Manuscript Collections, like archival collections, come as record groupings typically compiled by a specific creator, whether that be a person, family, company, or some other entity. The materials are often donated, but can be acquired through other means. The majority of these collections pertain to the history of the Upper Snake River Valley, with additional materials acquired according to curricular needs. A detailed description of what we accept from donations and seek to acquire can be found in our Collection Development Policy.

These collections often consist of personal papers or coprporate records and are referred to as our Manuscript (MSSI) Collections. Valuable primary sources are available for the study of local history, campus history, and family history. Beyond traditional historical practice, these resources can be used to expand understanding in issues that are relevant to multiple disciplines; for example, one can better understand government interaction and public policy developments during the Teton Dam disaster by using the Teton Dam Collection, the study of dental care in the valley through the use of the Dr. Blair Rich Papers, or understanding musical developments through the use of the Ruth Barrus Papers. These collections are best used by first consulting the MSSI finding aids. Search in the field to the right or browse our collections following the links below.

Visit our list of MSSI collections to browse each collection with brief descriptions or search in the field to the right.

In addition to large MSSI collections, our manuscript collections consist of several subcategories:

  • File Manuscripts: Small, file-sized collections grouped often by a creator or common topic.
  • Life Sketches: Short biographies of individuals in the local area; used regularly in genealogical research.
  • Oral Histories: Interviews conducted to gather a person's personal story or experience with a certain subject. Large oral history projects have been conducted in the past and courses at BYU-Idaho often engage in oral history fieldwork.

To supplement a study of local history, several of our resources have been made available online: