A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church and Studies in Mormon History, 1830–1997

PETER CRAWLEY. A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church: Volume One, 1830-1847. Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997.

JAMES B. ALLEN, RONALD W. WALKER, and DAVID J. WHITTAKER. Studies in Mormon History, 1830-1997: An Indexed Bibliography, with a Topical Guide to Published Social Services Literature on the Mormons [by] Armand L. Mauss and Dynette Ivie Reynolds. Urbana: University of Illinois Press in cooperation with the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for LDS History, Brigham Young University, 2000.

Two new works of Mormon bibliography have made the world of Mormon studies a friendlier place. Completed after decades of painstaking compilation and analysis, these volumes bring to the public the expertise of several senior LDS scholars. While both books contain the words bibliography and Mormon in their titles, they are nevertheless very different publications indeed. The Crawley volume, in addition to being a bibliography, might also be described as a narrative history of LDS printing during the Church’s formative years. In contrast, the tome by Allen, Walker, Whittaker, Mauss, and Reynolds is a reference tool that directs students of Mormonism to thousands of secondary sources, most of which were produced during the twentieth century.

A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church is, to put it simply, the best available source on early Mormon printing and publishing. After nearly thirty-five years of collecting, researching, analyzing, and writing, Crawley, a recently retired BYU Professor of Mathematics, has produced a volume (the first of a projected three-volume set) unmatched in its historical details of early Mormon printing. For Crawley, this is not unfamiliar territory. Over the years, he has produced several smaller, more selective Mormon bibliographies.

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