UVA acquires a unique collection of Mormons


Molly Schwartzburg, curator at the University’s Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, said it was the largest collection taken as part of a joint project between Special Collections and Outstanding Collections , noting that approximately two-thirds of this will be put into circulation.

What else does it contain? There is a dictionary of sign language terms for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There is a typewritten and copied newsletter called “Affirmation” for Gay and Lesbian Mormons, Los Angeles Chapter, July 1981. In addition to exceptionally contemporary articles and books, the collection features a comprehensive mix of printed ephemera. rare from various communities, including print materials from LDS faith groups, children’s organizations, missionary magazines around the world, dissident 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 times, including in recent years, have called for her official name to be used, not only out of courtesy, but to more accurately convey her Christian identity. Founded in 1830 in upstate New York by Joseph Smith, the church was one of many who sought to restore the 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 that gave rise to his nickname, The Book of Mormon,” Flake wrote in an email. “Along with the Bible, it is still recognized as a scripture by the church, now headquartered in Salt Lake City, after being pushed by persecution to the far west.”


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