Call for volunteers!

House Working bills need your help
House Working bills need your help

Would you like to contribute to online digital archives and records? Provide better access for users worldwide? Please consider volunteering for a project to add enhanced, searchable metadata to the Utah House of Representatives Working bills 1896-1989 digital collection!

We are looking to add data to fields for legislative sessions, subjects, individual bill numbers and Laws of Utah chapter numbers (View Examples). This information was not available from existing sources for the initial upload, but will enable users to search for bill files in many more and useful ways.

Work will be done remotely from wherever is convenient–just need a computer and Internet connection. We will provide a software client and training. There is also the possibility to do it all in a regular web browser.

For more information, contact:
Gina Strack
(801) 531-3843

Oaths of Office Digital Collection

2009 Oaths of Office

The Governor’s Office sent over the most recent set of oaths of office for key officeholders in the state. In 2005, we had done an online exhibit to provide online copies of these documents. This time, however, we set up a simple digital collection:

In addition, there is a series inventory for the original paper and subsequent microfilm plus a regularly updated index for all oaths of office since 1965.

Government Publications and Information

A new research guide is available with an introduction and some information on finding records informally classified as Publications:

Government Publications and Documents

Unlike the original records created by Utah state and local agencies held by the Utah State Archives, publications are meant to be widely distributed and often come to the Archives in non-traditional ways. A majority of recent publications, for instance, come through a depository system managed by the Utah State Library, similar to the Federal Depository Library System for federal documents. If you look closely at some older issues, many will bear the stamp of libraries both near and far that once had the item in their collections, but then sent it on its way when it was past its usefulness. Other items are signed or stamped as belonging to individual legislators, attorneys general and similar and would probably have a story to tell of their journey if they could speak!

Legislative records updates

A series inventory for the House of Representatives’ Floor debate recordings is now available. Topics discussed in the recordings include proposed legislation, votes on legislation, testimony or comments on legislation, resolutions, and all other business conducted on the floor of the House. The container list is organized into a list of legislative days that correspond to the House Journals. The Utah State Archives is able to create reference copy CDs for 1957-1982 in addition to the CDs already created for 1983-1989.

Both the Legislative History Records and Legislative Intent research guides have been updated both for newer holdings information, and to reflect a more standard display of information.

Irish Ancestry

Collage of Irish Americans courtesy of Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons
Collage of Irish Americans courtesy of Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons

As some cool Celtic musicians once said, “Everyone is 1/365th Irish.” You know, because of St. Patrick’s Day!

However, if you have some real Emerald Isle blood in you (like 12% of Americans), and your ancestors landed in Utah (and maybe stayed awhile), there is a chance the Utah State Archives Research Center has some records about them.

Naturalization records were created as immigrants started and completed the process to become American citizens. The process was a tad harder to track prior to 1906 when the predecessor to the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services standardized the forms and procedures. For example, before 1906 an individual could become naturalized in any court in the land, regardless of where they lived (or passing through). If you can untangle the likely courts and jurisdictions to look through, there may be a variety of aids like indexes (either online or more likely in the actual record books) and inventories of holdings.

In addition there are birth records for that next generation, death records, military records, court records and more!

Ancestry Magazine: “Wired States of America: A Look at Digital Records Near You”

Ancestry Magazine “scoured the Web to find which states are taking an active roll in getting genealogy records online,” and the Utah State Archives earns a place in the listings.

Back when my grandma was assembling the family history, her keyboard was connected to a wide-carriage typewriter. Scanning a document implied you’d be running your finger down a column of an index. And searching a database meant a trip down to the Family History Library with her sister-in-law (Grandma always kept a suitcase packed).

Wired? That was what you did to light bulbs, plugs, and anything you were trying to jury-rig in place. And never once did it have anything to do with what states were doing to make records accessible to home computer users.

Oh Grandma, if you could see us now.

Take a look around and you’ll see that Washington, D.C., isn’t the only place where change is coming and your tax dollars are at work. Everywhere, archives are going digital, which means states are bringing records to you.


Digital Archives

Utah Digital Newspapers

Archives & Records Service Family History Page

Pioneer: Utah’s Online Library

Utah State History

Read the entire article at

Thanks for the mention!

Archives & You

What does the Utah State Archives mean to you?

Have we helped you in some way with research, services, training, advice?

Submit your story or comment!

See some posted already at

“Archivists are like mechanics, no one wants to give them money or the time of day until something breaks when they become gods amongst men.” (Source)

Utah Academic Library Consortium video

A new promotional video for the Utah Academic Library Consortium has been posted online and is being used to get the word out about its benefits and services to the state. The Utah State Archives contributed images for the segment on the Mountain West Digital Library and one of the interviewees talks about the Animal Brand books available online.

Audographs are back!

Digital audio workstation
Digital audio workstation

After being away for repairs, several Audograph players are back and now available for listening to Senate and House Floor debate recordings from 1957 to 1989. Gray Audograph was a machine generally used for dictation from about the mid-20th century. The Utah State Legislature recorded floor debates using Audographs until they switched to cassette tapes (now they are digital and streamed online).

Using an LSTA grant, we were able to purchase equipment and software to record these obsolete disks into a digital format. The disks themselves have held up fairly well–it is the original machines that have had difficulties, and led to using several to completely rebuild the four working ones we now how. Since they have to be recorded in real time, its going to take awhile! However, anyone needing a particular date and session can arrange through the Research Center to either listen there or obtain a copy on CD. We will need some notice to retrieve and record the target disk, but the result will be much better than making researchers deal with this long-ago technology on their own.

Holiday Closure

The Research Center will be closed Monday, January 19, 2009 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

We remain open as usual until 6 p.m. today, Thursday. Remember that we are closed every Friday and Saturday as part of our normal hours.

Open once again Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 7 a.m.