Institutions with Holdings Related to Latter-day Saint History

Overview

There are numerous records and materials related to the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that are not held by the Church History Library in Salt Lake City or the other facilities of the Church History Department. This list attempts to identify some of the libraries and archives with holdings related to Latter-day Saint history; it is not intended to be comprehensive. If you have any suggestions for institutions that could be added to this list, please contact us via our online Ask Us service.

Getting Started

A few of the institutions in this list have materials available for viewing online; however, accessing most collections will require an on-site visit. Please contact each institution before visiting, as operating hours, health regulations, and other factors influencing your visit may vary between locations.

Most institutions have online catalogs that can be searched for terms, names, and places associated with Church history (for example, “Latter-day Saint,” “Mormon,” etc.).

Additionally, there are compiled works that describe the Latter-day Saint-related holdings of various institutions. These are good places to start when beginning to research a topic:

  • Mormon Americana: A Guide to Sources and Collections in the United States, edited by David J. Whittaker. A copy is available at the Church History Library under the call number M201 M8652 1995; view the volume on WorldCat to see the locations of other copies.
  • A Mormon Bibliography, 1830–1930, by Chad J. Flake and Larry W. Draper, lists printed materials, such as books and pamphlets. Refer to the section “Key to Library Symbols” to interpret the locations listed in the main text. An online version is hosted by Brigham Young University.
  • A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church by Peter Crawley. This three-volume work lists printed materials, from books to newspapers to broadsides, and provides brief historical notes about each of them. It also provides a list of some locations where originals can be found, using the same “Key to Library Symbols” as A Mormon Bibliography. Online versions (volume 1, volume 2, and volume 3) are hosted by the BYU Religious Studies Center.

Institutions

Materials once held by the Illinois State Historical Library now reside in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. This includes several published items and manuscript collections related to Latter-day Saints in Illinois. Searches for items related to the Church can be performed in the institution’s ArchivesSpace Public Interface and online catalog. The library’s Manuscripts page supplies information about contacting and visiting the institution.

With locations in both Tempe and Tucson, Arizona, the Arizona Historical Society Library & Archives has some material related to Church history, with the bulk of those materials being made up of diaries and reminiscences. The institution’s online catalog can be used to search their collections, and the staff have created a guide on how to use the catalog and other online tools. Information regarding visits to the facilities can be found on the main webpage.

The government entity responsible for preserving Arizona history, the Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records division, has two branches, the Arizona State Archives and the State of Arizona Research Library, that contain materials related to Latter-day Saint history. Many materials can be found in the Arizona Memory Project, which provides online access to a variety of items such as the “Communities of Worship: Religion in Arizona” collection, which has several records related to the Church. Both the library and the archives have online catalogs where researchers can search for names, places, and terms related to Latter-day Saints to find additional materials available at the institutions.

The ASU Library has several online tools that provide information about and access to the library’s holdings. The library catalog provides information on published materials held by ASU. The Special Materials Index allows users to search for items contained in ASU special collections repositories. A variety of digitized material is available through the ASU Digital Repository. The Arizona Archives Online also provides access to information on archival holdings across the state. Check the library’s news and blog page for updates on access during the COVID pandemic, or use their Ask a Librarian service.

Built around the collected material of Hubert Howe Bancroft, this library serves as the primary special collections of the University of California–Berkeley and holds various documents related to the history of the Church, Utah, and the American West. Some material from its holdings have been made available online through Calisphere, the Online Archive of California, and the Berkeley Library Digital Collections. Most of the collection must still be viewed onsite in Berkeley, California, and information on planning a visit to the library can be found on the institution’s website.

The British Library has an online catalog that provides information on its vast holdings and access to its online collections. A search for terms relevant to Latter-day Saint history provides thousands of results. The library also provides online access to Mormon Americana: A Bibliographical Guide to Printed Material in the British Library Relating to The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints. Edited by David J. Whittaker and published in 1994, this volume outlines some of the printed holdings of the British Library. Information on visiting the library’s reading rooms can be found on the institution’s website.

The University Archives and Special Collections holds some collections related to the history of the Church in Hawaii and other Pacific islands. The library’s website contains information on visiting the institution.

Located in Rexburg, Idaho, the David O. McKay Library of Brigham Young University–Idaho has collections relating to the university’s history and parts of Idaho. Photographs, life sketches, oral histories, and other materials can provide insight into Church history in Idaho and the Yellowstone area. A few items have been made available online through the special collections website, but additional items must be viewed at the library. Information on visiting the facility can be found on their Visit Us page.

The Harold B. Lee Library, part of Brigham Young University, holds numerous items of worth in a study of Church history. Much of the material is held in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections and must be viewed onsite in Provo, Utah. The Family History Library section also provides information and collections useful in the study of Latter-day Saint history.

A variety of items from the library’s holdings, many of them relevant to a study of Church history, have been digitized and made available online in its digital collections. Some online resources and collections include the 19th-Century Mormon Article Newspaper Index, Encyclopedia of Mormonism wiki, Mormon Missionary Diaries, and Studies in Mormon History database.

Holding books and pamphlets by and about Latter-day Saints, the collections of the California Historical Society also include manuscripts, photographs, and other materials that may be of interest to those researching Church history. The Society has an online catalog and digital library. Their collections can also be found in other online collections.

The Chicago History Museum has a wide array of materials related to the Church in its Collection of manuscripts about Mormons, 1832–1954. Some of the items from that collection, such as a Kinderhook plate and the Kirtland Safety Society bank stock ledger, have been made available through the museum’s Images database. Additional materials can also be found in ARCHIE, the institution’s online catalog. The Research Center provides information about visiting the museum and accessing its collections.

The Claremont Mormon Studies collection in the Claremont Colleges Digital Library contains a variety of items relevant to Latter-day Saint history. Searching the library’s catalog from its main page for relevant terms, such as “Mormon*” (the asterisk searches for extensions of that term), provides over 150,000 results. Narrowing to the Honnold/Mudd Special Collections shows the several hundred monographs, maps, and other materials held in the special collections. Information about accessing materials can be found on the “Accessing and Using Special Collections Materials” page.

These archives hold over 1,000 linear feet of materials, including letters, diaries, pictures, and journals. The library has several historical collections, including the Herald House book imprints, the antiquarian book group, and a vault. An online catalog provides information on the materials held by the institution. These items can only be viewed onsite in Independence, Missouri, and researchers must request an appointment before visiting.

The library’s online catalog provides information on a large collection of transcribed oral histories, as well as many local family histories. The Special Collections and Archives also has an online index to finding aids and holds, among other materials, ledgers, journals, and a large oral history collection that focus on Southern Utah. The college holds a yearly Juanita Brooks Lecture Series that focuses on Church history. Researchers should check the Special Collections hours and reach out to the librarians with specific questions regarding access and visiting the library.

The library’s catalog can be searched from the institution’s main page or a dedicated webpage for the catalog. Collections focused on the history of the Community of Christ, formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, can be found in the special collections.

Though it had collected some items related to the Church, a major addition came when the library acquired the collection of Eli H. Peirce. This acquisition, and much of what was added to the Houghton Library’s collection, is highlighted in an article printed in the Harvard Alumni Bulletin in 1914. The institution’s online catalog, known as HOLLIS, can be searched to find items mentioned in the article as well as many others related to Church history. Some material has also been digitized and can be found online in the Harvard Digital Collections.

The library provides a research guide to its Church history collections. “A Firm Testimony of the Truth”: A Guide to Mormon Manuscripts at the Huntington Library, linked on that page, provides great detail on the Huntington’s holdings related to the Church. Several items have also been made available online in their “Mormonism and the West” collection, but that represents only a portion of items available at the library. A recent article by Peter J. Blodgett published in BYU Studies describes the history of the Huntington’s Church-related holdings and highlights many collections of interest to historians of the Latter-day Saint movement. Researchers should contact the library using their Ask a Librarian service regarding access to their holdings.

The state archives of Idaho have two online catalogs. The first provides information on their library holdings, and the second provides information on many government records held by the institution. Both include many items related to Latter-day Saints in Idaho.

The History Department of the International Society Daughters of Utah Pioneers houses a collection of histories of individuals who came to Utah between 1847 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869. The Society’s website includes an online index to its histories collection as well as its vast collection of photographs and images.

The main page of the Library of Congress provides a search field for their holdings and webpage. The collections include various published items, photographs, and newspaper clippings, among other materials, related to the Church and Latter-day Saints. Online research guides and finding aids can also be searched to locate additional materials. In addition, the institution has highlighted some online materials in its “Selected Works on the Mormon Religion.” Information about visiting the Library of Congress can be found under the About the Library section of its website.

Responsible for preserving the records of the Missouri Historical Society, the MHS Library and Research Center holds many materials relevant to the Latter-day Saint experience in the state. The center has a dedicated Mormons Collection, 1813–1970, and their Guide to the Archival Collections at the Missouri History Museum can be searched by keyword to find additional materials related to the Church. An online book catalog is available to search for printed materials and an “in-person research page” provides info about on-site research.

Regularly hosting a “Seminar on Religion and Culture in the Americas,” the Newberry Library also has a large collection of print materials related to the Church. The library’s religion research guide provides suggestions on navigating and searching its online catalog. Information on visiting and researching at the Newberry can be found on its Research Visits page.

The New York Public Library’s online catalog can be searched for topics, people, and places related to Church history. They are also part of the Shared Collection Catalog with Columbia University and Princeton University. The library has an online research guide on Latter-day Saint history, and some of their materials related to the Church have been made available online through their digital collections. Before visiting, researchers should reach out to library staff to see about research visits and remote services, such as virtual consultations.

The institution has a Mormon research guide that highlights some of its holdings related to Latter-day Saints. Some material has been made available online through Ohio Memory. The holdings can also be searched in the online collections catalog. The website also provides information on visiting the Archives and Library at the Ohio History Center.

Princeton has made over 100 collections from its Mormon Americana section of the Princeton Collections of the American West available online. Several collections related to Latter-day Saints are also available onsite at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library and can be found by searching the library’s online catalog and finding aids with keywords related to Church history.

A few library collections related to Latter-day Saints living in southern Utah, such as Saga of the Sanpitch, have been digitized and made available online. The library also has an online catalog.

Located in Cedar City, Utah, the special collections of Southern Utah University holds various collections that relate to the Latter-day Saint experience in central and southern Utah. The institution has an online search tool to access information about their manuscript and photo collections. Some collections that include material about the Church are found in the library’s digital archive.

Multiple research centers compose the State Historical Society of Missouri. The institution offers a variety of research tools and services. A few of their holdings are tagged as having content related to the Church, and some, particularly in the Frontier and Pioneer Life digital collection, have references to Latter-day Saints. Information on visiting any of the research centers is found on the society’s website.

Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, the J. Willard Marriott Library has substantial holdings related to and providing context for Church history. The library has an online catalog and the finding aids of the special collections can be searched through ArchivesWest. Some of the library’s materials are also available online in its digital library. Specialized databases include a vast collection of digitized Utah newspapers and Century of Black Mormons, an effort to document the lives of Black Latter-day Saints from 1830 to 1930. Many of the library’s materials are also found in the collaborative Mountain West Digital Library.

The official archives of the State of Utah, located in Salt Lake City, this institution holds public records and collections related to Utah history. The institution’s online catalog can be searched to find records related to Latter-day Saints and other Utahns, as well as government agencies. The page also includes links to research guides and digital records.

The Utah Division of State History’s mission is “preserving and sharing Utah's past for present and future generations.” The agency provides access to several items online in their digital collections. These and many other items can be found in their online catalog, with a separate search option for artifacts and collection finding aids. The site also contains links to various research resources provided by the Utah State Historical Society.

The digital history collections include some of the library’s holdings that are useful in studying and contextualizing Church history in northern Utah and southern Idaho. The Fife Folklore Archives includes a few collections related to Latter-day Saints, such as the Austin and Alta Fife Fieldwork Collection. Several of the manuscript collections and photograph collections in the Special Collections & Archives are also related to the Church.

The library at the University of Virginia has a large collection of Church-related materials, most of which are part of the Gregory A. Prince Mormon Studies Collection. A significant portion of that collection is held by the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. The library also has an online catalog known as Virgo.

Since the university began as a school operated by the Church, many of its early records offer insight into Church educational programs. The special collections also hold the papers of various Latter-day Saint literary figures, politicians, and educators. Records also found at the library include journals, correspondence, and photographs. The library has also made several collections available online in its digital collections. Appointments to visit the special collections can be requested through their website.

The society actively collects materials related to the history of religion and has nearly 3,000 print publications related to Church history split between their library and rare books holdings. All the items are described in their online catalog and can be found using terms related to the Church, such as “Mormon,” “Latter-day Saint,” etc. Several online finding aids are also available. They are hosted by the University of Wisconsin and provide information on a variety of collections, including those related to Church history. One collection that has significant content related to the Church is the Schroeder Collection, which contains materials from Theodore Schroeder, a Utah lawyer with an interest in the separation of church and state. It is recommended that researchers contact society staff before visiting, which can be done through the institution’s website.

The library’s American Religious History: Mormonism research guide offers some guidance on researching the Church at Yale. Online searching is available through both the main library catalog and the Archives at Yale online search engine.