The publications on Mormonism housed in Special Collections comprise one of the premiere collections of its kind in the world. These exceptional acquisitions include books, pamphlets, broadsides, newspapers, hymnals, manuals, almanacs, maps, theses, dissertations, and all manner of printed materials relating to the history, doctrine, and culture of Mormonism from the Church’s inception in 1830 to the present day.
The Mormon Americana Collection was first compiled from parts of the personal libraries of several LDS Church leaders: Newel K. Whitney (Presiding Bishop, 1847–50), James E. Talmage (Quorum of the Twelve, 1911–33), Heber J. Grant (President of the Church, 1918–45), and J. Reuben Clark, Jr. (Counselor to Church Presidents George Albert Smith and David O. McKay, 1945–61, and United States ambassador to Mexico, 1930–33). Added to this core collection are the libraries of prominent scholars of American history and Mormonism such as LeRoy R. Hafen, M. Wilford Poulsen, and Dale L. Morgan. In addition to these personal collections, donations of individual items and financial support (especially the Daniel C. Jackling Endowment) have allowed BYU to purchase items crucial to a world-class Mormon library.
The Western Americana Collection of printed material found in Special Collections focuses on the American West. Although especially strong on Utah sources, the collection includes material relevant to the 10 other western states (Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico) located from the Rocky Mountains to the West Coast. The collection is also well represented by materials relating to the Great Basin and the Colorado River, western North America, and the exploration of the islands of the South Pacific.