11 Aug 2007
Introduction to Speaker by Gerhard Ruf
Main Presentation: Jay Burrup – A Brief Introduction to LDS Record Sources at the Church History Library
Jay Burrup is a native of Downey, Idaho. He served an LDS mission in Milan, Italy, and graduated from BYU with B.A. in History (1982) and Master’s degree in Library and Information Science (1984). He has been employed as an archivist and information specialist at the LDS Church History Library since 1985. In recent years he has completed over 150 oral history interviews with LDS Church leaders and members in the United States and Europe. Jay is a certified archivist with the Academy of Certified Archivists and has published numerous articles regarding archival and family and local history topics. He is married to the former Dorothy Anderson of Taber, Alberta, Canada, and they are the parents of four daughters, two of whom are attending Utah State University. The Burrups reside in West Valley City.
This presentation provides an introduction to the purpose of the LDS Church History Library and focuses on research sources available there for documenting and enhancing LDS ancestral biographies and local histories. Many of the sources, such as the Brigham Young papers, minutes of LDS congregational meetings, and thousands of diaries, manuscript collections, and photographs are unique to the Church History Library.
Jay Burrup – A Brief Introduction to LDS Record Sources at the Church History Library
LDS Church History Library, 50 E. North Temple St, 100 EW-COB, SLC, UT 84150, phone: 801-240-2272. Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Handouts where passed out
Application for Research Privileges
You must fill out this form before you come up to do research in the Church History Library. Because we are an archive, a special collections area, we do have rules of use.
Application for a copy of a Patriarchal Blessing
You may obtain a copy of a patriarchal blessing of yourself, your spouse, a direct line descendant, or a deceased direct line ancestor. We have between 2 ½ -3 million patriarchal blessings on file. About 100 people per week have applied for a lost patriarchal blessing.
LDS Church History Library Survey for the UVPAFUG please fill it out and return it to the address on the back of the form.
Selected LDS Family and Local History Sources at the Church History Library
Buff colored handout, four pages, and an outline of his presentation and gives a brief description of many of the sources in his presentation.
The purpose of this presentation is to acquaint you with sources that can document and enhance the life stories and histories of your LDS ancestors and the areas where they were members of the church. We hope through these sources you will be able to add detail and color to your life histories of your ancestors.
Currently we are located in the east wing of the Church Office Building. Many times we are simply confused with the Family History Library. We are not the Family History Library we have different purposes. Our purpose is to document the history and growth of the LDS Church and its members throughout the world. That is our focus. The Family History Library focuses on the genealogies of all mankind. We’re focused on the LDS Church and its members.
We have some doctrinal backup
D & C 69: 7&8 – John Whitmer was the second church historian, after Oliver Cowdery. John Whitmer wasn’t sure what he should to document the history and growth of the Church. This section in the D&C elaborates to him he needs to preach, expound, write, and copy, select and obtain records related to the church. The rising generations mentioned here are all of us, our children and grandchildren. They will benefit from knowing what happened to the early founders and members of the church.
D&C 85: 1&2 – We have a huge treasure trove in the Church History Library of diaries, journals, church records that testify of the manor of life, faith and works of the early church members and members clear up today. We also have the largest anti-Mormon collection on the face of the earth. We are to document our apostates who give us a hard time. Sometimes you will see members of our staff pausing at the gates of temple square to gather materials from the decedents that gather there. They don’t know what we are doing and we don’t tell them. We just pick things up and take them in.
When you come into the Church Office Building we are in the east wing. The entrance right now is at the end of the mural in the foyer of the office building. You will be greeted by a friendly church security officer; they are trained not to smile. You will need to bring one form of photo ID to identify who you are. All visitors to the Church Office building need to wear a badge with your photo on it for security purposes. All services have been combined we are no longer on the second floor. The new building will be north of the building near the conference center. It will be completed in the spring of 2009. We have been waiting for a building since 1959; we are excited about a new building.
We don’t allow any briefcases, hand bags, etc. to be taken into the area where you are going to be actually looking at the records. We have free lockers for you to use. We ask that you turn off your cell phones. We don’t allow any food or drink. Pencils only, we do supply you with pencils and scrap papers. You can bring your laptop in to take notes. We ask you to use care when you are handling the items. Most items have been microfilmed. We don’t allow instantaneous photocopying of our archival and rare materials. If you want a photocopy you will have to fill out a form and we have to check it to make sure it’s already been filmed, that there aren’t copyright problems, or issues of private, sacred or confidential information in that document. Such as bishop court minutes, temple ceremonies, and things like that.
At this time our computer catalog is not accessible through the internet. You will have to come up to the Church History Library to use it. We hope that someday it will. We are going through a major change right now reorganization. That is one of our priorities but we don’t know exact time it will be available.
You can search by Author. A Subject search will pick up anything written about an individual. If a person is in a photograph the author is actually the photographer. The people in the photograph are subjects. That is an important thing to remember when you are searching in an archive. After you find something in the catalog you will fill out a call slip, with your name the call number and the title. Bring the slip up to the front desk. We will order it down and in about 10-15 minutes it will be ready for you to look at. We can scan a photograph to a CD or make paper copies for you, about a couple dollars for each. It is fairly economical. You can search the content notes in any of the bibliographical sources. You can use the keyword search.
Three major collection types:
Published Sources – books, newspapers, magazines
Online Sources – databases
Unpublished Sources – diaries, histories, hand-written records, etc.
We have a lot of Daughters of Utah Pioneers series books. There are over 70-80 volumes that have been published over the years. They provide information and stories regarding early LDS members and Utah pioneers and their accomplishments, as well as stories connected with the settling and developing of Utah and areas of the western United States, Canada, and Mexico. Diaries, manuscripts, life sketches, photographs, newspaper articles, published local histories, and many other sources are cited.
Multi-volume sets Chronicles of Courage, An Enduring Legacy, Hearth Throbs of the West, Our Pioneer Heritage, Pioneer Pathways, and Treasures of Pioneer History.
-Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude – published by the DUP, four-volume set contains a large collection of life sketches and photographs of Utah pioneer women; one of few sources that helps identify and document early LDS women.
-Conquerors of the West – published by the Sons of Utah Pioneers, this four-volume set contain a large collection of life sketches and photographs of pioneer-era men.
-Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia – Compiled by Andrew Jenson, four-volume set includes a large collection of life sketches and photographs of early members of the Church; includes selected women’s sketches and photographs; information is current to ca. 1936.
-Encyclopedic History of the Church – Compiled by Andrew Jenson, this large compilation contains brief histories of branches, wards, stakes, conferences, districts, missions, localities, Church publications, and miscellaneous subjects; information is current to 1941.
-Church Chronology – Compiled by Andrew Jenson, this volume consists of brief chronological entries of Church-related historical events, 1805-1914.
-Pioneer and Prominent Men of Utah – Published by Frank Esshom in 1913, this volume contains a large collection of about 5,900 photographs and thousands of brief life sketches of early Utah and Intermountain West pioneers and settlers.
-A Database of the Mormon Battalion – Compiled and edited by Karl V. Larson, this volume provides rosters of members of the Mormon Battalion, with accompanying genealogical and biographical information compiled from a variety of sources; bibliography and index are included.
-Mormon’s and their Neighbors – indexes life sketches that appear in local county, city histories published in the intermountain west, Canada and Mexico.
-Mormon Immigration Index – It has thousand of names that appear on the official Church rosters as they are coming across the ocean. Available at the Church distribution center for $5.00
-74 DVDs of Early Church Documents – about 400,000 pages of early church documents. Originally it was priced at $1,500 it’s down to a thousand or less now at the BYU Bookstore.
-Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel – www.mormontrail.lds.org – Database of searchable indexed rosters of pioneers who traveled to Utah (1847-1868) and the companies to which they were assigned; includes bibliography of sources – journals entries, letters, newspaper clippings. Many overland trail accounts are transcribed and can be printed from the site. Database currently contains over 40,000 names – an estimated 20,000 names are missing because of incomplete rosters. An option is available on website to submit missing ancestral information and corrections for inclusion in the database. You can submit information if you ancestor does not appear in this database.
-LDS Church Periodical Index – www.chperiodicals.lds.org – Index to database containing authors, titles, subjects, and abstracts of articles from periodicals published by the LDS Church as well as from other journals and magazines from 1976 to the present.
-Mormons and Their Neighbors – http://w3.lib.byu.edu/Ancestry/ - Index to over 100,000 life sketches published in many local and regional history books relating to northern Mexico, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, southern California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and southwestern Canada. Includes sketches of selected non-LDS pioneers and settlers; index also indicates if a photograph accompanies life sketch.
For access to unpublished sources, see a staff member at the reference desk.
-Journal History of the Church – Chronological day-by-day “scrapbook” compilation of Church history form 1830 to present; focus of pre-1990s volumes is events and personalities in Intermountain West region. Card index available for early years; electronic index available from approximately 1990 to present. Card Index (hard copy) and electronic indexes available only at CHL. Microfilm version available at FHL (1830-1973 and index).
-Church census records, 1914-1962 – First Church census was taken in 1914, next one in 1920 and thereafter every five years until 1960. No census conducted during 1945 (World War II). Census for 1962 available only for branches, districts, and missions. Census information helps locate ward/branch in which members were living (especially useful for large cities). Also available at FHL.
-Deceased member records, 1941-July 1988 – Beginning in 1941 a deceased member’s record was sent to the Historian’s Office for filing. Record usually contains complete list of priesthood ordinations –very useful for tracing priesthood line of authority. Also available at FHL.
Local unit records (for branches, wards, stakes, districts, missions):
-Manuscript histories (Series 2 and 3) – Unpublished historical compilations for local units; initial information was gathered by Historian’s Office staff starting ca. 1890s; histories compiled ca. 1906+. Quarterly historical reports (1925-1967) and annual reports (1968-1983) were added to previous Historian’s Office compilations. Annual reports (1984-1999) were submitted only from stakes, districts, and missions; current annual reports (2000+) from wards are submitted collectively by the stake and added to previous compilations. Information includes descriptions (in varying degrees of completeness) of historical events and activities, lists of calling and releases, newspaper clippings, newsletters, programs, ward/stake conference sustaining sheets, occasional photographs, etc. Available only at CHL.
-Record of Members – Membership records kept in varying degrees of completeness and organizations; few pre-Utah era records exist for members in U.S. Call numbers differ between CHL and FHL – consult registers at CHL and Register of Genealogical Society Call Numbers, Volume 2, by Laureen R. Jaussi and Gloria D. Chaston at FHL. No master index is available; many volumes are indexed internally. Available at both CHL and FHL; however, CHL may have recent acquisitions not available at FHL.
-Annual “Form E” (ward) and “42-FP” (mission) reports – Reports begin in 1907 and end in 1983; consist of statistical summaries and lists of members born, blessed, baptized, confirmed, married, divorced, ordained, set apart for missions, returned from missions, etc. during the year in specific local unit. Call numbers differ between CHL and FHL – see comment above under “Record of Members” to obtain correct call numbers. Microfilm copy available at FHL, 1907-ca. 1948; reports beyond that date are available only at CHL.
-Annual “Officers, Historical, and Statistical” reports – Reports begin in 1907 and end in 1937; consist of statistical summaries and lists of current ward officers and brief historical notes regarding local events. Available only at CHL.
-Minutes of meetings – Minutes recorded by designated clerks. Local unit auxiliary minutes (e.g. Relief Society, Sunday School, Primary) were sent to Historian’s Office until 1973 and general minutes (Sacrament meeting) until 1977; minutes have not been submitted to Church headquarters sine 1977. Minutes provide insight into ancestor’s activity level – prayers, talks, callings, remarks offered during fast and testimony meetings, etc. Early Intermountain West units’ minute books may contain sporadic miscellaneous information (e.g. membership records, cemetery maps and burial records, funeral proceedings, school attendance records, irrigation information, business records, personal financial notations, diary entries, etc.); many local units’ records at CHL have sporadic and/or significant record gaps. Available only at CHL. Other university, state, or private historical institutions may house volumes of minutes and other local unit records that should have been sent to Church headquarters but were not forwarded and have been acquired subsequently by other entities.
-Other local unit records – Wide variety of records potentially available for local units – newsletters, dedicatory papers, programs, histories, photographs of ward members and buildings, etc. Many items available only at CHL, but other historical institution may also house similar items.
Other Useful Collections
-Selected Collections from the Archives of the Church
-Brigham Young papers, ca. 1840s-1877
-Missionary recommendations and call, 1877-1918
-Nauvoo Temple carpenters time book, 1842-1846
-Seventies quorum membership records and autobiographies (Nauvoo era)
-High Priest of Nauvoo and Salt Lake City
-Iowa branches, 1839-1859
-Perpetual Emigration Fund, 1849-1887
-Rebaptisms in Great Salt Lake Valley, 1847-1854
-Public Works, 1850-1893
-Photographs – 1 million images
-Journals, diaries, autobiographical and biographical sketches, and autograph books (published and manuscript)
This presentation is not available on DVD.