exist in symbiosis with the wilderness movement and Sierra Club memberships.”


We Were All Athletes: Women’s Athletics and Title IX at the University of Nevada (2011)

We Were All Athletes, published by the University of Nevada Oral History Program, was co-edited by Alicia Barber, Allison Tracy, and Mary Larsen. The book weaves together excerpts from interviews with 48 current & former coaches, student athletes, administrators, and community supporters to describe how the University of Nevada, Reno built a successful women’s athletics program. Through the decades, the university not only complied with Title IX, but gained national recognition for excelling in that endeavor.  Read an article about this volume here. The entire volume can be read and downloaded here.


Reno Historical

Co-founder, manager and editor of the website app Reno Historical + author of 120+ stories.

“History Opens a Window.”

Essay for Nevada Humanities blog, April 29, 2020. Available here.

“Lifting the Voices of Black Springs.”

Essay for the Historic Reno Preservation Society newsletter FootPrints, Vol. 25 No. 3 (Summer 2022). Available here.



“Saunter through the Silver State: What to Eat in Nevada” feature for FoodNetwork.com, 2017.

Edible Reno-Tahoe

Author of food history column “Edible Traditions” for Edible Reno-Tahoe magazine, 2013-2016.


The Barber Brief

Why do cities look and feel the way they do, and what can the average person do about it? The form and function of our urban landscapes are the products of countless decisions, made over time. For the most part, those decisions are in the hands of private property owners and our local governments, who together play an enormous role in shaping the communities in which we live. I believe that the key to ensuring that the decisions made by our local governments align with community wishes is an informed and engaged citizenry and started an e-newsletter called The Barber Brief in 2021 to help keep my local community in Reno, Nevada better informed about actions that impact our city’s development.