Brigham Young University. Library. Special Collections

In January of 1957, under the direction of S. Lyman Tyler, Chad J. Flake was put in charge of Special Collections, a new and separate department of the Brigham Young University Library when it operated out of the Heber J. Grant building on Temple Hill. When the school was still an Academy, Special Collections were already being purchased and donated to the school's library. In 1895 the principal of the Academy, Benjamin Cluff, acquired 800 volumes, forming the best theological library in the territory. Prior to 1933, while book drives, donations, and purchases were being made for the Brigham Young University Library, a small group of Special Collections began to form. Newbern Isaac Butt was in charge of a portion of this material. The 1932-33 catalog listed 13 Special Collections, 1938-39 lists 22, and the 1948-49 catalog lists 30. When the J. Reuben Clark Jr. Library was completed in the Fall of 1961, Special Collections was moved to the new facility. The Special Collections Librarian was Chad J. Flake (1957-1961).

Variant names

Special Collections


Established: 1957

Abolished: 1961

Location: Provo, Utah (1957-1961)


In January 1957, when the Special Collections department was formed, it was to focus on Mormon Americana (excluding Mormon authors unless their writings fit within the category), books printed in Europe before 1800, books printed in America before 1850, rare and costly books, limited edition books, and some miscellaneous collections.

Assets and Administrative Structure

The Special Collections Librarian was under the direction of the Director of Libraries.

Associated Units

Superior unit: Brigham Young University. Library (1957-1961)

Later unit: J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Library. Special Collections (1961)

Associated Archival Materials

To help you use the library (BX 8608 .A1 no.3828)


Brigham Young University Library Centennial History, 1879-1975: pg. 20-26, 51-53, 74-76, 141-142, (Beginning of SC before department formed. SC begun Jan 1957 with Chad J. Flake in charge, policies and guidelines in original organization)

International Dictionary of Library Histories: pg. 224-225, (SC contents in 2001, M. Wilford Poulson collected diaries of pioneers put in manuscript room in Grant Library. Newburn I. Butt, gathered Mormon periodical literature (1922-1968). Archival information)

L. Tom Perry Special Collections Slideshow, 7 May 2003, (Special Collections Librarian/Supervisor: Chad J. Flake {1957-1961})

To help you use the library, 1961: (SC contained Mormon Americana, rare books, and private libraries/collections)

Maintenance Information

Record ID: EAC-2012-00001

LCCN: n 88681917

Creator: UPB