Category Archives: Events

Archives Month: Ann Torrence on U.S. Highway 89

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Thursday, October 24 at Noon

Ann Torrence - Highway 89

U.S. Highway 89: The Scenic Route to Seven Western National Parks

U.S. Highway 89: The Scenic Route to Seven Western National Parks is a visual guide to seven of America’s favorite national parks, hometown events and quirky roadside attractions linked by U.S. 89. Scenic Highway 89 traces the stories of legendary trappers, missionaries and homesteaders. Widened in the Roaring Twenties to satisfy America’s motoring enthusiasts, but bypassed by modern interstates, the 1,600 mile route from Canada to Mexico retains its back-roads charm. From Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon, beauty queens to working cowboys, Ann Torrence’s stunning images and engaging text capture the enduring spirit of the west.

Writer and photographer, Ann Torrence drove over 15,000 miles to research and photograph U.S. Highway 89. Her documentary style explores the interplay of the human element and landscape; transformations of culture–what is kept, lost, and reinvented; and the iconography of the American West.

Following Ann’s remarks, staff of the Utah State Archives will provide a public demonstration of the new Highway 89 Digital Collections online initiative. This project is designed to gather and document the prized historical collections from various institutions throughout the region, all of which detail the important history that has happened along Highway 89.

 


Archives Month: 25th Street Confidential by Val Holley

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Monday, October 21 at Noon

Val Holley - 25th Street

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25th Street Confidential traces Ogden’s transformation from quiet hamlet to chaotic transcontinental railroad junction as waves of non-Mormon fortune seekers swelled the city’s population. The street’s outsized role in Ogden annals illuminates larger themes in Utah and U.S. history. Most significantly, 25th Street was a crucible of Mormon-Gentile conflict, especially after the non-Mormon Liberal Party deprived its rival, the People’s Party, of long-standing control of Ogden’s municipal government in 1889. In the early twentieth-century the street was targeted in statewide Progressive Era reform efforts, and during Prohibition it would come to epitomize the futility of liquor abatement programs.

This first full-length treatment of Ogden’s rowdiest road spotlights larger-than-life figures whose careers were entwined with the street: Mayor Harman Ward Peery, who unabashedly filled the city treasury with fees and fines from vicious establishments; Belle London, the most successful madam in Utah history; and Rosetta Ducinnie Davie, the heiress to London’s legacy who became a celebrity on the street, in the courts, and in the press. Material from previously unexploited archives and more than one hundred historic photos enrich this narrative of a turbulent but unforgettable street.


Archives Month: Matt Basso on Men At Work

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Friday, October 26 at Noon

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As part of Roosevelt’s New Deal program of the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) provided relief jobs to millions of Americans. One facet of the WPA was the hiring of men and women to document the history and folklore of America so as to capture the “soul” of the nation. While researching at the Montana Historical Society Research Center more than a decade ago, historian Matthew Basso stumbled upon copies of six stories that had been submitted for inclusion in a volume titled Men at Work. They arrived too late to be considered. Federal Writers’ Project (FWP) staff had already chosen thirty-four stories from submissions across the country and the volume was nearing publication. In the end, however, that publication was waylaid by the eruption of World War II and the manuscript was forgotten. Now, Basso is bringing these rediscovered stories to their intended audience—the American people.

Works of fiction that have a creative nonfiction feel, these narratives stem from direct observation of or participation in the work described and offer portraits of Americans from diverse ethnic backgrounds who labored in jobs as varied as logging, mining, fruit packing, and rodeo riding. The writers, directed by editor Harold Rosenberg, also represent a variety of backgrounds and experience. Some, like Jack Conroy, Jim Thompson, and Chester Himes, became strong voices in the literary world. The vivid accounts in “Men at Work: Rediscovering Depression-era Stories from the Federal Writers’ Project” illuminate the meaning of work during a time when jobs were scarce and manual labor highly valued. With our country once again in financial crisis and workers facing an anemic job market, today’s readers will find these stories especially poignant.

Matthew Basso is an assistant professor of history and gender studies, and director of the American West Center at the University of Utah. He is a co-editor of Across the Great Divide: Cultures of Manhood in the American West.


Archives Month: MX Moment for Utah

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October 19
Noon

Did you know that in the late 1970′s the Great Basin region of Nevada and Utah nearly became home to the largest human construction project on Earth? The proposed MX missile system would have not only have militarized a huge section of the American West, but fundamentally altered the environment and various ways of life that have emerged in the region. Join us for a presentation that will explore records found in the Utah State Archives that help illuminate Utah’s “MX moment” and give voice to the various people and places that would have been impacted by its creation.

James Kichas is a processing and reference archivist for the Utah State Archives. Jim spent his first seven months with the archives processing the records of former Utah governors Herbert Maw and Scott Matheson (where he first learned the details of MX). Over the last nine years Jim has processed a wide variety of records in the Utah State Archives collection, helped administer an NHPRC grant focused on bringing physical and intellectual control over Utah’s historic court records, and provided reference assistance to the public in the Utah History Research Center. In the fall of 2010 Jim began work on a master’s degree in Environmental Humanities at the University of Utah. His masters’ project work is focused on a set of records held by the State Archives related to the MX Missile System, and is scheduled for completion in fall 2012.


Archives Month: Pioneer Foodways

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Plain But Wholesome by Brock Cheney (Click image to purchase)

October 15
Noon

“Plain But Wholesome: Foodways of the Mormon Pioneers” presents a groundbreaking foray into Mormon history. Brock Cheney explores the foodways of Mormon pioneers from their trek west through the arrival of the railroad and reveals new perspectives on the fascinating Mormon settlement era. Relying on original diaries, newspaper accounts, and recipe books from the 1850′s, Cheney draws a vivid portrait of what Mormon pioneers ate and drank. Although other authors have sketched the subject before, this portrait is the first effort that might be described as scholarly, though the lively prose will interest a broad general audience.

Presented here are the first explicit descriptions of the menus, food processes, and recipes of the Mormon pioneers. While many have supposed that earlier pioneer foodways continued to be handed down through Mormon families, Cheney has confirmed traditions going back generations and covering more than a century. The book also exposes myths and cliches about pioneer piety and hardships, as Cheney examines such pioneer extravagances as fresh “oysters on the half shell” and pioneer trends of alcohol consumption.

A perfect gift for the history buff or Dutch oven chef, “Plain But Wholesome” will also prove its place among scholars and historians. With its rollicking blend of historical source material and modern interpretation, this book will entertain and educate novice and expert alike.

Brock Cheney teaches writing and literature in Utah’s public schools and has worked at several living history museums in Utah and Colorado. he lives in Willard, Utah, where he keeps a vegetable garden and bakes bread in his wood-fired brick oven.


Archives Month: Avenues of Salt Lake City

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Friday, October 12, 2012
12 noon

Salt Lake City’s oldest residential historic district is a neighborhood known as the Avenues. During the late nineteenth century this area was home to many of the most influential citizens of Salt Lake City. Built from 1860 until 1930, it contains a mix of middle and upper middle class homes of varying architectural styles. This architectural diversity makes the Avenues unique among Utah’s historic districts. For the past thirty years, as citizens have rediscovered the value of living in historic properties near downtown and the University of Utah, preservation efforts have soared in the area.

In 1980, the Avenues was established as a historic district and the Utah Historical Society published The Avenues of Salt Lake City. That book’s authors, Karl T. Haglund and Philip F. Notarianni, gleaned much about the area’s history by using information found on the historic district applications. This newly revised edition of The Avenues of Salt Lake City by Cevan J. LeSieur updates the original with a greatly expanded section on the historic homes in the neighborhood, including more than 600 new photos, and additional material covering the history of the Avenues since 1980.

The book is designed so that readers can take it along as a guide when exploring the neighborhoods. All the pictures of Avenues homes are accompanied with architectural information and brief histories of the properties. This volume makes a valuable resource for those interested in the history of the Avenues and its diverse architecture, and for anyone interested in Utah history, Utah architecture, and historic preservation.

Cevan Lesieur is a native of Salt Lake City and a resident of the Avenues neighborhood where he and his wife Heather have restored two homes.


Archives Month: Year of the Newspaper

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Monday, October 1, 2012
12 noon

With more than 1,300,000 pages of Utah newspapers now scanned it is feared the convenience of digital access will doom the surviving paper copies to the trash where they will be lost to future generations of researchers. Marriott Library, Lee Library, Utah State Archives, and Utah Press Association are working together to help prevent this irreparable loss. Randy will speak on the importance of this project as well as methods for individuals and institutions to participate.

Randy Silverman has worked in the field of book conservation since 1978. He has served as the Preservation Librarian at the University of Utah’s Marriott Library since 1993 and is a member of the University’s Emergency Operations Center. He has and holds a masters degree in Library Science and teaches as adjunct faculty for Emporia State University and the University of Arizona. As a member of the Western States Preservation Assistance Service he teaches Disaster Preparedness workshops in Utah, Wyoming, and Montana and in 2007 was awarded the Utah Humanities Council’s “Human Ties Award.”

This event will be held at noon in the State Archives Courtyard Meeting Room, 346 South Rio Grande, Salt Lake City, UT 84101-1106

Also, find out more about the Utah Book Festival that is about to commence.


Utah Archives Month 2012

The calendar for Utah Archives Month is now being updated for October 2012 events at utaharchivesmonth.org. The events hosted by the Utah State Archives and Utah State History have been posted (including on Facebook):

  • 10/1/2012 – Randy Silverman: Year of the Newspaper
  • 10/12/2012 – Cevan LeSieur: “The Avenues of Salt Lake City”
  • 10/15/2012 – Brock Cheney: “Plain But Wholesome: Foodways of the Mormon Pioneers”
  • 10/19/2012 – Jim Kichas: “Utah’s MX Moment”
  • 10/24/2012 – Matt Basso: “Men At Work”

All events are free and open to the public.

Utah Archives Month is on Facebook and Twitter.


Archives Month: Author of The Mormon Rebellion: America’s First Civil War

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Join us on October 21st at the Utah State Archives as Will Bagley discusses his latest book (co-authored with David Bigler), The Mormon Rebellion: America’s First Civil War, 1857-1858. This story describes how in 1857 President James Buchanan ordered U.S. troops to Utah to replace Brigham Young as governor and restore order in what the federal government viewed as a territory in rebellion. In this compelling narrative, Bigler and Bagley use long-suppressed sources to show that contrary to common perception the Mormon rebellion was not the result of Buchanan s blunder, nor was it a David-and-Goliath tale in which an abused religious minority heroically defied the imperial ambitions of an unjust and tyrannical government. They argue that Mormon leaders had their own far-reaching ambitions and fully intended to establish an independent nation the Kingdom of God in the West.

Long overshadowed by the Civil War, the tragic story of this conflict involved a tense and protracted clash pitting Brigham Young’s Nauvoo Legion against Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston and the U.S. Army’s Utah Expedition. In the end, the conflict between the two armies saw no pitched battles, but Bagley and Bigler argue that Buchanan’s decision to order troops to Utah (his so-called blunder) eventually proved decisive and beneficial for both Mormons and the American republic.

A rich exploration of events and forces that presaged the Civil War, The Mormon Rebellion broadens our understanding of both antebellum America and Utah’s frontier theocracy and offers a challenging reinterpretation of a controversial chapter in Mormon annals.

Will Bagley is a historian specializing in the history of western United States. Bagley has written about the fur trade, overland emigration, American Indians, military history, frontier violence, railroads, mining, and Utah and the Mormons, and has authored and edited numerous books, including Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Mountain Meadows Massacre and So Rugged and Mountainous: Blazing the Trails to Oregon and California, 1812 1848.


Archives Month: Opening Zion author to speak

Wednesday, October 27, 2010
12 – 1 p.m.
Utah State Archives
Courtyard Meeting Room
346 S. Rio Grande St.
Salt Lake City, Utah

Opening Zion: A Scrapbook of the National Parks First Official Tourists

When Melissa Clark purchased a box of old scrapbooks online, she knew only that she had bought something relating to the University of Utah and Zion Park. What came in the mail was much more than she had expected. Instead of random mementos, two albums arrived full of photographs and newspaper clippings dating to 1920 that document a trip made by six young women from the University of Utah into the newly formed Zion National Park. With text by John Clark, the scrapbooks are now the basis of a one-of-a-kind publication. John Clark will speak on finding the collection, its value, and its publication. John Clark is author of the Motor Tales series and an avid scholar of Utah automobile history.


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