The Brigham Young Center

The Brigham Young Center exists to advance two closely related goals:

About the Brigham Young Center

The Brigham Young Center operates as a nonprofit foundation supported by private funding. Though an independent institution, we coordinate with the Church History Department (CHD) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, custodian of the largest extant collection of Brigham Young, and with other repositories. The Center’s professional staff employ the high scholarly standards expected in documentary editions and in scholarly publications.

MISSION: A professional online edition of The Brigham Young Papers is the Center’s primary focus. The Center is gathering, transcribing and will make available online a large corpus of Brigham Young documents. The Center will publish in print only a small subset of these documents.

RESEARCH COLLECTIONS: Along with the Brigham Young Papers, the Center houses important research collections relevant to exploring the life and times of Brigham Young, 1801-1877, with special focus on the years from 1844 to 1877, when Young served as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

As the number of Brigham Young documents and the research collections expand year by year, these repositories will become increasingly valuable in supporting the work of those associated with the Center. They will also facilitate the research, writing and publication of others engaged in exploring the life and world of Brigham Young. Both the Brigham Young Papers online documentary edition and the Center’s research archive of Brigham Young-era historical resources will eventually be available for public use.

Why the Brigham Young Center?

No historical figure had a greater role in the development of the American West than Brigham Young. His influence for more than three decades on the development and historical trajectory of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and on Mormon country — all of the Great Basin and beyond — was even greater. Yet few historical figures receive more criticism, and few are more routinely misrepresented and misunderstood than Brigham Young. Often the target of anti-Mormon polemics and stereotypes, he was “infamous” as well as famous in his own day. Though often uninformed and unfair, such images persist. The Center’s resources will allow him to be seen through his own papers and in his own historical context. These materials will also allow students to assess for themselves his long life and extensive work based on the original manuscripts that document that life and work as they unfolded.