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James E. Talmage at BYU

James E. Talmage, ca. 1882

In the early 1880s science studies blossomed at Brigham Young Academy under the instruction of James E. Talmage. Talmage had been educated at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and John Hopkins University in Maryland where he had acquired a substantial scientific knowledge and honed his natural curiosity. Talmage taught courses in chemistry, physics, biology, physical geography, and geology to the bright young students of the Academy. His physiology classes were especially popular. Talmage believed that students should have the opportunity to experience science and took them on many geological field trips throughout the Wasatch Mountains. He left Brigham Young Academy in 1884 to head the Salt Lake Stake Academy. He would later serve on the Board of Trustees for Brigham Young Academy and in 1911 became a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.

The University Archives is home to the following collections documenting Talmage’s life as well as his impact on the Academy:

  • MSS SC 3246 Life and educational contributions of James Edward Talmage, 1958
  • UA 912 Natural History Museum catalog, [ca. 1912]-1917
  • UA 84 Brigham Young Academy. Polysophical Society records
  • MSS 229 James E. Talmage papers, 1876-1933

If you have any questions about James E. Talmage and Brigham Young Academy, please contact the University Archivist at (801) 422-5821 or gordon_daines@byu.edu.

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