Exhibits rotate within the Special Collections Reading Room. These exhibitions, which focus on a variety of subjects, are composed of books, photographs, manuscripts, ephemera, realia and other objects housed in Special Collections.

Current Exhibit | Iron Acorn Press | Rosetta Stone | Sorensen Collection 

Current Exhibit: Christmas 

See unique items detailing the true meaning of Christmas! Pieces from our Vault collection are on display including an original King James Bible, A New Testament from 1582 and an Original Medieval Bible Leaf from 1260. In addition, we have hymnals that feature Christmas songs from our Thomas Hinckley Music Collection. Continuing with the holiday spirit, explore the History of Santa Claus from his ties to Odin to his Dutch counterpart- Sinterklaas.  


Iron Acorn Press

Iron Acorn PressThe Smith Improved Printing Press that we have on display is a replica of the printing press invented by Peter Smith (1795-1823) that was used to print the 1st Edition Book of Mormon. Smith was a Yale educated man and owned a carpentry shop--Smith, Hoe and Co.--that specialized in wood products for printers. The Smith Improved Press first appeared on the market around 1821. The Press is on display at the McKay Library Room 249. To schedule a visit, please contact Brother Sam Nielson at: nielsons@byui.edu.

The McKay Library's copy of the Smith Press is the third copy Steve Pratt has manufactured. It's major parts were sand-cast at a foundry in Nephi, Utah, and other steel cast parts were done in a lost-wax ceramic-mold process at a foundry in American Fork, Utah. Both of these foundries completed their work in the Summer of 2007. From then until October 2008, Steve Pratt has finished the castings, made other castings, cut steel parts, and machined surfaces. The end result is a press that has the original press' shape, markings and anomalies (aside from the bright BYU-I blue color). Minus a few minor 'improvements' for strength, the press you see holds all the original charm of the press E.B. Grandin used in the 1820s.

For more information CLICK HERE.

Rosetta Stone

The Rosetta Stone, not to be confused with the language learning software, is a granodiorite stone. It was found in 1799 in Rosetta, Egypt by French scholars and sent to Napoleon. It contains the same writing in three different languages: Hieroglyphics (sacred language), Demotic (reformed Egyptian) and Greek. This allowed scholars to decipher Hieroglyphics and unlock the writings and history of Egypt.

Shortly after March 27, 196 BC, Pharaoh Ptolemy V Epiphanes sent out a decree called the Decree of Memphis. This decree cancelled debts and taxes, released prisoners and granted increased donations to the temples. The complete text was found on the wall of a temple and can be found at http://home.netcom.com/~qkstart/rosetta.html or at

Brigham Young University-Idaho is the first university in the world to obtain a full-size, 3D replica of the Rosetta Stone from The Freeman Institute. The replica was obtained to help students get a real view at what the stone is like. The replica is 40% resin and 60% granodiorite filler. It also contains a high density foam core to lessen the weight. It is one of the most important pieces to language and culture as it unveiled the Egyptian language and culture to the world.

For more information CLICK HERE.

Sorensen Collection

The Sorensen Collection is located on the 4th floor of the BYU-Idaho Center.

Sorensen CollectionThe Sorensen Collection was collected by Earl and Dorothy Sorensen. Earl Sorensen grew up in Arbon Valley west of Malad, Idaho, where he began collecting arrowheads as a young child. After earning his master's degree at Utah State University he went to work for the Bureau of Reclamation in Colorado. He and Dorothy joined a group of other amateur collectors who spent many hours walking through the deserts and mountains looking for specimens to add to their collections. The family later moved to New Mexico where their hobby continued. Mr. Sorensen died in 1993, only a few months after having donated his collection to Ricks College. Mrs. Sorensen remained in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for several years but due to declining health moved to Maine with her son. She died of natural causes Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012, in Hartland, Maine.
Sorrensen Collection

The artifacts were collected from the United States, Mexico, and Central America consisting of ceramic bowls that range in date from 100 B.C. to the late 20th century, projectile points, several of which are more than 15,000 years old, and some other small artifacts from Mesoamerica.