Harold B. Lee Library. Dept. of Archives and Manuscripts

The J. Reuben Clark Jr. Library Archives department and the non-University Archives/Manuscripts department were formally united administratively in 1974 after the Library's name was changed to the Harold B. Lee Library in 1973. The department was then known as the Harold B. Lee Library, Archives and Manuscripts Department. In the 1980's a financial crisis hit private schools, resulting in a loss of support staff at the archives. The Chair or Head of the Department was Dennis Rowley (1974-1991) and the Curator of Special Collections was Chad J. Flake (1973-1991).

In February 1991 Special Collections merged with the Department of Archives and Manuscripts to form the Department of Special Collections and Manuscripts.

Variant names

Archives and Manuscripts

BYU Archives and Manuscripts

Harold B. Lee Library. Archives and Manuscripts

Harold B. Lee Library. Division of Archives and Manuscripts


Established: 1974

Abolished: 1991

Location: Provo, Utah (1974-1991)


The Department of Archives of Manuscripts was divided into many areas of research including Photo Archives, Arts and Communication Archives, Archives of the Mormon Experience, Utah and the West Archives, Women's History Archives, Mesoamerican Archives, and Literary Archives. Primary source materials were collected, preserved, and arranged in all of these areas of focus. These materials were made available to patrons.

Patrons who wished to use the materials within the Archives and Manuscripts department were required to complete an application form, with a statement of intention and photo ID, as well as have an interview with a full time staff member. There were three levels of access to Archives and Manuscripts: Single Access in which beginner level researchers were given approval for the use of one item at a time. Single Access patrons needed separate approval for each new collection requested. Next was Limited Access where more experienced patrons could use any unrestricted collection related to their topic without additional approval, and last was Open Access where mature scholars from BYU's faculty or other institutions were given approval to use any unrestricted collection regardless as to whether it related to their topic or not. Every patron's research was recorded on that patron's permanent registration and application form.

A limited Records Management program continued to function within the Department of Archives and Manuscripts, soliciting, collection, storing, and disposing of records from various University departments. In 1978 because of a shortage of space, the Records Center was moved outside the library, into the Heber J. Grant Building. It still functioned under the direction of the University Archivist.

Assets and Administrative Structure

The Curator of Archives and Manuscripts reported to the Curator of Special Collections under the Director of Libraries.

Full-time staff consisted of: the Curator, two University Archives people, the University Archivist, an Assistant to the University Archivist, a Union Pacific Micrographics Center coordinator, a cataloging and accessioning professional, two subject archives professionals, and one departmental secretary/office manager. Part-time staff consisted of 43 students who assisted in multiple divisions of the Archives department.

Associated Units

Superior unit: Harold B. Lee Library (1974-1991)

Earlier unit: Harold B. Lee Library. University Archives (1974)

Earlier unit: Harold B. Lee Library. Manuscripts Dept. (1974)

Later unit: Harold B. Lee Library. Dept. of Special Collections and Manuscripts (1991)

Later unit: Harold B. Lee Library. University Archives and Records Management (1991)

Associated Archival Materials

Annual report (UA SC 96)

Archives and Manuscripts policies (UA 953)

Collection Development policy statement (UA SC 100)

University Archives records (UA 1068)


Archives and Archivist at Brigham Young University, Brigham Young University Campus Memorandum, 14 November 1988, (1988 Archives and Manuscripts consisted of university and general archives)

Archives and Manuscripts in the Brigham Young University Library: A Statement of Policy and Procedures With Appendices, April 1989: pg. 1-5, (1989 Mission Statement, General Department Policies and Procedures, Technical Services Policy and Procedures, General Access Policies and Procedures)

Archives and Manuscripts Policies and Procedures Manual, January 1982: p. Introduction, (History of the Archives and Manuscripts department. Manuscripts/non-University Archives department formed separate from Archives department around 1960. Faculty and Staff in Archives)

Archives and Manuscripts Policy Statement, Brigham Young University Campus Memorandum, from Sterling Albrecht to Dennis Rowley, 22 Dec. 1988: first page of 10 February 1982, (cases of theft and unauthorized copying by members and enemies of the Church)

Brigham Young University centennial history, 1875-1975: p. 142-144, (organized under Dr. Tyler and Ralph Hansen)

B.Y.U. Library Collection Development Policy Statement, 1985: pg. 41-75, (statement of responsibility, objectives, areas of specialization and subjects contained in the Archives and Manuscripts)

Harold B. Lee Library, 1976-1977 Audit Report: pg. 3, 10, 22, (1976-1977 organizational structure, move from first to fifth floor)

Library of Congress Authorities: Harold B. Lee Library Department of Archives and Manuscripts, (in Feb. 1991 Special Collections merged with the Dept. of Archives and Manuscripts to form the Dept. of Special Collections and Manuscripts) http://www.authorities.loc.gov

L. Tom Perry Special Collections Reading Room Plaque dedicated to Dennis Rowley, (dates of service, title of department)

L. Tom Perry Special Collections Slideshow, 7 May 2003, (Dennis Rowley Department Chair {1974-1991}) http://lib.byu.edu/sites/sc/files/2008/06/sc-department-history.pdf

Ralph W. Hansen Papers: Interview Transcript, 25 June 2006: p. 15, (1980s financial crisis of private schools forces cut back on support staff in archives)

University Archives Records, Introduction, (location of Records Center in Grant building)

Maintenance Information

Record ID: EAC-2012-00004

Creator: UPB

LCCN: 82117113