Archive for June, 2014

June Announcement for the Utah Westerners



It’s time once again for what is becoming our traditional, annual regional field trip within the state. This time we are headed south to Brigham Young University where we will dine at the famous Sky Room and then have an exclusive look at some of the treasures from the holdings of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library at the Harold B. Lee Library.

The Lee Library has 98 miles of shelving (if laid end to end, the shelves would stretch from Provo to Salt Lake and back again) with over 6,000,000 items in its various collections. The Special Collections Library was founded in 1957 and began with a mere 1000 books, 50 manuscript collections and one curator. Today the department consists of 14 full-time curators, plus manuscript processors assisted by 30+ student employees working with 350,000 books, more than 25,000 manuscript collections, and 1.5 million photographs. In 1990 Special Collections was moved into BYU’s impressive new library addition. With a generous donation from Aline and L. Sam Skaggs came a request that the school name its Special Collections after L. Tom Perry, an apostle of the LDS Church. Housed in this state-of-the-art facility and department is a vast array of printed books and pamphlets, manuscripts, maps, music, broadsides, fine artistic printing, posters, and photographs.

We could not begin to see more than a fraction of the vast holdings of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections, but in the short time we will be guests there, we will view such memorable items as early western brand books, books and manuscripts of Zane Grey’s works, Robert Spurrier Ellison’s photographs of the Little Bighorn, and photos taken by William Henry Jackson, Charles R. Savage, and Andrew J. Russell (including the “meeting of the rails” by the latter two photographers), materials from the fur trade, and much more.

There to present this fascinating assortment of materials are three key people at L. Tom Perry Special Collections: Maggie Gallup Kopp, Lyn Clayton, and John Murphy. Maggie Gallup Kopp is Curator of Rare Books and responsible for the European historical collections and rare British and American Literature. She holds an M.A. from Fordham University and an M.L.S. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Lyn Clayton is Collections Administrator and is also responsible for the extensive Yellowstone collection. He has a BS in chemistry and zoology and an M.A. in Western American History.

John Murphy is Curator for 20th and 21st Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts. He has a B.A. in history from BYU, an M.A. in history from Brandeis University, and an M.S.L.I.S. from Simmons College.


June 9, 2014 at 11:24 am Leave a comment

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