William E. Berrett papers

William E. Berrett papers

Dates: 1836-1993

Contains correspondence, speeches, a biography, and an autobiography. The materials relate to Berrett's work with the Utah Committee on Children and Youth, his research on the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' relationships with African-Americans, and various documents pertaining to his career as a professor at Brigham Young University, his time in Fairbanks, Alaska. Also included is Berett's autobiography and a biography of B. H. Roberts, the Mormon historian. Materials dated 1836-1993.

  • Extent: 14 boxes (7 linear ft.). -- 15 cartons (15 linear ft.). -- 4 oversize boxes (6 linear ft.). -- 4 oversize folders (0.4 linear ft)
  • Creator: Berrett, William E. (William Edwin)
  • Call Number: MSS 1955
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; 20th 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
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from must the William E. Berrett papers obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Preferred Citation
Initial citation: MSS 1955; William E. Berrett papers; 20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citations: MSS 1955, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Donated by Grace Colton Berrett, daughter-in-law of William E. Berrett, in 2016.
Acquisition Information
Donated; Grace Colton Berrett; November 2016.
Subject Terms
Politics, Government, and Law; Public Works; Race--Religious aspects--Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--History--Sources; Biography--20th century; Biography--19th century; Mormon authors--Correspondence; Berrett, William E. (William Edwin)
Genre / Form
Autobiographies; Letters
Processing Information
Processed; Andrea Wyss, student manuscript processor, and John M. Murphy, curator; 2011. Processed; Eric Wolford, student manuscript processor, and John M. Murphy, curator; 2017.
Appraisal Information
Utah and the American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (20th century Western & Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy, 5.VII, 2007).
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Berrett (William E.) papers
Finding Aid Author
Andrea Wyss
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2017-06-10 12:07:02 -0600.
Finding Aid Language
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

William E. Berrett (1902-1993) was an attotney, professor and administrater, author and a Patriarch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah.

William Edwin Berrett was born to Heber H. Berrett and Ellen E. Walker in Midvale, Utah on June 2, 1902. Having graduated from Jordan High School, he received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Utah in 1924 which he used to work as a principal of the LDS Seminary in Roosevelt, Utah. In 1926, while working on his law degree at the University of Utah, he married Eleanore Louise Callister in the Salt Lake Temple.

After graduating with a law degree, Berrett worked in a variety of positions between 1935-1947. This included being an editor for the Church Education System's curriculum development department, an author of two books ("The Restored Church" and "Readings in LDS Church History"), a special prosecutor for Utah's Office of Price Administration, an assistent U.S. Attorney in Alaska, opening a private practice in Salt Lake City, and serving as a member of the Deseret Sunday School Union's General Board. In 1947, he was hired by Brigham Young University to serve as a faculty member in two departments (Church History and the ROTC) and was shortly after appointed to serve as the Vice President of BYU and the CES in 1953. He continued to serve in the Seminary and Institute programs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints until they were separated from BYU in 1965, and after serving as the head of Seminaries, Institutes, and all the non-BYU Church-run colleges, he finally retired in 1972 to work on a three-volume history of the Church Educational System which was later published in 1988 as the one-volume history "A Miracle in Week-day Education." This all happened while he and his wife raised their four children.

After retirement, Berrett finished his life serving as a patriarch of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. December 2, 1993, he passed away in Utah.

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John Murphy
Curator - 20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts