James R. Clark papers

James R. Clark papers

Dates: 1824-1984

This collection contains materials used by James R. Clark in writing the several volumes of "Messages of the First Presidency." The material covers the time period between 1824 and 1984. Also contained within the collection are several drafts of each of the volumes, drafts of "The Story of the Pearl of Great Price", audio reels and books on Native Americans, and etc.

  • Extent: 11 cartons (11 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Clark, James R. (James Ratcliffe), 1910
  • Call Number: MSS 2295
  • 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
English
Arrangement
The collection consists of five series: 1. James R. Clark index card boxes, undated; 2. James R. Clark publications, 1886-1984; 3. James R. Clark newspaper clippings about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1824-1971; 4. James R. Clark 5 x 8" and 3 x 5" index card boxes, 1951-1970; and 5. James R. Clark publications II, 1916-1955, 1970-1974.
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the James R. Clark collection must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the Special Collections Board of Curators.
Preferred Citation
Initial Citation: MSS 2295; James R. Clark papers; 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following Citations: MSS 2295, LTPSC.
Custodial History
The collection was donated to the Harold B. Lee Library of BYU in 1990 by Dr. James R. Clark, the creator of the collection.
Acquisition Information
Donated; Dr. James R. Clark; 1990.
Bibliography
Who’s Who in Religion. Wilmette, Illinois: Marquis Who's Who, 1985. Clark, James Bruce. “The Life and Works of James Ratcliffe Clark, Ed. D.” Brigham Young High School, 1963.
Other Finding Aids
File-level inventory available online. http://files.lib.byu.edu/ead/XML/MSS2295.xml
Subject Terms
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. First Presidency; Clark, James R. (James Ratcliffe), 1910---Archives; Smoot, Reed, 1862-1941; Church Government; Mormonism (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints); Religion; Indians of North America; Indians of South America; Mormon Church--History; Nauvoo (Ill.); Palmyra (N.Y.); Pearl of Great Price; Provo (Utah); Salt Lake City (Utah)
Genre / Form
Audiotapes; Notes; Research (Document genres)
Processing Information
Processed; David J. Whittaker, Judi Crisp, and Erin Chapman; 2001.
Appraisal Information
19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts.
Finding Aid ID Number
UPB_MSS2295
Finding Aid Title
Clark (James R.) papers
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by David J. Whittaker, Judi Crisp, and Erin Chapman
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-07-08T12:29-0600
Finding Aid Language
English
Sponsor
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

James Ratcliffe Clark, born February 2, 1910 to Edwin Marcellus Clark and Matilda Curtis Ratcliffe. He served in many areas at BYU from 1938-1975, including Chairman of Student Employment and professor of history and religion. He served as Professor of Religious Instruction at BYU from 1963-1975, and then continued to teach at BYU as an Emeritus Professor of Religion. During his career, he published six volumes of Messages of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and ten editions of The Story of the Pearl of Great Price. He died on March 13, 1995.

James R. Clark

James Ratcliffe Clark was born on February 2, 1910 in Grantsville, Utah, to Edwin Marcellus Clark and Matilda Curtis Ratcliffe, as the youngest of six children. He attended school as a child, and graduated from Grantsville High School in 1928. That fall, he enrolled in the LDS (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Business College in Salt Lake City. One year later, he was called to serve an LDS mission to Great Britain. He returned from his mission in January of 1932, and began working on his father’s farm to earn money to go to school at Brigham Young University (BYU). He ran out of money after only one quarter of school, however, and had to quit. He returned in the fall of 1933 and was able to graduate from BYU in June of 1936.

From 1936-1938, Clark worked as the principal of the Lovell-Cowley, Wyoming LDS Seminary and as a teacher in both communities. During his time in Wyoming, he married a young woman by the name of Helen Virginia Jorgensen, whom he had met while at BYU. He and Helen married on October 6, 1937. While serving as principal of the Seminary, he received an invitation from President Franklin S. Harris to join the faculty of Brigham Young University. The offer surprised Clark, since he had never applied for employment at BYU. He accepted, and for the next five years, from 1938-1943, he worked as assistant in the BYU Library. He began his formal training in Library Science at the University of Denver, where he received a post-graduate degree, in the summer of 1940.

During World War II, Clark was invited to teach American History to recruits in the Army Specialized Training Program, during their period of basic training in a unit established on the University campus. In 1945, he was granted a sabbatical leave of absence from BYU to do graduate work in American History at Harvard University.

After returning from Harvard, Clark was appointed Chairman of Student Employment at Brigham Young University. He also began teaching history and religion. His employment as Chairman of Student Employment was terminated in 1952, although he continued to teach history and religion until 1956. At that time, he went on another sabbatical leave to do graduate work at Utah State University, in the field of education. In 1958, he received his Doctor of Education degree in Educational Administration.

In 1958, Clark returned to BYU and became Assistant Professor of Religious Instruction. Two years later, he was promoted to Associate Professor of Religious Instruction and in 1962 as Acting Chairman of the Department of History and Philosophy of Religion. Clark worked as a Professor of Religious Instruction at BYU from 1963-1975. After he retired in 1975, he continued to teach at BYU as an Emeritus Professor of Religion. During his career, he published several books, including six volumes of Messages of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and ten editions of The Story of the Pearl of Great Price. James Clark died on March 13, 1995.



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Ryan Lee
Curator - 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
ryan_lee@byu.edu