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

University Archives was established in 1956 by Ralph Hansen, under the direction of Dr. S. Lyman Tyler. An active program for collecting non-University-related archives and manuscripts was established about 1960, sometime around the same time the library moved from the Grant Building and various locations, to the newly completed J. Reuben Clark Jr. Library in 1961. The J. Reuben Clak 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. In February 1991 Special Collections merged with the Department of Archives and Manuscripts to form the Department of Special Collections and Manuscripts. Later, in 1999, Special Collections moved to the basement of the library and was named L. Tom Perry Special Collections.

Variant names

Harold B. Lee Library. Department of Archives and Manuscripts

Harold B. Lee Library. Archives and Manuscripts Department

Harold B. Lee Library. Division of Archives and Manuscripts


Established: 1974

Location: Provo, Utah (1974-1991)


The Archives and Manuscripts Collection Development Policy Statement of 1985 declared the departments responsibility that "when an institution acquires unique sources through gift or purchase, it has a moral, professional, and usually contractual obligation to its donors and to society to share those resources....In preserving the legacy of such men and women, the Lee Library functions as a trustee for the creator, the donor, all potential users, and, indeed, for American society." "Meeting the instructional and research needs of the University" was the paramount but not the sole concern of the department. The Archive and Manuscript programs in 1985 were: The Brigham Young University Archives; Archives of Utah and the American West; The Archives of the Mormon Experience; The Arts and Communications Archives; Motion Picture Film and Videotape Archives; Wells Freedom Archives; The Literary Archives; The Photoarchives; The Archives of Recorded Sound; Eurpoean Manuscripts; Ancient and Medieval Manuscripts; The Mesoamerican Archives; and The U.S. Political Archives.

Assets and Administrative Structure

In 1982 the Archives encompassed: the University Records Center, Union Pacific Micrographics Center, Photoarchives, Arts and Communication Archives, Archives of the Mormon Experience, Utah and the West Archives, Women's History Archives, Mesoamerican Archives, Literaray Archives, archival cataloging and accessioning. Full-time staff consisted of: the curator, two University Archive people, University Archivist and an assistant, 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 to assist in multiple divisions of the Archives department.

In the 1980's a financial crisis hit private schools, resulting in a loss of support staff at the archives.

Associated Units

Superior unit: Brigham Young University (1903)

Superior unit: Harold B. Lee Library (1973)

Later unit: Harold B. Lee Library. Department of Special Collections and Manuscripts (1991-1999)

Associated Archival Materials

Insert references to all associated materials here.


B.Y.U. Library Collection Development Policy Statement, 1985, pgs. 41-75, Information Gathered: statement of responsiblity, objectives, areas of specialization and subjects contained in the Archives and Manuscripts.

Library of Congress Authorities: Harold B. Lee Library Department of Archives and Manuscripts, www.authorities.loc.gov, LCCN 82117113, Information Gathered: in Feb. 1991 Special Collections merged with the Dept. of Archives and Manuscripts to form the Dept. of Special Collections and Manuscripts)

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

Archives and Manuscripts Policies and Procedures Manual, January 1982, p. Introduction, Information Gathered: History of the Archives and Manuscripts department. Manuscripts department formed around 1960. Faculty and Staff in Archives.

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

Maintenance Information

Record ID: EAC-2012-00004

Creator: UPB

LCCN: 82117113