Molly Schwartzburg, a curator with the University’s Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, said this is the largest collection taken in as a joint project between Special Collections and circulating collections, noting that about two-thirds of it will go into circulation.
What else does it contain? There’s a dictionary of Sign Language terms for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There’s a typed-up and copied newsletter, called “Affirmation,” for gay and lesbian Mormons, Los Angeles chapter July 1981. In addition to unusually contemporary items and books, the collection features a comprehensive mix of rare printed ephemera from various communities, including printed materials from LDS church groups, children’s organizations, mission magazines from around the world, splinter sects and even anti-Mormon materials.
Mormons, Then and Now
Originally, the term “Mormon” was used as an insult and gradually absorbed as a nickname for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Flake said. Church leaders at various points in time, including recent years, have asked that its official name be used, not merely as courtesy but as more accurately conveying its Christian identity. Founded in 1830 in upstate New York by Joseph Smith, the church was among the many that sought to restore ancient forms and powers of early Christianity, according to Flake.
“Smith’s restorationism was characterized by a belief in modern revelation, including the new scripture which gave rise to its nickname, The Book of Mormon,” Flake wrote in an email. “Together with the Bible, it is still recognized as scripture by the church, now headquartered in Salt Lake City, after being driven by persecution to the far West.”