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L. Douglas Smoot papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 7504

Scope and Contents

Collection includes correspondence, articles, awards, photographs, journals, calendars, and other memorabilia that document Douglas Smoot's professional life as a professor of engineering at Brigham Young University, religious, and family and personal life, including involvement with Academy Square in Provo, from 1907 to 2011. The collection consists mostly of methodically compiled scrapbooks that are organized by year rather than by content.


  • 1907-2011


Conditions Governing Access

Donor restricted until 2034; permission to use materials must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Biographical History

Leon Douglas Smoot was born in Provo, Utah in 1934. He grew up in Springville, Utah. He attended Brigham Young University (BYU) as an undergraduate from 1952 to 1957. He married Marian Bird in 1953. Smoot taught at BYU beginning in 1967, and was department chair from 1970-1977, Dean of Engineering and Technology from 1977 through 1994, and Director of the Advanced Combustion Research Engineering Center (ACERC) from its beginning in 1986 to 1997. He retired from BYU in 2006. In 1985, he participated in a research competition which resulted in the awarding of a grant to start ACERC. Smoot ran the Center for twelve years. He also worked for Lockheed, Boeing, and the California Institute of Technology, researching energy and combustion. In 1995, he was set apart as an Area Authority of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Utah South Area, and was ordained to the fifth Quorum of the Seventy in 1997. Smoot is also known for his work on restoring Brigham Young Academy, from 1995 to its dedication in 2001. He wrote a book on his work, titled "The Miracle at Academy Square." He is a descendant of Abraham O. Smoot. Smoot passed away January 13, 2020.


10 cartons (10 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

More detailed finding aid available in the repository upon request.

Custodial History

Donated by L. Douglas Smoot in 2009, 2011, and 2017.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; L. Douglas Smoot; 2009, 2011, 2017.


Utah and the American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (20th century Western & Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy, 5.VII, 2007).

Processing Information

Processed; Andrea Wyss; 2011.

Processing Information

Processed; Kelsey Samuelson; 2012.

Processing Information

Processed; Sadie Julian; 2017.

Processing Information

Processed; Brynne Karlinsey; 2019.

  • Publication reprints of James J. Christensen and Douglas Smoot (bound volumes).
Register of L. Douglas Smoot papers
Under Revision
Andrea Wyss
2011 March 18
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States