Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Professional Services

Professional Services

By: Ardis E. Parshall - May 24, 2010

I am a historian and researcher specializing in the collections at the LDS Church History Library in Salt Lake City, with access to other rich archives (University of Utah, Brigham Young University, Utah State Archives, Utah State Historical Society, and others). My clients are typically top-rank scholars of Mormon and Utah history whose professional lives are too full to allow them time to sift through ever-expanding archival holdings for the relevant documents and new voices they need for their work.

Why I may be useful to your projects:

  • I read widely in all types of original sources, and have studied Latter-day Saint and Utah history, primarily, full time for more than 15 years.
  • I have transcribed many tens of thousands of pages of 19th century holographic material. I can read most such material easily and can transcribe it as rapidly (150+ wpm) and as accurately as if it had been typewritten text.
  • I have practical experience as a historian in my own right. My very first published article (“’Pursue, Retake & Punish’: The 1857 Santa Clara Ambush,” Utah Historical Quarterly 73:1 (Winter 2005), 64-86) won the Dale L. Morgan Award from the Utah State Historical Society. One client refers frequently to my “hunting instincts” – I somehow recognize that an obscure statement is important long before I realize exactly how it fits into the overall picture.
  • I have the patience to search large, unindexed record collections (minute books, newspapers, ledgers, correspondence) to find material invisible to less-patient scholars or their student assistants.
  • While I generally do not do genealogical research for hire, I am a skilled genealogist using the techniques of that field to locate documents and identify personal connections which are often overlooked by more traditional historians.
  • I have a great deal of experience translating between “Mormon speak” and the wider culture, so that clients without a background in Mormonism understand the nuances and sometimes inscrutable language of 19th century Mormonism.


AEParshall [at] AOL [dot] com


I will search my databases of transcribed materials for names and keywords suitable to your project.

One such database is a transcription of approximately 80% of the incoming and outgoing correspondence in the Brigham Young papers. While the Church History Library catalog can tell you whether your person of interest wrote to or received a letter from Brigham Young, that catalog cannot tell you whether your target is discussed in the letters of others. I can.


Negotiable, based on the type of work requested and the skills required. Typically I work on a project-fee basis rather than an hourly rate.

Transcription rate: 12¢ per typed line (10-pt. type, 1-inch margins) for reasonably legible English-language documents.


For research and writing samples, see here.


For a sampling of unusual acknowledgments in the published works of satisfied clients, see here.


No Comments

No comments yet.