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BMI Photographs

This collection includes a selection of digitized photographs and negatives taken at and around Basic Magnesium, Inc. (BMI) between 1941 and 1945.
BMI, which was located near what would become the city of Henderson, Nevada, produced magnesium for use in World War II aircraft and bombs as well as for use in domestic products.
The images in this collection document BMI plant construction, plant operations at both the Henderson and Gabbs, Nevada plant sites, and the development of Basic townsite, which became Henderson. Individual employees and residents, both at work and at play, are also featured.
Some of these images were published in issues of The Big Job and Basic Bombardier, the newsletters published by BMI for its employees that comprise our BMI Newsletters collection.

Click here to access the BMI Photographs Collection


Type of materials in this collection: Photographs

Timeframe: 1941-1945

Items included: Henderson Libraries holds over 4,100 negatives and 1,200 photographs related to Basic Magnesium, Inc.; however, only a portion of these images were selected for inclusion in this digital collection. The Digital Projects Librarian selected images that best represented the many activities, plant areas, and people involved in the development of BMI and Basic townsite (Henderson). She also considered the quality of each image in terms of clarity and condition as well as the identifiability of the object or subject depicted. When she encountered duplicate images, she selected one for inclusion.

If you wish to view the entire collection of photographs, please contact the Digital Collections Librarian at the Paseo Verde branch of Henderson Libraries. The photographs have been archived and may be viewed during an arranged appointment. A complete list of all of the photographs held by Henderson Libraries can be found here.

Copyright information: The photographs and negatives in this collection are in the public domain and may be used freely.

Digitization process and software needed: The original photographs and negatives were microfilmed and digitized. Each image was saved as an individual TIFF file.

Acknowledgements: We would like to thank the Special Collections department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) for providing descriptions for some of the photographs in this collection and for providing photographs not held by Henderson Libraries. Items in this collection for which descriptions or physical photographs were provided by UNLV include a note of acknowledgement in the item records. We would also like to thank UNLV's Special Collections' Preservation and Conservation Laboratory for assisting with the physical preservation of the photographs and negatives held by Henderson Libraries.

Funding: These digitized photographs and negatives are available due to a Library Services and Technology Grant, administered for the Federal government by the Nevada State Library and Archives.

Related items/digital collections:
  • BMI Newsletters: When an image in this collection also appears in an issue of a BMI newsletter, there is a link in the image's descriptive information to the specific newsletter issue in which the image appears.
  • Henderson's History in Scrapbooks: See scrapbooks 001-042.
  • Henderson Memories: Many of the items in this collection include information about BMI and life in 1940s Henderson.