Guide to the Mormon diaries,
1820-1936

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Federal Writers' Project
Title: Mormon diaries
Dates: 1820-1936 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 7 boxes (3.5 linear ft.)
Collection Number: USU_COLL MSS 18
Summary: This collection contains three types of material: first person accounts (diaries, journals, and autobiographies); second person accounts (biographies, life sketches, and local histories); and transcripts of interviews with pioneer Utahns. Includes material dealing with early Mormon history in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois; Mormon migration west; the march of the Mormon Battalion and its activities in California; Mormon pioneering in and travel to California, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and old Mexico; missionary activities in North America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania; the Civil War; and Indians and Indian welfare.
Repository: Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives
Manuscript Collection

Merrill-Cazier Library
Utah State University
3000 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-3000
Phone: 435 797-2663
Fax: 435 797-2880
Email: scweb@usu.edu

Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Historical Note

One of the first actions by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression of the 1930s was to extend federal work relief to the unemployed. One such relief program was the Works Progress Administration, which FDR established in 1933. By 1941 the WPA had provided employment for 8 million people. One segment of the population which the WPA helped were artists, musicians, and writers, and the WPA instituted programs especially designed to utilize the talents of these people. An example of one such program was the Mormon Diaries project.

With assistance from the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, the Historical Records Survey, as well as the WPA , Juanita Brooks supervised a project to collect and transcribe the diaries, journals, and biographical sketches for over 400 Latter-day Saint pioneers. The project ran 1934 until 1942. The material gathered also contained the histories of several towns and counties.

In 1942, when the WPA disbanded, the original transcriptions were turned over to the Library of Congress. The first copy and parts of the second and third carbon copies were deposited with the Utah State Historical Society. Other copies were deposited with Brigham Young University, the University of Utah, and Utah State University. In 1950 the Library of Congress microfilmed the entire collection on 13 reels, and since that time, microfilmed copies have been added to most major collections of Western Americana or LDS genealogy in the United States.

Content Description

This collection contains three types of material: first person accounts (diaries, journals, and autobiographies); second person accounts (biographies, life sketches, and local histories); and transcripts of interviews with pioneer Utahns. For those pioneers who had kept written histories, WPA workers copied their diaries (over 400) by hand and then typed them out. For those pioneers who had kept no diary or other record of their lives, WPA workers interviewed them using a standard set of questions. The answers to these questions were generally recorded on one to two pages. Such an entry in the index is marked as "Interview." A copy of the questionnaire used can be found in each of the boxes of this collection, as well as in the front of the register for this collection. Researchers are encouraged to examine the questionnaire in order to understand the context of the answers given. The diaries in Mss Collection #18 do not represent a complete set of the Library of Congress Mormon Diaries. However, a complete set of the diaries is housed in Special Collections in the Utah Reels Collection #220, part 1 - 13.

It appears that the typed transcriptions were made with an original and four carbon copies. In reference to the carbons, there have been instances where some diaries have apparently been retyped because the carbons are not identical. The contents of these diaries provides valuable information on Mormon pioneer life.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  Restrictions

Open to public research.

Restrictions on Use :  Copyright

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Utah State University Libraries, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Permission to publish material from the Mormon diaries must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Alternative Forms Available :  

Complete set of diaries available in microfilm (OCLC #7335546)

Preferred Citation :  

Mormon diaries, 1820-1936. (COLL MSS 18) Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives Department.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Diaries organized alphabetically by surname of Mormon pioneer/missionary.

Acquisition Information :  

In 1942, when the WPA disbanded, the original transcriptions were turned over to the Library of Congress. The first copy and parts of the second and third carbon copies were deposited with the Utah State Historical Society. Other copies were deposited with Brigham Young University, the University of Utah, and Utah State University. In 1950 the Library of Congress microfilmed the entire collection on 13 reels, and since that time, microfilmed copies have been added to most major collections of Western Americana or LDS genealogy in the United States.

Processing Note :  

Prepared by: Rob Gombach, August 2000, and Susan Gross, May 2003.

Bibliography :  

    Publications: Name index to the Library of Congress collection of Mormon diaries. Logan, Utah : Utah State University Press, 1971.


Detailed Description of the Collection

Box
1 Abbot, George
1 Adams, James J.
1 Aldrich, Hanna Madsen
1 Allen, Hyrum
1 Allen, John Millard
1 Allred, Rhoda Luann B. Smith
1 Andrews, Elizabeth
1 Andrews, William
1 Andrus, Milo
1 Averett, George Washington Gill
1 Badger, Nathan Bradley
1 Baker, Lydia Hamp
1 Banford, Samuel
1 Bankhead, Rachell Baugh Haslam
1 Barrows, Elizabeth Emma Brewer
1 Barton, John Hyrum
1 Barton, Lydia Anne Robb
1 Batty, Mary Ann Duffin
1 Beacham, Rosina
1 Bean, Geroge Washington
1 Beatty, John T.
1 Belnap, Adaline Knight
1 Belnap, Flora
1 Belnap, Hyrum
1 Bigler, Henry William
1 Bingham, Hannah McFarland
1 Binii, William
1 Bird, Ellen George
1 Blake, Ida
1 Bleak, Elizabeth
1 Bonza, Louis
1 Bringhurst, Mary
1 Browning, Charilla Abbott
1 Browning, Jonathan
1 Browning, T. Samuel
1 Bryner, Enoch
1 Bryner, John U.
1 Budge, William
1 Bunker, Edward
1 Bunker, Elethra Calista
1 Burdick, F.C.
1 Burton, Nancy Brooks
1 Campbell, J.H.
1 Cannon, John Q.
1 Carter, Sophronie
1 Chaffin, Lewis Rice
1 Chambers, Alma D.
1 Chatterley, John
1 Christensen, Jacob
1 Christensen, Paul Chris
1 Clark, Hannah
1 Clark, Herbert
1 Clarke, Annie Elizabeth Frost
1 Cliff, Harriet M.
1 Corbin, Justus N.
1 Crapo, Alice Holbrook
1 Croft, Mary Isabelle Russel
2 Dalton, Alice Ann Langston
2 Dalton, Brigham
2 Dalton, Edward
2 Dalpaiz, Celeste
2 Davies, John J.
2 Davis, John H.
2 Davis, V.F.
2 Davis, William R.
2 Dean, Heber C.
2 Diehl, I.E.
2 Dolbell, Eliza Adelaide
2 Dowdle, John C.
2 Downward, George
2 Dunsboo, Thomas
2 Earl, Joseph I.
2 Earl, Sylvester
2 East, George
2 Edwards, Elizabeth Tarbet
2 Egbert, Ann E.
2 Ellet, George C.
2 Evans, David W.
2 Everett, Addison
2 Everett, Schuyler and wife, Rachel Sanders
2 Farmer, James
2 Farnsworth, Elizabeth Guy
2 Farr, Nancy Chase
2 Farrell, George Lionel
2 Fish, Martin R.
2 Forsythe, Ben
2 Fowler, William
2 Freeman, Elijah Norman
2 Frei, Edward R.
2 Fullerton, Alexander
2 Gardner, Archibald
2 Garner, Albert
2 Garner, Jane Sprunt Warner
2 Garner, Rufus A.
2 Gay, Terzah Farr
2 Geertsen, Mary Ann
2 George, Roy
2 Gibbs, Josiah F.
2 Gledhill, Sarah S. Moulding
2 Gordon, Warner Eugene
2 Grace, Isaac Henry
2 Grames, Albert J.
2 Greenwell, Fannie
2 Greenwell, Jack
2 Griffin, Nethella, Life in Boulder
2 Gubler, Casper
2 Gubler, Harmon
2 Gubler, Henry
2 Gubler, Joseph
3 Hafen, Ann M.S.R.
3 Haight, Isaac C.
3 Haight, Isaac Chauncy
3 Hancock, Cyrus Alonzo
3 Hanks, Ebeneezer
3 Hansen, Elias
3 Hanson, Julia
3 Harmon, Appleton M.
3 Haslam, Holt
3 Heaton, Johnathan
3 Hellewell, Martha Horspoll
3 Henderson, William Jasper
3 Henry, Mary Francis Brown
3 Hepworth, Edith Lewis
3 Hepworth, Thornton
3 Higbee, Lorine Isabel Lamb
3 Higbee, Richard and Loraine
3 Hill, James H.
3 Hinton, John Hatch
3 Hinton, William
3 Houston, James
3 Hoxer, John
3 Hull, Mary Benson
3 Hullinger, Dr. Harvey Coe
3 Hunt, Isaac
3 Huntsman, Orson Welcome, vol. 2
3 Hunstman, Orson Welcome, part 3
3 Huntsman, Orson Welcome, 1908-1915
3 Irwin, Linda L.
3 Isom, Alice Parker
3 Isom, George
4 Jarvis, Ann Prior
4 Jarvis, Brigham
4 Jarvis, Eleanor C.W.
4 Jarvis, George Fredrick
4 Jennings, James H.
4 Jepson, James Jr.
4 Johansen, Annie
4 Johnson, Joel H.
4 Johnson, Julia Hills
4 Johnson, Seth
4 Jones, Emily Miller
4 Jones, Isaac Morley
4 Jones, J.C.
4 Jones, Mary Elizabeth
4 Jones, Thomas J.
4 Judd, Zodak Knapp
4 Kearl, James
4 Kearl, Mrelin Eastham
4 Kelsey, Easton
4 Kjaer, Helena Anderson Peterson
4 Knight, Carline Beck
4 Knight, Samuel
4 Lamb, Edwin
4 Lamb, Elizabeth Williams Hardy
4 Lambert, Charles, vols. 1-6
4 Lambert, Charles, vols. 7-9
4 Lambert, Charles, vols. 10-12
4 Lambert, Charles, vol. 13
4 Lang, William
5 Langston, Jacob H.
5 Langston, John
5 Leany, Hyrum
5 Leany, William
5 Lefevre, John H.
5 Leishman, James Allen
5 Lewis, James
5 Lewis, Phillip Bessom
5 Limone, Joseph
5 Lister, John Henry Ward
5 Liston, Commodore Perry
5 Lofthouse, Charlotte E.
5 Loveridge, John Thomas
5 Luke, Taklla Amanda Anderson
5 Lyman, Platte D.
5 Mackelprang, Agust Sorenson
5 Mangum, David Newton
5 Maxwell, Addie
5 McAllister, John T.D.
5 McAllister, William James Franziez
5 McBride, Abigail
5 McFarlane, Isaac Chauncey
5 McIntire, Margaret Jane
5 McIntire, William P.
5 McIntosh, Abraham Edward
5 McMullin, Brigham Y.
5 McMullin, David
5 Meeks, Priddy
5 Middleton, Jane Withers
5 Mitton, William C.
5 Moffat, Joseph Smith
5 Moore, David
5 Morrison, Eunice Lestra
5 Munsee, Louis B.
5 Murphy, Eliza Ann
5 Myton, Hewell Plummer
5 Naegle, Heber
5 Naegle, John Conrad
5 Nebeker, John
5 Neilson, Jans
5 Nelson, Anna Catherine Porter
5 Nelson, Price W.
5 Neiderer, Amelia
5 Nielson, Israel
5 Nixon, Hannah Isabell Fawcett
5 Oliver, Mary Jane
5 Olsen, Seren
5 Olsen, Livy
5 Olson, William
5 Osborne, David Asael
5 Osborne, David Sr.
5 Otteson, Joseph S.
5 Packard, Rachel Farr
5 Pardoe, Lenora Farr
5 Parker, Marie Jackson Mormington
5 Parkinson, Clara Wells
5 Peterson, Charles, Shreeve
5 Peterson, Peter
5 Philliip, Amy Carlina Davis
5 Pidcock, Roxanna Farr
5 Pike, Arland A.
5 Porter, Lysander Leroy
5 Powell, William Clement
5 Prewer, Helen
5 Pulsipher, John
5 Puzey, Lydia
6 Quilter, Harry and Eliza
6 Rath, A.F.
6 Reber, Frederick
6 Reber, John and Samuel
6 Reese, Edmund
6 Reese, Hanna Choppell
6 Reich, William
6 Rich, Charles Goulson
6 Richards, Mary Ann Parker
6 Richardson, Alice L.
6 Riddle, Isaac Jimeson
6 Riding, Christopher Lister
6 Riding, Mary Ann Hale
6 Ritchie, Mary Emma
6 Robb, Jessie
6 Roberts, Amer Lois McCrary
6 Robinson, Daniel and Rachel Smith
6 Robinson, William H.
6 Robinson, Willis Eugene
6 Rogers, Isabel King
6 Rozsa, John
6 Russel, Lottie Ballard
6 Sargent, Matilda Walker
6 Savage, Levi, Sec. 1-5
6 Savage, Levi, Sec. 6-8
6 Saxton, William S.
6 Shafer, Frank Marion
6 Shakespear, George D.
6 Shakespear, Mary
6 Shakespear, William John
6 Shaw, Annie Hermine Cardon
6 Shaw, Myrtillo
6 Shipp, Dr. Ellis R.
6 Shurtliff, Francis Marion
6 Slack, Adalaide Jackson
6 Slack, Amelia Theobald
6 Slack, Caroline Lamb
6 Slack, Lorenzo Jefferies
6 Slack, Walter
6 Smith, Alice Baugh
6 Smith, Elizabeth Jennett
6 Smith, Eliza Mathews
6 Smith, Orson
6 Smith, Ruth
6 Smith, William George
6 Snow, Edward H.
6 Sorenson, Soren
6 Spencer, Clarissa Hamilton Young
6 Spencer, John
6 Spencer, Henry
6 Spendlove, William
6 Spillsbury, Moroni
6 Staheli, John
6 Stapley, Young Elizabeth Steele
6 Stevens, Mary Ann
6 Stevenson, Edward
6 Stone, Charlotte Gale
6 Stout, Hosea
6 Stout, Hosea Fisk
6 Stratford, Charles Henry
6 Stratford, Edwin A.
6 Stucki, Barbara Staheli Graff
6 Stucki, Christian
7 Taylor, Andrew A.
7 Taylor, Levi James
7 Taylor, Polly Ann Elmer
7 Theobald, George
7 Theobald, William
7 Toombs, Joseph Moroni (click to view)
7 Trout, Thomas
7 Turner, Anna Bosch
7 Twelves, Orson
7 Vogel, George William
7 Walker, Elizabeth Staheli
7 Walker, Mark R.
7 Walker, Thomas
7 Wall, Francis George
7 Wallace, Hamilton
7 Warner, Job
7 Warnick, Christinia Oleson
7 Watson, James William
7 Weaver, Madora Browning
7 Weaver, Mary Jane
7 Werden, Clark
7 West, John Clements
7 West, Rose Berry
7 Weston, George Gofford
7 Weston, Nehemish
7 Wilbur, Elisha
7 Wilcox, Ebenezer O.
7 Williams, John D.
7 Wilson, Henrietta Emmett
7 Wiseman, Jacob
7 Woodbury, Ann Cannon
7 Wooley, Edwin G.
7 Woolf, Isaac
7 Workman, Andrew Jackson
7 Young, Alphus

Subjects

    • Personal Names :
    • Brooks, Juanita, 1898-1989.  ( contributor)
    • Corporate Names :
    • Historical Records Survey (U.S.)  ( contributor)
    • United States. Federal Emergency Relief Administration  ( contributor)
    • United States. Work Projects Administration.  ( contributor)
    • Subject Terms :
    • Frontier and pioneer life--West (U.S.)
    • Mormon Church--Missions--Biography.
    • Mormon handcart companies.
    • Mormon missionaries--Diaries.
    • Mormon pioneers--Biography.
    • Mormon pioneers--Diaries.
    • Mormon women--Biography.
    • Mormon women--Diaries.
    • Overland journeys to the Pacific.
    • Overland journeys to the West (U.S.)
    • Utah Expedition, 1857-1858.
    • Geographical Names :
    • Utah--Emigration and immigration.
    • Utah--History.
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Diaries--West (U.S.)
    • Overland journals.

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