Digitized Publications Available from Utah Archives

By July 8, 2019

This post will focus on digitized periodicals and publications available through Utah archives related to Mormon history. All of these sources are very helpful for doing research, both in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in particular has a rich history of magazines, though many of these magazines ended in 1970 with the push towards correlation and consolidation. Even though this post is focused on publications, I will also include a few other helpful links and materials. Before I get going, I want to express my gratitude to all the archivists and employees at so many archives who worked to make this material available. These are such rich sources, and being able to access so many remotely is just awesome. And it wouldn’t be possible without all the labor these people put in.

Just a quick note about some other resources before I dive into the periodicals. There are many archives in Utah that are continually gathering and digitizing more materials that are very helpful to research: The University of Utah (including Century of Black Mormons, Aileen H Clyde 20th Century Women’s Legacy Archive, and J Willard Marriott Library Special Collections more broadly); Utah Division of State History (including their special collections library and a great deal of digital collections, and they also have the Utah Historical Quarterly which has great articles); Utah State University; and Brigham Young University (they are digitizing many materials related to Mormonism in 19th and 20th centuries, more below). Much is being digitized through the Church History Library. And many of these materials are beyond just periodicals. They have been updating their catalog system recently, and they just fixed the problem they had with downloading digital files. You can now download full PDFs again, not just individual images, in their catalog of digitized material.

So, without further ado, here are the highlights on publications.

*Utah Digital Newspapers*

This newspaper site is super helpful. It includes the Deseret News (and the Evening News and Weekly), the Salt Lake Tribune, and many other Utah papers on here. Some don’t go all the way to the present. The website does give details on what years are covered. For those later dates, you will need to go look at microfilm copies, either at the Church History Library, U of U Marriott Library, also Utah State Archives, BYU, and possibly other local libraries in the state.

The Woman’s Exponent was also just added to UDN, which is great because that makes it easier to search. This was the publication for the Relief Society and the women more broadly in the church (1872-1914), and is a very important source for women’s history. More on the WE farther down.

*On archive.org (in partnership between BYU and CHL)*

This landing page on archive.org is very helpful for periodicals from the LDS Church. It includes links to the Improvement Era, The Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star, the Juvenile Instructor, the Instructor, and the Contributor. The Millennial Star was the church publication for the British Isles (1840-1970). The Juvenile Instructor was the publication for children originally, and then became the publication for the Sunday School (1866-1929). It was renamed the Instructor in 1929 (1929-1970). The Contributor was the first publication for the Mutual Improvement Associations (1879-1896). It was then replaced by the Improvement Era (1897-1970), which was the official publication for the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association. At the end of 1929 the Young Woman’s Journal combined with the Improvement Era to be the publication for both of the MIA organizations. More on the Young Woman’s Journal farther down.

You can also find the Relief Society Magazine here (1914-1970), a great place to find a variety of cool sources and materials. The Relief Society Magazine is also available through BYU, more below.

And one last highlight on this site are the Conference Reports for the church, reporting on General Conference sessions and talks (1880-2011).

A quick pro-tip for searching these digital publications on Archive.org. Towards the top of the page, you have the option on how to sort the materials. Make sure you sort by date published. This will make it much easier to find the particular years and issues you are interested in. Most of these publications are included on here in large PDFs by year. 

*BYU Collections*

BYU has a great deal of helpful materials on their website, including a landing page for their digital collections. Some of the highlights are their materials on Mormon publications in the 19th and 20th centuries. I can’t mention all the cool stuff they have on those landing pages, but they include things such as the Women of Mormondom book. They also have the Woman’s Exponent available digitally. The Young Woman’s Journal (1889-1929), the publication for the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association, is also here. BYU also has a Relief Society Magazine index that is helpful for searching particular terms and items. The LDS Messenger and Advocate and the Millennial Star are also on here. Some material put together by Andrew Jensen is also on here, including an Encyclopedic History of the Church, and the LDS Biographical EncyclopediaJournal of Discourses is also available. And finally, even though it’s not a publication, the Mormon Missionary Diaries that BYU has digitized are pretty cool, too.

Again, this is just a quick review, mainly focusing on publications and periodicals. Please feel free to include other resources in the comments that you have found useful. 

Article filed under From the Archives Miscellaneous Research Tools


  1. This is wonderful, C. Back in the day we had a sidebar link to primary sources. This would be good to put back up. It really is remarkable how easy it is to access these materials now.

    Here are a few more, and it should be noted that Google books will often have stuff so it is always worth checking out.

    Also from Archive.org (in fact the CHL’s Archive.org page is very useful):

    Te Karere (New Zealand).

    The Southern Star (Southern Sates Mission).

    German, Scandanavian, and Dutch periodicals.

    Norwegian periodicals.

    Family Search Books can also frequently yield useful publications access. You need a FamilySearch account, and sometimes you need to be at an actual Family History Library, but most of the time the materials are readily available from home. It is better for things like family histories and diaries, but there are some useful publications, e.g., The Gealogical and Historical Magazine of the Arizona Temple District. It is more useful than it sounds. This digital collection has gone from the Family History Library to BYU to the CHL and back several times, and the current search features aren’t the best, but still very useful.

    Comment by J. Stapley — July 8, 2019 @ 10:49 am

  2. Thanks for this, C! Fantastic collection of resources

    Comment by Jeff T — July 8, 2019 @ 11:42 am

  3. I forgot to include Signature Books’ contributions to Archive.org, which includes many important periodicals.

    There is also “Uncle Dale’s” transcripts of early materials.

    Comment by J. Stapley — July 8, 2019 @ 11:46 am

  4. A few more:

    Hathi Trust, like google books, is always a good place to check for items. They now house the “Making of America” collections, and include many Mormon books and periodicals.

    BYU is archiving a lot of stuff at the BYU Scholars Archive including all the old FARMS stuff, along with various other Mormon-related content.

    The USHS has some tools available to search the UHQ, county histories, photos, and other documents.

    Comment by J. Stapley — July 8, 2019 @ 12:04 pm

  5. …and one last one. All of the relevant University digital collections are worth checking out (though as you note BYU’s is the most impressive and developed). But I have found the UU digital collection to be particularly useful.

    Comment by J. Stapley — July 8, 2019 @ 12:23 pm

  6. Thanks for all those helpful additions, J Stapley!

    Comment by C Terry — July 8, 2019 @ 5:36 pm

  7. This is great and deserves wide circulation. (And J. Stapley’s amazing.)

    Comment by Gary Bergera — July 9, 2019 @ 8:43 am

  8. C. Terry & J. Stapley:
    Thanks for these outstanding posts!

    Comment by Matt Harris — July 9, 2019 @ 8:51 am

  9. It’s not just the Scandinavian, German and Dutch publications that are available. Almost all the foreign language publications in the Church History Library are available on archive.org.

    Do I dare point out that this has been true for about a decade? I thought this was fairly well known…

    Comment by Kent S Larsen II — July 9, 2019 @ 4:42 pm

  10. BYU also scanned the Exponent II and it’s available on archive.org.

    Comment by Rachel Helps — July 11, 2019 @ 2:53 pm


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