I have been a student of Mormon history for over a decade now and have also been an active participant of the Web since I was a young man. I rolled with the revolutions of HTML, GIFs, Flash, web standards, and “HTML5” more recently. These two worlds, Mormon history and the Web, have increasingly been gravitating toward and colliding into each other, inevitably spilling out new galaxies of information . This makes me a chipper boy in the 21st century, an age of expanding data, information, knowledge, and wisdom.
I have had a deep love for the written record all my life. I spent many sacrament meetings concocting ancient languages and alien civilizations with records, archives of materials left behind for some race to discover (usually on Mars). My Mormon upbringing, with its variety of cosmological dreams and visions inspired my doodlings. I thank Heavenly Father for parents who let me and my brothers draw in a house of God. Documents, real or imagined, became more and more relevant to my worldview as the years elapsed.
It should be noted that my mother is mostly to blame for my addiction to the oddities of the past, which includes a healthy dose of my quirky Mormon forebears. I became a collector and the pseudo-archivist for the family. After I served a mission for the church in Alberta (Canada Calgary Mission) and subsequently married a descendant of Charles Ora Card  and Zina Prescindia Young Williams Card , I decided I should invest some time and effort into our histories. I finished became involved with the CHL for a time, volunteered at numerous libraries and museums, finished my BA in history at UVU in the summer of 2010, welcomed our first daughter into the world, and then moved to Seattle to start a masters in library and information science.
In the midst of these great life changes I began several projects, which I have been incubating for a couple of years now. I want you to look at them, critique them, and add your voice and hands to them. I present them to you as if from a pottery workshop: some are misshapen, some glitzy, some structurally sound but rough, some are merely ephemera, short prose realized as markup. I hope they get you thinking about the potential of Mormon history on the Web:
- Saints of Alberta Project
- This site is the beginning of an effort by myself and others to gather the documents, photographs, music, writings, and histories of the Latter-day Saints of Alberta, Canada, from the earliest years of the Church in Alberta to the present. While in its infancy, my hope is for the Project to motivate a serious scholarly conversation and to build a community around the legacy of Albertan Mormons within their contexts at a national level, within western history, and Church history.
- Book of Abraham Project redesign
- I’ve been working over the years with WVS on a new interface for BOAP. This is one of many versions we’ve played around with using. Click on “Brigham Young” to see a more built out idea for browsing sermons (Note: this is pre-documentary editing of the sermons).
- Priesthood line of authority
- A fun little design for displaying priesthood lines of authority
- Book of Mormon Wiki
- I wanted to document the various editions, scholarship, and persons involved with the Book of Mormon. This may be defunct as the FAIR wiki has a lot of good stuff already. A hat tip to Blair Hodges!
- Mormon Publications Index
- We’re indexing all of the Mormon blogs we can find so far. Twentieth century oddities are next on the list.
- I also made this:
I have had a very positive response from others about the Saints of Alberta Project. I have received fascinating documents and photos (digital surrogates) from complete strangers which will be featured on the site soon.
I have several other projects in the pipeline, and I’ll be sharing them with you shortly. I am very excited to share these ideas with you and link up others working on similar efforts. I should also note that I recently graduated with my MLIS and am now looking for work… from my in-laws’ home .
I am determined that Mormon history can blossom even further in this century with more openness, more open source, and more collaboration. So whether they be micro, small, or large scale projects the future is bright and the day dawn is breaking.