B. H. Roberts collection

B. H. Roberts collection

Dates: 1870-1927

Photocopies of correspondence, literary manuscripts, newspaper clippings, and diaries. Also included are books with marginal notations. The materials relate to Roberts' research and writing.

  • Extent: 6 boxes (3 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Roberts, B. H. (Brigham Henry), 1857-1933
  • Call Number: MSS 1430
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84602; http://sc.lib.byu.edu/
  • Access Restrictions: Open for public research.
Languages and Scripts
Arranged in thirteen series: 1. B.H. Roberts biography, undated. 2. B.H. Roberts books, 1884-1907 (alphabetical by title). 3. B.H. Roberts correspondence, circa 1877-1927 (alphabetical by correspondent and then chronological). 4. B.H. Roberts ecclesiastical papers, circa 1923. 5. B.H. Roberts journals, 1882-1893, 1917-1918 (chronological). 6. B.H. Roberts manuscript materials, undated (alphabetical). 7. B.H. Roberts military papers, undated. 8. B.H. Roberts newspaper clippings, undated. 9. B.H. Roberts notebooks, circa 1904. 10. B.H. Roberts personal papers, undated. 11. B.H. Roberts political papers, undated. 12. B.H. Roberts vocational papers, undated. 13. B.H. Roberts assorted papers, undated.
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from B.H. Roberts collection must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Preferred Citation
Initial Citation: MSS 1430; B.H. Roberts collection; 19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following Citations: MSS 1430, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Some of the xerox materials in the collection came to the Harold B. Lee Library through the graces of the University of Utah, where the originals are housed. Other materials were received from Dr. Truman G. Madsen of the Brigham Young University faculty. Dr. Madsen received the bulk of the originial materials which he contributed from the Roberts family.
Acquisition Information
Donated; Dr. Truman G. Madsen. Donated; University of Utah.
Separated Material
Photographs transferred to the Photograph Archives. A list of these photographs is found on the printed version of the finding aid available in the repository.
Other Finding Aids
File-level inventory available online. http://files.lib.byu.edu/ead/XML/MSS1430.xml
Related Material
Two copies of the booklet "The Seventies Correspondence School" were placed in Special Collections.
Subject Terms
Authors, American--Utah--History; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Religion; Historians--Utah--History
Genre / Form
Diaries; Letters; Newspapers
Processing Information
Processed; Hyrum L. Andrus; 1974.
Appraisal Information
19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts.
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Roberts (B. H.) collection
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Hyrum L. Andrus
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2014-03-09T04:17-0600
Finding Aid Language
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

Brigham Henry Roberts, son of Benjamin Roberts and Ann Everington, was born in Warrington, Lancashire, England in 1857. His parents both joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that same year although Roberts was not baptized until 1867 after his arrival in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1878 Roberts married Sarah Louisa Smith and shortly thereafter was ordained a Seventy and called to serve a mission in Iowa and Nebraska. He was later transferred to Tennessee for health reasons. Further church service included a mission to England and a calling as one of the seven presidents of the First Council of the Seventy.

Roberts participated in polygamy and after his marriage to Sarah Smith subsequently married Celia Dibble and Dr. Margaret Curtis Shipp. This practice led to legal problems and Roberts spent several months in prision on charges of unlawful cohabitation. He likewise was denied a seat in the House of Representatives due to his practice of polygamy.

Roberts, however, is perhaps best known for his theological and religious writings. He wrote a six volume work called a Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Century I which was published in 1930 and covered many of the religious developments in the formation of the church in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Other writings include several treatises on the origins of the Book of Mormon which remain in debate today as to Roberts' purposes in defense of or denial of the divine origins of the book.

Other remarkable accomplishments include Roberts' career as editor of The Contributor, his role in establishing the Improvement Era, and his service as a chaplain in the Utah National Guard during WWI.

In his later years, from 1922 to 1927, Roberts served as the president of the Eastern States Mission. He died in 1933 due to complications of diabetes.

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Ryan Lee
Curator - 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts