BYU-Idaho Special Collections & Archives collects and acquires material to aid university curriculum and researching in areas of campus and local history. Our holdings include archives, manuscript collections, rare books, and items in our Special Collections. To better understand the difference between archives, manuscripts, and collections, go to About Us.
We collect in the following specific areas:
Materials in this category come from records created by and about Bannock Stake Academy, Ricks Academy, Ricks Normal College, Ricks College, and Brigham Young University-Idaho.
Due to the nature of many campus records, access is restricted to certain groups. See a Special Collections Librarian for information about access. Certain campus records are available for use and have been digitized, including devotionals, yearbooks, campus newpapers, select campus photographs, campus publications, and information about college presidents.
In addition to campus history, we collect material pertaining to the history of the local area, primarily the Upper Snake River Valley. These collections are often donated or otherwise acquired from individuals or organizations that are or were involved in local matters. Manuscripts support campus curriculum in areas such as history, communications, English, genealogy, recreation, religion, geology, geography, and others. Researchers looking at the local area also benefit from these collections. Materials often include memoirs, personal papers, letters, journals and diaries, scrapbooks, oral histories, and photographs.
Due to the nature of these materials the best way to locate items within a collection is to first browse our finding aids. These collections can be small, consisting of only one file folder, or large, being several linear feet of boxes in extent. A finding aid will aid discovery of information.
Among our manuscript collections are File Manuscripts and Life Sketches. The collections are typically small, being one file folder of material in size. Our file manuscripts contain information relevant to campus and local history. Our life sketches provide information on specific people who lived in the surrounding valley, an important resource for genealogists. Due to the simple nature of these collections, one of the best methods of searching them is to browse the lists.
Additionally, materials are often handled differently due to their format. These materials include newspapers and periodicals, photographs, and oral histories. Many oral history collections are among the manuscript collections. Oral histories provide valuable first-hand experiences of campus and local people, as well as subjects that local individuals were involved in, such as agriculture, early settlement, race and ethnicity, women's studies, the Teton Dam Disaster, and other topics.
Special Collections consist mainly of published material that is collected according to a specific subject area. Mostly books, these are items that fit a specific collection and are sometimes unique, rare, or valuable in some other way. While these materials are often printed materials, the type or format can vary.
These items are collected in the traditional sense of the word; that is, they are gathered to fit a specific subject area through donation and purchase and not acquired through natural process as is the case with archives. Subjects include topics related to local history, Mormon history, Yellowstone, campus authors, scriptures, and other small collections. Special Collections routinely complement our archives and manuscripts, and can serve as valuable secondary resources to the many primary sources located in Special Collections & Archives.
Most of the items that fit within these collections have been cataloged according to Library of Congress cataloging standards and can be found by searching the Library Catalog.
Within our Special Collections are additional unique, rare, and valuable materials that fit within our collection on the History of Recordkeeping. These items demonstrate the changing methods and technologies involved in recording information. Due to the value and fragile nature of many of these items, access is closely monitored.
As described above, materials are sometimes handled differently or physcially separated from other formats to ease preservation storage and access. These formats are often kept with materials of similar format, such as photographs and newspapers.