The 116-year-old “Book of the Pioneers” is now available with a full-text search on Utah State Archives web site at archives.utah.gov/digital/14107.htm. The Archives collaborated with the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library for conservation and repair of the one-of-a-kind book. In addition, the library created high-quality digital images for viewing online.
The “Book of the Pioneers” is “a record of those who arrived in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake during the year 1847; including the names, ages, autographs and places of residence of all known survivors on July 24, 1897.” The Semi-Centennial Commission compiled the book in two volumes for the Pioneer Jubilee of 1897, in order to document and memorialize the pioneers of 1847. The members of the commission were appointed by the State of Utah’s first governor, Heber M. Wells, who spoke on the subject in his first address to the Utah State Legislature on January 8, 1896, a mere four days after statehood was granted.
The names of men and women who came in 1847 are recorded along with 727 questionnaires answered in their own hand by those still alive fifty years later, creating a “work unique in character and of universal interest.”