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Cory Nimer, Curator

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Brigham Young University and the Alpine Summer School


Brigham Young University is a private university that seeks to develop students of faith, intellect and character who have the skills and the desire to continuing learning and to serve others throughout their lives. Tracing its roots to Utah’s rich pioneer heritage and to Brigham Young Academy, the original school established in 1875, the university continues to provide an outstanding education in an atmosphere consistent with the ideals and principles of its sponsor, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Alpine Summer School was established in the 1920s by President Franklin S. Harris. The school was designed to be a high mountain retreat where class work could be carried out and summer heat avoided. It was very popular with the students. Classes were conducted in tents and participants dressed the part of mountaineers wearing togs and high boots. The facility was taken over by the Alumni Association in 1963 and renamed Aspen Grove, having been run successfully for the last 48 years. The Alpine Summer School’s remarkable history can be uncovered through many of the collections held in the University Archives. The following source materials can get you started on your exploration of the heritage of the Alpine Summer School.

Secondary Sources and General information

Collections held by the University Archives will be more useful to your specific research topic after you understand more about the general history of the university. The following resources are available to help you develop that understanding.

  • Histories of Brigham Young University
    • Wilkinson, Ernest L. Brigham Young University: The First One Hundred Years (4 volumes). Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1975.
    • Wilkinson, Ernest L. and W. Cleon Skousen. Brigham Young University: A School of Destiny.  Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1976.
    • Bergera, Gary James and Ron Priddis. Brigham Young University: A House of Faith. Salt Lake City, UT: Signature Books, 1985.

Primary Sources

  • Sample materials dealing with the Alpine Summer School: A sample of the materials that contain information about the Alpine Summer School. To map out a research strategy, please schedule an appointment with the University Archivist at 422-6091 or cory_nimer@byu.edu for additional help in discovering what other collections we may have that pertain to your research topic.
    • UA 919 Campus photographs, ca. 1880-1958 Includes views of Aspen Grove, the Alpine Summer School, and the Timpanogos Hike.
    • UA 823 College of Biology and Agriculture. Photographs, ca. 1891-1969 Includes images of the Alpine summer school botany classes, 1922-1924 and Alpine summer school faculty, 1928-1930 and 1941.
    • UA 254 John R. Stewart letter to Franklin S. Harris, 1921 Letter confirming donation of Aspen Grove to BYU from John R. Stewart, Scott P. Stewart, Joseph Nelson, Rose Young Stewart, and Melissa R. Stewart.
    • UA 1089 Franklin S. Harris Brigham Young University Presidential records, 1921-1945 Includes the records generated by Harris during his service as president of Brigham Young University. Includes some information on Aspen Grove.
    • UA 132 Papers, 1924-1929 Papers of Harrison R. Merrill.  Collection includes correspondence, essays and clippings (photocopies) to and from Merrill concerning his publications in newspapers and periodicals, the Alpine Summer School, Brigham Young University athletics, curricula and religious atmosphere.
    • MSS 2199 Wayne B. Hales photographs, ca. 1926-1940 This collection includes images relating to the Alpine Summer School, Mount Timpanogos, Aspen Grove, Utah Lake, and the city of Provo.
    • BX 8605.1 .W41 vol.2 Highlights of the B. Y. U. summer school, Alpine term Includes a brief description of special courses of study, meetings, visits of General Authorities, excursions, recreation, etc.
    • UA SC 107 The Alpinian, 1939 This was the yearbook for the summer school students of Brigham Young University held at Aspen Grove.
    • UA 117 Papers, 1945-1959 Papers of A. Smith Pond. Collection includes reports, minutes, correspondence, recommendations, objectives and evaluations concerning higher, general, and economic education, committees, associations, curriculum, and superior students.

This Popular Search Topics page offers only samplings of materials included in the University Archives that document the evolution of the Alpine Summer School. Be sure to visit Special Collections to discover other material.

Last Modified: October 23, 2015

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