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Mormons and Mormonism

Over a span of four decades, the department has assembled one of the largest collections of printed Mormon Americana housed outside Utah. The collection captures nearly every aspect of Mormon history with a particular emphasis towards the first century of Mormonism and the Utah territorial period (1849-96). For a detailed history of the formation of the collections, see: Alfred Bush, “Mormon Americana at Princeton University,” in Mormon Americana: A Guide to Sources and Collections in the United States, ed. David J. Whittaker (Provo, U.T.: BYU Studies, 1995), 281-86.

  • Rare Books

    The Western Americana collections are extraordinarily strong in books relating to the Mormon sects and Mormonism. Princeton's Mormon collection, especially for the Utah territorial period, is probably the most comprehensive outside Utah. Over 500 subject headings cover more than 3,000 books, chiefly in the Western Americana collections, but also in the General Rare Books Collection (Ex). Highlights include first editions of the Book of Mormon (1830) and Doctrine and Covenants (1835). Notable holdings in the Manuscripts Division include three letters by Brigham Young, one to his fourth wife, Harriet Cook Young, about his trip out West (1846) and a letter (1862) to him authorized by Lincoln from Adjutant General L. Thomas, calling on Young to raise a cavalry company of Utah militia to protect the property of the Telegraph and Overland Mail Company. 

    The bulk of the material covers the twentieth century, although the 19th century is included. See the checked copy of Chad Flake. Mormon Bibliography 1830-1930 (Salt Lake City, 1978) ) [(WA) Z7845.M8 M37 1983]] for Princeton holdings; the Supplement is not marked [(WA) Z7845.M8 F55q Suppl.]. Also available is a one-volume index to titles in Flake's bibliography, compiled by Richard J. Martinez [(WA) Z7845.M8 M37 1983].

    In 1988, a portion of the Jørgen W. Schmidt collection on Mormonism, in Danish, was purchased by the General Rare Books Department. Approximately 350 items are in the collection, including periodical articles, book chapters, and pamphlets. See the owner's bibliography, which has numerous manuscript additions to the printed typescript: Jørgen W. Schmidt. En dansk Mormon bibliografi 1837-1984 (Lynge: Moroni, c1984) [(WA) Oversize Z7845.M8 S3 1984q]. See also William Mulder, "Denmark and the Mormons: The Jørgen W. Schmidt Collection" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle LII, 3 (Spring, 1991) pp. 331-357 [full text].

    Also, for further information on early Mormon books in the collection see Alfred L. Bush, "A Quorum Called Out of the Kingdom" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XLII, 1 (Autumn, 1980) pp. 55-59. [full text]. An informal catalog of the exhibition with photocopies of each exhibit's title page has call number (ExB) 0639.739 no. 55

    See also: Alfred Bush, "Mormon Americana at Princeton University" in David J. Whittaker (editor), Mormon Americana: A Guide to Sources and Collections in the United States (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 1995) pp. 281-286 [(WA) E184.M8 M67 1994].


    Notable collections

    Brigham Young Collection.

    The collection contains three letters by Brigham Young, one (1846) to his fourth wife, Harriet Cook Young, about his trip out West and two (1872, 1873) to fellow Mormons; a letter (1862) to him authorized by Lincoln from Adjutant General L.

    Mormons and Mormonism Collection

    The collection consists of originals and copies of letters, documents, papyri fragments, drawings, personal reminiscences, biographies, diaries (1851-1877, 1926), journals (1832, 1850), an interview (1931), patriarchal blessings, record books (1913-1915), financial reports (1852-1904), stereograp. 

    Herbert S. Auerbach Collection on Mormons and Indians. The collection consists primarily of copies of letters, documents, stories, newspaper articles, reports, tables, and extracts from various sources collected by Auerbach and relating to Mormons and Indians.

    Norman C. Pierce Papers The collection consists of papers of Pierce, including personal correspondence, financial papers, a photograph album of a trip to Germany in 1927, family photographs, clippings, travel memorabilia and notes, articles (by others), and printed matter relating to Mormonism in Utah.

     Graphic Arts

    Several notable Mormon prints and photographs are housed in the Graphic Arts Collection, including prints of Hafen's Last Public Address of Lieut. Gen. Joseph Smith, ca. 1888, and the Martyrdom of Prophet Joseph Smith, 1890 (see: Navoo Legion).  These pieces and additional holdings can be found by conducting a keyword search for Mormon in the library catalog with search limits set to Sepcail Collections and Visual Material. See: Mormon Graphic Arts Search Results

Research Tools for Printed Material (Books, Maps, Prints, etc.)