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About the Collection

Missionary work has been central to the work of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) since its founding in 1830. Many of those who were “called to serve” thankfully kept records of their experiences, primarily in diaries, letters, and photographs. The records kept by those who served missions are windows not only into the work they were performing of preaching the restored gospel and bringing converts into the Church, but also into the cultures of the regions in which they served. Researchers interested in missiology in general or the history of the LDS Church in a specific region of the world, as well as family historians, will find the records of missionaries and their missions an invaluable resource.

This site allows interested researchers to search among thousands of manuscript collections found in BYU’s L. Tom Perry Special Collections related to the history of missionary work in the LDS Church from the 1830s to the present.

Located on the first floor of the Harold B. Lee Library on BYU’s Provo campus, Perry Special Collections houses one of the premier collections of historical documents related to the history missionary work in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including journals, letters, photographs, scrapbooks, autobiographies, and oral histories.

This collection is searchable by keywords, missionary, mission name, geographical region, mission date, collection title, “sister missionary” (female missionaries, including proselyting missionaries, senior missionary couples, and wives of mission presidents) and call number. The site provides descriptive information about relevant items, with links to online finding aids created by Perry Special Collections or catalog records in the Lee Library online catalog when available. If an item has been digitized and posted online, a link to the digital version will also be provided. Search results can be sorted by missionary, mission name, mission dates, region, and call number.

Also provided are links to the missionary’s record on the LDS Church History Department’s Early Mormon Missionaries, 1830-1930 website when available, which is a source for more information about the missionary and often includes links to records on the missionary in the Church History Library.

This site is intended to be a comprehensive collection of all manuscripts and personal papers found in BYU’s Perry Special Collections, expanding on the selective Mormon Missionary Diaries digital collection completed in 2005. However, links to the digital versions of all journals found in the digital collection are included on this site. This site does not include links to online content such as blogs, websites, documents, etc. being captured in the Mormon Missionary web archive.

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