PROVO, Utah - BYU Press has announced its publication on DVD of thousands of documents from the Church's archives in Salt Lake City. Two years in production, this electronic database contains more than 400,000 images scanned in full color at high resolution.
"Libraries and researchers everywhere will find this astounding collection unparalleled and unprecedented," said John W. Welch, editor-in-chief of BYU Studies and director of publications for the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History, the principal publishers of the project under the imprint of the BYU Press.
The release includes several of the most important collections in the Church Archives. For example, the collection features 4,000 pages from the papers of Joseph Smith and thousands of pages of incoming and outgoing correspondence of Brigham Young.
The earliest document in this publication dates to 1827. The full Manuscript History of the Church is made accessible here, written from 1839 through 1882. The daily Journal History of the Church is included from its beginning in 1896 up to 1923. Also included are such collections as the diaries of apostle and scientist Orson Pratt; the records of Charles C. Rich, apostle, commander of the Nauvoo Legion and pioneer colonizer; the journals of J. Golden Kimball, and several others. In addition, this publication makes available the original organizational minutes of the Nauvoo Relief Society and the architectural drawings for the Salt Lake and Nauvoo Temples.
"This array of documents will be of historic interest not only to those studying the history of the Church of Jesus Christ, but also to anyone interested in the settlement of the West, native American relationships and religious history in America in the 19th and early 20th centuries," said Brother Welch. "This vast collection will keep historians busy for generations to come."
The images have been scanned and processed by Church employees and Church service missionaries working in the Historical Department of the Church.
Brigham Young University has worked closely with the Church Archives over the years in publishing historical materials in BYU Studies, the university's leading scholarly journal.
For further information and to place orders, please contact BYU Studies or the BYU Press at 403 Clyde Building, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602; (801) 422-6691; byustudies.byu.edu. The price for the two-volume set of 74 DVDs is $1,299, or $699 for the individual volumes.