History of the Doctrine and Covenants exhibit

We are pleased to announce a new exhibit in Perry Special Collections that takes the viewer through the history of the Doctrine and Covenants, from handwritten manuscripts to broadsides, to being published in book form in 1835. The highlight of the exhibit is BYU’s only copy of the Book of Commandments, predecessor to the Doctrine and Covenants and probably the rarest of all LDS printed items!

Later editions of the Doctrine and Covenants with significant additions or deletions are also displayed, including the 1844 Nauvoo edition (added the section on the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith), the 1876 edition (added 26 additional revelations, including Joseph Smith’s revelation on plural marriage), and the 1921 edition (removed the Lectures on Faith, which had been there since 1835). Also shown is an 1835 letter from Oliver Cowdery to Newel K. Whitney regarding original copies of a revelation, and James E. Talmage’s journal where he documents revisions he was asked to make in 1921 as part of the Doctrine and Covenants Committee.

This exhibit will be on display in the Reading Room in Special Collections from March 29 – April 21. Come see this new exhibit and learn more about the history of this significant book of modern day scripture!

H. H. (Harvey Harris) Cluff diary

H. H. (Harvey Harris) Cluff, 1836-1916

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: H. H. Cluff diary (MSS SC 1946). Collection includes a handwritten diary by Harvey H. Cluff from 1887-1888. Cluff records events relating to his church activities. He talks about church talks, church courts, and reactions to the activities of federal officials who were pursuing Mormons because of the practice of polygamy. Cluff presents copies of letters written by Mormon Church leaders and gives an account of his arrest for polygamy on 30 April 1887.

Harvey Harris Cluff (1836-1916) was born in Kirtland, Ohio, to a family of converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They later moved to Missouri and Illinois, and settled in Utah in 1850. Cluff spent much of the 1850s manufacturing furniture, served in the Nauvoo Legion, and was one of the original trustees of Brigham Young University (1875-1897). He would eventually marry three wives–Margaret Ann Foster, Emily Greening Till, and Sarah Louisa Eggertsen–and they bore him ten children between 1857 and 1889, six of which lived to adulthood.

Cluff spent 1865-1868 on a mission to Great Britain, and after an 1869-1874 mission to Hawaii returned as president of the Hawaiian Mission from 1879-1882. He also later served as a counselor in the presidency of the Utah Stake. Harvey Harris Cluff died in Salt Lake City, Utah, on April 19, 1916.

Hogarth Press centennial

A century ago today, on March 23, 1917, Leonard and Virginia Woolf purchased a small hand press and some type from a shop in London. They set the equipment up on their dining room table and thus the Hogarth Press (named after their home, Hogarth House) was born.

Virginia had taken some bookbinding classes some years previously, and the printing press was meant to be a new hobby to combat her depression. Because the Woolfs chose to print experimental work which would not have been commercially viable to large publishers, the press also allowed Virginia the freedom to explore new avenues in her own work. The first book from the new press was issued in July of 1917.

The Hogarth Press printed works by the Woolfs and the writers in their circle, as well as important emerging authors, and often feature the artistry of modern designers and illustrators, including Virginia’s sister Vanessa Bell. As their printing efforts expanded, the Press became a major force in the development and promotion of the modernist movement in literature, publishing works from writers as varied as E. M. Forster, T.S. Eliot, and Sigmund Freud. The Hogarth Press would issue over 500 titles before the imprint was sold to British commercial publisher Chatto and Windus in 1946.

Special Collections owns about 30 pre-1946 Hogarth Press imprints, the earliest of which date from 1920-21 and are shown in this post.

New acquisitions: literature by women

For Women’s History month, today’s post features some of our newest literary acquisitions by women authors, across several genres, from Victorian sensation fiction to the how-to book.


Harriet Rakes, The Marriage Contract. London, 1849. Call number: Victorian Collection PR 5205 .R68 M3 1849

Elizabeth Missing Sewell, Ivors, or The Two Cousins. London, 1856. Call number: Victorian Collection PR 5349 .S5 I96 1856

Mrs. Henry (Ellen) Wood, Mildred Arkell. London, 1865. Presentation copy. Call number: Victorian Collection PR 5842 .W8 M54 1865




Helen Dawes Brown, Little Miss Phoebe Gay. Boston, 1895. Call number: Alcott Collection PS 1139 .B33 L58 1895

Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden. London, 1911 (first edition). Call number: Rare Book Collection PS 1214 .S42 1911b




Isabella Beeton, How to Manage House and Servants. London, 1867. Call number: Victorian Collection TX 331. B41 1867

Acheta Domestica (L. M. Budgen), May Flowers. London, 1855. Call number: Victorian Collection QH 50 .B8 1855

Frances Power Cobbe, Essays on the Pursuits of Women. London, 1863. Call number: Victorian Collection HQ 1596 .C65 1863

Jennie Anderson Froiseth letters and advertisement

Jennie Anderson Froiseth (1849-1930). Photo credit: Utah State Historical Society.

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Jennie Anderson Froiseth letters and advertisement (MSS 3875). Collection includes four letters by Froiseth written between 1881 and 1882 as part of her work to abolish polygamy. Two of the letters are on the printed stationery of the Anti-Polygamy Standard. Also includes a manuscript advertisement.

Jennie Anderson Froiseth was born in 1849 in Ireland or New York. She was married to a civil engineer named Bernard M. Froiseth and had two children, named Ethel R. (4-years-old in 1880) and Bernard A. (5 months old in 1880). She wrote a book called “The Women of Mormonism: The Story of Polygamy As Told by the Victims Themselves in 1882.” Jennie Anderson Froiseth died in 1930 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Edwin L. Sabin papers

Edwin L. Sabin (1870-1954)

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Edwin L. Sabin papers (MSS SC 1072b). Collection includes holograph and typed letters received by Sabin. Many of these materials relate to Sabin’s research on Kit Carson, and include answers to Sabin’s inquiries regarding the personality, appearance, and activities of Carson. The information was of use to Sabin in his book “Kit Carson Days (1809-1868)” published in 1914 and in its revised edition of 1935. Also included are letters that relate to Sabin’s efforts to get photographs of the American West. Dated 1885-1924.

Cover of “Kit Carson Days (1809-1868)” by Edwin L. Sabin, Classic Reprint Series, Amazon.com

Biographical Note from “Guide to Edwin L. Sabin papers” at the University of Iowa Special Collections:

Edwin Legrand Sabin was born on December 23, 1870 in Rockford, Illinois. Before he was a year old, his father, the educator Henry Sabin, moved the family to Clinton, Iowa. Edwin Sabin grew up in that river town and graduated from Clinton High School in 1888. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa with Phi Beta Kappa honors. Sabin then went to work as a reporter for various newspapers in Iowa and Illinois. In May 1893, he joined an expedition to the Bahamas organized by Charles C. Nutting, a professor of zoology and curator of the University of Iowa’s natural history museum. Sabin resumed his newspaper work upon his return. While working in Chicago, he met Mary Nicole Nash. They were married on October 7, 1896.

Sabin began publishing poetry and short stories in nationally known magazines around the turn of the century. His work appeared in The Chautauquan, St. Nicholas, Country Life, and many others. In 1902, he wrote his first children’s book. Slowly his attention began to focus on the West, and encouraged by his publisher he turned his talents in that direction. His western historical fiction was highly researched and he was proud of its accuracy. He and his wife moved to La Jolla, California in 1913, so he could be closer to his subject matter.

The years 1913-1931 were fruitful ones for Sabin. His books for boys were being published and received critical acclaim. However, he was hit hard by the Great Depression. He tried to sell his services as a writing consultant and even tried to establish a correspondence school for aspiring writers. These schemes failed, as did his attempts to publish his own work. The public’s taste had changed and his western stories, with strong moral lessons of good and evil, were no longer in vogue. Sabin died on November 24, 1954, completely destitute — a ward of the county.


Women’s Book History for Women’s History Month

If you visit the “Curious Remedies” exhibit this month, be on the lookout for a small, nondescript book of medicine by Nicholas Culpeper. This item was published in 1684 by Hannah Sawbridge.

Hannah was the widow of George Sawbridge, one of the most successful London printers and booksellers of the 17th century. Sawbridge’s firm printed royal Patents and published and sold a variety of books, including popular medical works like Culpeper’s. Sawbridge also held major leadership posts in the Stationer’s Company of London, the trade organization for printers and booksellers.

After George died in 1681, Hannah carried on the family business until 1686. In 17th century England, it was common for the widows of printers and publishers to own and operate businesses in the book trades (sometimes in cooperation with their children). More women participated in the book trades as booksellers than as printers or publishers. The names of many of these women appear in the archives of the Stationers’ Company — around 8% of recorded names in the 16th and 17th centuries are women.

Researchers interested in sources for women’s participation in this period print history can consult a microfilm copy of the Stationer’s Company archives here in Special Collections or can consult Henry Plomer’s multivolume Dictionary of the booksellers and printers who were at work in England, Scotland and Ireland at the Humanities Reference area on level 5 of the library.



Cody-Sylvan Pass Motor Company records

Auto Stages of Cody-Sylvan Pass Motor Company at Sylvan Lake, Yellowstone Park, 1916. Postcard #16414, Published by J.E. Haynes, Official Photographer, YNP

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Cody-Sylvan Pass Motor Company records (MSS 7635). Contains business records of the Cody-Sylvan Pass Motor Company, including profit and loss statements as well as correspondence regarding trips in automobiles through Yellowstone. Materials date from between 1915 and 1916.

The Cody-Sylvan Pass Motor Company was founded in 1913 by F. J. Haynes. In 1916, the company became the first motorized bus fleet allowed in Yellowstone. At that time, it was co-owned by William Nichols and Shaw & Powell. Their fleet consisted of seven ten-passenger trucks with open bodies, five six-passenger Buicks, one Buick service car, and one GMC Truck. In 1917, the company lost its bid to YPTCo, and Haynes was forced to sell his shares in the company.

It’s poetry season in Special Collections!

If you’re a poetry fan, you’ll want to stop by Special Collections in March and April to view our new lobby exhibits! This month, we’re displaying “Songs and Flowers of the Wasatch,” a Woman’s History Month exhibit which features lyrics and poems by 19th century Utah women. And next month — National Poetry Month, of course — we’ll be installing another exhibit featuring some fantastic items from our rare literature collections.

Brigham Young University Personnel Photographs

Another collection available for researchers exploring the history of the university is the compiled collection of university faculty and administrator photographs (UA 947). Brought together from various sources by University Archives staff, the collection provides quick access to individual faculty images produced by university photographers up to 2001. Some attempts were also made to bring together images of early faculty members, which are included in the collection. Together, this collection provides a wonderful visual representation of the men and women who built the university to what it is today.

The Brigham Young Academy faculty, 1888

To simplify access to the photographs, the finding aid for the collection has now been updated to include a file listing of the individuals listed in the collection. Researchers should use the search box on the right side of the linked page to look for particular individuals, or the finding aid can be browsed using the navigation boxes at the bottom right.

If you have any questions about UA 947, please contact the University Archivist, Cory Nimer, at cory_nimer@byu.edu or 801-422-6091.

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