Donald K. Nelson oral history

Donald K. Nelson oral history

Dates: 2007

This collection contains two interviews conducted by Brad Westwood during 2007 with Donald K. Nelson. It also contains photocopies of newspaper articles, photographs, and other personal papers that relate to information and stories in the interviews. The audiocassette tapes of the two interviews are also included.

  • Extent: 4 folders (0.25 linear feet)
  • Creator: Nelson, Donald K., 1915. -- Westwood, P. Bradford, 1957
  • Call Number: MSS 6741
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; 21st Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84602;
  • 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 Oral history with Donald K. Nelson 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 6741; Oral history with Donald K. Nelson; 20th and 21st Century Western and Mormon Americana; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citations: MSS 6741, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Interviews given by Brad Westwood during 2007. The other materials were included to supplement the interview.
Acquisition Information
Donated; Donald K. Nelson; 2008.
Subject Terms
Nelson, Donald K., 1915---Interviews; Material Types; Oral Histories; Provo (Utah); Sound Recordings
Genre / Form
Audiocassettes; Photocopies
Processing Information
Processed; Whitney Parry, student assistant; 2009.
Appraisal Information
This collection contains the oral history of Donald K. Nelson a past head librarian for Brigham Young University. It will be added to the 20th and 21st Century Western and Mormon Americana Collection because his history helps illustrate how people in the West lived and how life and BYU has changed over the years. It also shows how libraries have changed over time.
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Nelson (Donald K.), oral history
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Whitney Parry, student assistant
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-07-08T12:40-0600
Finding Aid Language
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

Donald K. Nelson (1915-), PhD, was the Director of Libraries at Brigham Young University from 1966-1980.

Donald K. Nelson was born June 27, 1915 in Idaho. He grew up on a farm in Cedarville, Idaho until around 1923 when his family moved to Weston, Idaho. They lived in Weston for six years and then moved to Preston, Idaho and lived there for four years after which they moved to Logan, Utah in 1933. In 1933 he enrolled in the largest freshman class, up to that time, at Utah State University. He was able to get a job on campus at the library, which was his first experience working at a library, and he worked at a library from then on until he retired. He graduated from Utah State in 1938 with a double major in Accounting and English and a minor in music. He then moved down to Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah to work in their library. During the summers he would live in Denver so he could attend the University of Denver where he got his Master of Library Science and Masters of Business Administration. He got married while attending Utah State, they were married in Logan. In 1949 he accepted a position at the new library on the Eastern Oregon College campus. While working at Eastern Oregon he took two years sabbatical in order to get his doctorate in Library Administration at the University of California-Berkeley. He graduated in 1959. He worked at Eastern Oregon College from 1949 to 1961. In 1961 he was hired by Brigham Young University as the Assistant University Librarian until 1966 when he became the Director of Libraries at BYU, a position he held until he retired in 1980.

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Dainan Skeem
Curator - 21st Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts