Visitors to the University of Utah's J. Willard Marriott Library now will be able to see — and hold in their hands — historic papers signed by Mormon founder Joseph Smith, his brother Hyrum Smith, successor Brigham Young and other early LDS leaders.
On Monday, the Salt Lake City-based school announced the library had received a donation of 13 handwritten documents — real estate transactions, letters and notes — valued at over $3 million.
"It's the largest material gift we've ever received," explained Gregory Thompson, associate dean for special collections. "It's kind of a big deal."
The papers, nearly all in mint condition, have been in the same private hands for more than 50 years. They date from 1839 through the end of the 19th century, covering the Latter-day Saints' Nauvoo, Ill., experience and the Mormon migration to Utah.