Seminars

We ♥ Little Women: 150 Years of Publishing and Design History
Maggie Kopp
Beloved children’s classic Little Women turns 150 this year! An instant hit, Louisa May Alcott’s novel (and its sequel, Good Wives) has been reprinted, and thus re-interpreted, by generations of publishers, book designers, and illustrators. Building a collection around a single title is a fun strategy for gathering examples of historical trends in book design and marketing, and this seminar will feature dozens of editions of Little Women to compare, from editions printed in Alcott’s lifetime to art deco bindings, movie tie-ins, and board books. Whether you’re a Little Women superfan, a dust jacket enthusiast, or simply curious about book design, there will be something for every collector!

Mormon Hymnals
Myrna Layton
Something old, something new; something borrowed…this could describe the hymns we find in our current LDS hymnal. Hymns can be as old as the Emma Smith hymnbook of 1835. Hymns can be as new as the 1985 hymnal, or even newer—The Ensign includes new hymns occasionally, the newest one being “Come to the Temple” in the January 2018 issue. Hymns can be borrowed from very old sources, such as “All Creatures of our God and King,” tracing its roots to St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), or from more recent sources, such as “Because I have Been Given Much,” which dates to 1975, though we didn’t borrow it until 1985.  Come and explore the rich tradition of LDS Hymnals past and present, domestic and foreign, old and new, borrowed and homegrown.

Noble Fragments: Collecting Leaf Books
Russ Taylor
Book desecration or book adornment? For hundreds of years, people have been fragmenting books to enhance other books. We’ll look at the practice, especially as it applies to the leaf book, a fairly modern way of sharing – destroying? – rare books. From the L. Tom Perry Perry Special Collections’ many examples, we’ll examine this interesting genre of books featuring pages from a variety of older volumes ranging from incunabula to The Book of Mormon.

Early Utah Paper
Richard Saunders
Despite being a desert, the Salt Lake valley was the site of the first paper production west of the Mississippi river.  Drawing on years of study, Saunders discusses the origin, personalities, technical challenges, and industrial decisions involved in Utah paper making, and eventually its spectacular demise.  Participants will get hands-on experience with some of the historic papers produced in the valley between 1854 and 1893.

More than Green Jell-O and Funeral Potatoes:
Collecting LDS Recipes and Cookbooks
Greg Seppi and John Murphy
For decades, Latter-day Saints have produced cookbooks in their branches, wards, stakes, and missions. Compiled from recipes sometimes passed down through families for generations, these books offer a window into the eating habits of the past. Though they are generally associated with the LDS Relief Society today, Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Associations produced the earliest examples of Mormon cookbooks in L. Tom Perry Special Collections. While the recipes within are not always palatable or perhaps even edible (salmon jello, anyone?), they offer vivid windows into Mormon food culture, or “foodways.”

This class will discuss the history of Mormon cookbooks, including the purposes behind their creation, their value for researchers, and the cultural influences that come through in the recipes. We will also explore the contributions of legendary Lion House hostess Angie Earl to Mormon food culture. Attendees can expect to delve into topics such as marginalia and evidence of use in cookbooks, and the importance of scrapbooks and handwritten recipes in documenting the culture of the past. We would ask that you please bring a family recipe or a favorite cookbook if you register for this class.

The Vices and Virtues of Mormon Fiction
Dainan Skeem and Gerrit van Dyk
After decades of settlement in the Great Salt Lake Valley, the children of the pioneers, who had not known the hardships of their parent’s lives, began looking to novels for escapism from “their apparent Rocky Mountain provincialism.”  The leaders of the Church eventually recognized that there was no way to eradicate the novel from their homes. Instead, they embraced the idea of Mormons writing fiction in such a way as to build the testimonies of the youth of the Church, satisfying their craving for a good story while still teaching Gospel principles. The earliest example of Mormon fiction would be Parley P. Pratt’s pamphlet “A Dialogue between Joseph Smith and the Devil” written in 1844, a few months prior to the martyrdom of the Prophet. This and other Mormon fiction (see the list of selected works on our website) will be reviewed and discussed in this session. For the purpose of this presentation, the presenters have decided to focus on fictive works depicting Mormons written by Mormons.

Bazaar Exhibit Gallery Stroll
Leslee Thorne-Murphy
Have you ever attended a charity bazaar, or donated goods to be sold?  These philanthropic markets have their roots in the world of Dickens’s Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol.  Charity bazaars were a product of a massive nineteenth-century philanthropic undertaking in the United Kingdom, as private citizens attempted to respond to the social ills that a rapidly industrializing economy had created.  Typically organized by women, large-scale charity bazaars featured dozens of booths selling handmade goods, and they featured attractions such as restaurants, musical performances, and dramatic productions.  Bazaars combined the entertainment value of a social gathering and the fun of a town fair, with the moral earnestness of charitable work.  They also left a plentiful print record.  Come see a rich selection of bazaar-related gift books, handicraft manuals, broadsheets, and daily newspapers published to be sold at bazaars, culled from the Victorian holdings of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library.

Thomas Exhibit Gallery Stroll
Peter Thomas and Bob Maxwell
Join Peter Thomas in the Auditorium Gallery on level 1 for a tour of works by Peter and Donna Thomas.

Collecting, Preserving, and Inspiring: L. Tom Perry Special Collections
Ryan Lee
Did you know BYU houses the papers of Hyrum Smith, Newel K. Whitney, James E. Talmage, Cecil B. DeMille, and Jimmy Stewart? Do you know when, how, and why these were acquired? Did you know that L. Tom Perry Special Collections had its beginning nearly 100 years ago?  Did you know that an item from L. Tom Perry Special Collections was recently featured on a salsa label?  Did you know our curators provide many opportunities for students to have hands-on interactions with our treasures?  If you answered “no” to any of these questions, or if they even piqued your interest, you will want to come take a stroll through a new exhibit on the 3rd floor with co-curator Ryan Lee to learn more.  Participants will hopefully come away with a better understanding of the mission of L. Tom Perry Special Collections to collect and preserve rare and unique items, and make these items accessible to inspire students, faculty, and patrons of the Lee Library from across the globe.

The History of the Doctrine and Covenants
Mike MacKay
The development of Mormon revelatory scripture has an amazing history found with the material culture of books and documents. Slips of papers slide inside journals and histories eventually became printed scripture. The print culture of the Doctrine Covenants is riddled with councils, votes, and massive changes, making each edition embrace a marvelous story, often filled with controversy and change. We will be examining these editions and the creation of the Mormon scriptural canon by looking at the history the Doctrine and Covenants through books.