The Board of Museums and History is established by state law (NRS 381.002) to support the activities of the Division of Museums and History (DM&H) and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). With respect to the SHPO the Board may develop, review and approve policy for matters relating to the State Historic Preservation Plan, nominations to the National Register of Historic Places and the State Register of Historic places including determination of eligibility for each property nominated. With respect to the functions of the DM&H, the Board shall develop, review and make policy for investments, budgets, expenditures and general control of the Divisions’ private and endowed trust funds.

The Board consists of eleven members appointed by the Governor; six members of the general public who are knowledgeable about museums; one member who is qualified in history; one member who is qualified in prehistoric archeology; one member who is qualified in historic archeology; one member who is qualified in architectural history; and one member who is qualified as an architect.

The Board meets quarterly, generally alternating between northern and southern Nevada venues.

The Board of Museums and History is funded from revenue collected in the private trust funds accrued from the sale of merchandise, memberships and donations. The Board of Museums and History does not receive any funds from the State General Fund.


Janet Pearce Petersen, General Public

Janet Pearce Petersen is a fifth-generation Nevadan and the director of the Cowboy Arts & Gear Museum in Elko. She has a lifelong interest in and appreciation of the customs, legacies and stories of northeastern Nevada, the Great Basin and the American West.

Born and raised in Elko County (both she and her husband, Dennis, had family members in Elko since 1869), Petersen attended Elko schools and Great Basin College. She spent many years at the Northeastern Nevada Museum, worked as a history interpreter at the California Trails Interpretive Center in Elko. She also runs the kids’ program during the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering for the Western Folklife Center.

She is passionate about Nevada history and was appointed to the Board of Museums and History by Gov. Brian Sandoval in 2018.