Benjamin Cluff diaries digitized
Benjamin Cluff, Jr. served as principal of Brigham Young Academy from 1892 to 1903. He became president of Brigham Young Academy in 1903 when the academy was granted the title of university. His remarkable impact on Brigham Young University can be uncovered through many of the collections held in the University Archives.
The University Archives recently digitized two collections of Cluff’s diaries. They are:
- MSS 1667 Benjamin Cluff diaries. Collection contains four diaries and their respective transcripts covering the period from 1881-1909 and detailing Cluff’s time as a student at Brigham Young Academy and the University of Michigan, as well as his subsequent appointment as President of the Academy. Also describes his activities and experiences as a plantation owner in Tabasco, Mexico. The digital copies of the diaries may be accessed through the finding aid available here. To view the digital copy of the diary, select the diary you are interested in from the navigation menu on the right and then click on the thumbnail image to access the whole diary.
- MSS 3076 Benjamin Cluff diary. Collection contains one diary written by Cluff documenting his the activities as he led a small group from Brigham Young Academy through Panama and into Columbia. Though Cluff states a desire to search for the Book of Mormon city of Zarahemla while on the expedition, much of the diary is devoted to describing travel preparations, countryside traveled through, and plantation owners Cluff meets during the trip. The group traveled by steamboat, by mule, or on foot for much of the trip and encountered many difficulties that impeded their progress, which are documented in the diary. Cluff’s diary also includes details on expenditures, a temperature log, and information Cluff learned about the local rivers, forests, and wildlife. Cluff also makes reference to ideal locations for business or colonization. The digital copy of the diary may be accessed through the finding aid available here. Click on the thumbnail image to access the whole diary.
If you have any questions about the materials available for studying Benjamin Cluff, Jr. and his impact on Brigham Young University, please contact the University Archivist at 801-422-5821 or firstname.lastname@example.org.