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Heber J. Grant Library

From the beginning of his presidential administration Franklin S. Harris campaigned for a library building. He believed that Brigham Young University could never successfully join the ranks of the country’s colleges and universities without a strong library. A library building would be a visible symbol of the university’s commitment to scholarship and learning and it would help the young university’s efforts to build a strong library collection. In August of 1924 President received word that the General Church Board of Education had approved his request to build a library on Temple Hill. The completed building would join a small cluster of buildings on upper campus and would be further evidence of the university’s intention to move from its previous location.

Heber J. Grant Library, 1925

Heber J. Grant Library, 1925

Construction on the Heber J. Grant Library began in October of 1924 and the building was dedicated one year later. The new library was two stories high and contained office space and classrooms in addition to closed stacks for the library collections and a large reading room. It also included a room for university’s Ancient American collection (an early precursor of today’s Special Collections). It was named after Heber J. Grant, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to honor his love of reading.

The University Archives is home to several collections that document the early history of the Heber J. Grant Library. They include:

  • UA 405 Contributors to the Heber J. Grant Library. This collection includes a list of individuals and institutions who contributed to the Heber J. Grant Library.
  • UA 231 Collected articles about the Heber J. Grant Library. This collection includes a series of articles from the Alumni Announcer concerning the Heber J. Grant Library.
  • UA 1089 Franklin S. Harris Brigham Young University presidential records. This collection includes correspondence that documents Harris’ lobbying activities on behalf of the new library building.

If you would like to learn more about the Heber J. Grant Library, please contact the University Archivist at (801) 422-5821 or gordon_daines@byu.edu

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