SALT LAKE CITY — The
First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints broke ground for a new Church History Library in
Salt Lake City.
This new library will incorporate updated technology and
significantly increase archival storage capacity to preserve
Church records. The library will house nearly 25 miles of
shelving containing books, pamphlets, journals, manuscripts,
photographs, microfilm, microfiche, audiovisual items and
other published and unpublished works.
When completed, scholars, Church members and other
researchers will enjoy expanded research facilities and
enhanced access to Church historical collections.
President Gordon B. Hinckley offered remarks and a
dedicatory prayer on the building site at the northeast
corner of the intersection of North Temple and Main streets.
President Thomas S. Monson and President James E. Faust, his
counselors in the First Presidency, also spoke briefly.
More than 400 invited guests attended the event,
including general authorities, local government officials
and employees and missionaries of the Church history
divisions of the Family and Church History Department.
In his remarks, President Hinckley explained that Church
historians have kept careful records since the Church’s
founding in 1830. He expressed “gratitude and appreciation
that the custodians of the records of the Church through all
of the years of its existence have been so conscientious and
dutiful and helpful and devoted in every respect.”
In keeping with the historic significance of the day,
President Hinckley turned the first spade of earth with a
small fireplace shovel made by Brigham Young, second
president of the Church. The shovel was used by Elder G.
Homer Durham, then serving as Church historian and recorder,
in the 1984 groundbreaking ceremony for the Museum of Church
History and Art.
MHTN Architects, Inc., a Salt Lake City-based firm, has
designed the new library to visually complement the
Conference Center across Main Street to its west. MHTN and
specialists from the Family and Church History Department
have consulted with international experts in records
preservation and archival design to ensure that this
facility will employ best-available lighting, humidity and
temperature controls, as well as fire and seismic
Jacobsen/Swinerton, a joint venture, will serve as
general contractor for the building. Construction will begin
later this year, and completion is scheduled for late 2007.
Click here to listen to sound clips