A comment made to my last post about the BYU Family History Library pointed out that the entire BYU Library collection was outstanding. In Salt Lake City area and 45 miles south in Provo, there are two major universities, each with outstanding collections of historical books, photographs and manuscripts.
The collection of historical records and documents in the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library is outstanding and has nearly 500,000 square feet of building space. In 2006, the Library had over 2 million volumes. The Manuscripts Division houses more than 1600 unpublished historical collections of the University of Utah. These fully processed materials are accompanied by detailed finding aids. Collections are available for on-site use by students, researchers and members of the local community. The collections include personal and business papers, diaries, autobiographies and correspondence. The digital collection has 5.7 million files with 350,000 newspaper pages in 40 titles. Other digital collections include over 200,000 objects. One of the most useful is the Utah Digital Newspapers project, a completely indexed collection of Utah newspapers dating back to the earliest settlers, free and online for searching.
The Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University has over 9 million items, including over 3,700,000 books and over 3,000,000 microforms. Over 3 million people a year use the library. The L. Tom Perry Special Collections holds 375,000 rare books and print matter, over 1.2 million photographs and 11,000 unique manuscript and archival collections. The library also offers numerous exhibits, lectures, tours and conferences related to its holdings.. The current library has about 98 miles of shelving for the more than 6 million items in its various collections. In addition to the increase in collection space, the library also has a seating capacity of 4,600 people and is the equivalent of 2½ football fields from North to South. With over 10,000 patrons entering the building each day, the Harold B. Lee Library has grown significantly from the small collection that began in Principal Maeser’s office.
With the huge collection in the Family History Library, Salt Lake and Provo have a massive amount of historical material for study.