Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » LDS Archives Closure (Announcement)

LDS Archives Closure (Announcement)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - October 09, 2008

For years, the LDS Church History Library and LDS Archives have been housed in the east wing of the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City. A new building — specially built to support the weight of materials, equipped according to all the latest ideas of preservation, and with space to allow the collections to expand — has been under construction just across the street from the Church Office Building.

The new Library/Archives building is slated to be turned over by the contractor to the owner next spring. In order to move and organize the huge masses of stored material from the old to the new site, the Library and Archives will be closed for an anticipated 90 days, a period now estimated to begin in mid-May (the date is flexible, depending on construction delays or advances). This means that no research can be conducted on site, nor patriarchal blessings searched, nor questions answered by staff, during those 90 days.

Those who have submitted proposals for papers at the Mormon History Association meeting next May should be especially alert to the fact that this closure will come a month or six weeks before the meeting — don’t be caught short! Don’t leave your archives research to the last minute, and do request your illustrations as early as possible.

And if you’re planning a research trip now, be aware that preparations for the move have been going on for months. Many materials are already in storage and cannot be accessed, and sometimes the atmosphere of the research room is chaotic, with books being shifted from one end of the room to another and an army of workers barcoding and scanning tens of thousands of open stacks items. Be prepared.



  1. I hope this will not affect the frequency of your posts!

    Comment by Rick — October 9, 2008 @ 9:03 am

  2. Not a chance, Rick — although you might get another glimpse into my mother’s recipe file or something, if I need to stretch my reserve of stories …

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 9, 2008 @ 9:23 am

  3. Thanks for the heads-up, Ardis. It doesn’t effect me way out here in OH, but it’s great to have the word out early to everyone for whom it will matter.

    Comment by Ray — October 9, 2008 @ 9:24 am

  4. Interesting, was I actually in my Masters program as planned I might be cursing but…yeah. So hope all goes well.

    Comment by Jon W — October 9, 2008 @ 9:42 am

  5. For some reasons I didn’t expect the closure to be 90 days. Wow. Good thing it is after the schoolyear, and hopefully most of my research, is done.

    Comment by Ben — October 9, 2008 @ 9:45 am

  6. The post title frightened me. For a minute I thought Leonard Arrington had been fired all over again.

    Comment by Last Lemming — October 9, 2008 @ 9:51 am

  7. Great, Ardis! We’ll have the guest bedroom clean and ready for your visit mid-May!

    Comment by Researcher — October 9, 2008 @ 10:11 am

  8. Ha! I didn’t think about possible interpretations of the post title, and was expecting this to be only a perfunctory notice for the few people it might affect.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 9, 2008 @ 10:18 am

  9. Thanks for the notice. I guess I’d better get cracking on a Winter- rather than a Spring-Break trip. It is so much more fun to travel in the snow anyway.

    Comment by Edje — October 9, 2008 @ 10:33 am

  10. Hi,
    This is totally unrelated. I’ve loved seeing your posts and comments all over the bloggernacle, but darn it, something’s been troubling me. How do you pronounce your last name? Is it like “parcel” or “partial” or “pars-hall” or “par-shawl” or “pair-sail” or AAAAAHHH! What the heck is it? I can’t take not knowing anymore!

    Comment by HeidiAnn — October 9, 2008 @ 1:00 pm

  11. :) It’s Par’-shull — like partial, or Marshall, with stress on the first syllable. And Ardis is Ar’-dus — like Ardeth exthept that my mother didn’t lithp.

    But understandably, I’ve heard just about every version and answer to most of them.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 9, 2008 @ 1:15 pm

  12. I’ve been saying “Parshall” wrong for years—but mostly to a computer screen. Oops. And sorry.

    Comment by Edje — October 9, 2008 @ 1:29 pm

  13. The computer screen and I both forgive you.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 9, 2008 @ 1:47 pm

  14. When I saw the title, I was hoping it would throw you into a rant about the archives again. That was a fun one. :-)

    Thanks for the heads-up on the archives. I didn’t have a trip planned for this summer anyway, but now that I know it won’t be open, I won’t be planning any.

    Comment by Steve C. — October 9, 2008 @ 2:13 pm

  15. I could have given you a great rant about some aspects of this a couple of weeks ago, Steve, when I first heard the closing would be this long, but I’ve become jaded. People needed to know so they could plan their trips, but somebody up the food chain wanted to try to keep it all quiet so that they wouldn’t be embarrassed if the date slipped a little due to construction delays.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 9, 2008 @ 3:23 pm

  16. Ardis, I will await your sharing of traditional recipes with just as much eager anticipation. Thanks for all you do.

    Comment by Jim Cobabe — October 9, 2008 @ 3:39 pm

  17. When I read the title I thought of the “Prophesies of Unreliable Provenance” we discussed earlier. There was one that claimed that life in Salt Lake city would be so bad that the Church Archives would have to be removed for safety. And that anyone who didn’t have the common sense to have already left town would be in BIG trouble. I guess across the street doesn’t count.

    Comment by BruceC — October 9, 2008 @ 3:43 pm

  18. Thanks for the heads up, again. Are the archive items still available for research? I am planning to come down in a couple of weeks, as soon as I think I can get on my operated on foot again. I can overlook the confusion with the library if I can get into the reading room with a microfilm.

    I’m with you. It’s hard for me to think it would take three months to make the move, especially if they are starting to work on things now.

    Comment by Maurine — October 9, 2008 @ 4:55 pm

  19. Maurine, they’re available, at least on microfilm. It’s the originals that have been packed up (at least, in my experience with requests) and are unavailable. And if you can put up with the constant electronic beep-beep of the scanners reading the barcodes on every item, then you’ll do just fine.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 9, 2008 @ 5:49 pm

  20. The DesNews just announced that the Church will soon allow the online retrieval of patriarchal blessings:,5143,705257109,00.html

    Comment by Rick — October 22, 2008 @ 10:16 am

  21. Yeah, that’s good news. I knew they had been working toward that, but I hadn’t known they were anywhere near this close. That will certainly be easier and more convenient for members everywhere, and will save many a frustrated search for parking in downtown SLC! Thanks for providing the link.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 22, 2008 @ 10:34 am

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