The Inception of Brigham Young University's Archival Program, 1956–1962 | BYU Studies

The Inception of Brigham Young University's Archival Program, 1956–1962

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The Inception of Brigham Young University's Archival Program, 1956–1962

Author J. Gordon Daines III

The University Archives at Brigham Young University was established in 1956 under the direction of BYU President Ernest L. Wilkinson and the library director, S. Lyman Tyler. The first archivist, Ralph Hansen, preserved records from some previous presidents of BYU that were stored in a small room in the Maeser Building. He organized and preserved these records but struggled with lack of space as his department was moved to a warehouse off campus. He exhorted BYU faculty and departments to let the archives preserve institutional documents, but they were generally slow in cooperating. He encouraged institutions around Utah to submit their records to the archives and was successful in collecting manuscripts in Utah and Mormon history and business. By the time Hansen left in 1962, the archives was well established and had a home in the new BYU library.