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Centennial History Collection

Early in 1972 in preparation for Brigham Young University’s centennial birthday in 1975 a project designed to produce a comprehensive history of the university was initiated.  Former president Ernest L. Wilkinson was asked to head the project team and pulled together a group of capable editors to participate in the project.

Ernest L. Wilkinson and the Centennial History project team, 1975

Ernest L. Wilkinson and the Centennial History project team, 1975

They compiled extensive research files and worked laboriously to complete the desired history.  Ultimately two products were produced by the Centennial History project team.  The first was a four volume history entitled Brigham Young University: The First One Hundred Years and the second was a one volume abridgement of the first entitled Brigham Young University: A School of Destiny.

In 1978 the materials created by the project team were deposited in the University Archives.  The collection was processed and given the title “Brigham Young University Centennial History Project papers, 1972-1976”.  It was also assigned the call number UA 566.  This rich collection contains administrative files relating to the management of the project, drafts of the various chapters found in the books, and, most importantly, a chronological file of the research materials compiled to write the history of the university.  These research materials include photocopies of meeting minutes, newspapers, correspondence, and other sources related to the university’s early history.  The collection is an important source for studying the history of Brigham Young University up through 1975.  To access the finding aid for this collection click here.

This collection is open to public research and may be accessed in the Reading Room of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections (1130 HBLL) on the Brigham Young University campus.  If you would like to know more about the Centennial history collection, please contact the University Archivist at (801) 422-5821 or gordon_daines@byu.edu.

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