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E. Cecil McGavin papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 26

Scope and Contents note

Collection is centered around the writing and research of E. Cecil McGavin. The collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, and research focusing on the Mormon Church, Utah and Western American history, and the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The collection also includes one folder of photographs pertaining to McGavin's research. The collection dates from circa 1925-1960.


  • approximately 1925-1960


Conditions Governing Access note

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use note

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from E. Cecil McGavin papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

E. Cecil McGavin (1900-1975) was a prominent historian of the American West and the Mormon Church.

E. Cecil McGavin was born February 10, 1900. He attended Ricks College before serving an LDS mission in 1919. He married Hattie Parkinson September 20, 1922 in Logan, Utah. McGavin then attended Brigham Young University, where he graduated with a bachelors degree in Political Science and History in 1924. He then began to teach seminary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but moved in 1938 to Salt Lake City to work in the Church Historian's Office. During his lifetime, McGavin published seventeen books and numerous articles in professional journals and Church periodicals. The majority of his work focuses on the history and doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or the history of the American West. He eventually recieved a master's degree from the University of Utah and did postgraduate work at Stanford and the University of Chicago. After serving another mission for the Mormon Church in Hawaii from 1970-1972, he fell ill and died July 28, 1975.


3 boxes (1.5 linear ft.)

2 cartons (2 linear ft.)

1 folder (0.1 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Collection includes the correspondence, research, and manuscripts of the historian E. Cecil McGavin. The collection dates from circa 1925-1960.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements note

Photographs in cold storage; access requires 24 hours advance notice.

Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available online.

Custodial History note

Donated by Carl McGavin and Hattie McGavin in a number of installments beginning in 1975.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Donated; Carl McGavin and Hattie McGavin; 1975-1976.

Appraisal note

The collection focuses on the writings of a Mormon scholar and American historian.

Collected in LDS scholarship and historiography (20th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy 5.III).

Separated Materials note

See also E. Cecil McGavin photographs (MSS P 26).

General note

A detailed inventory of the first three boxes can be found in the repository.

Processing Information note

Processed; David Rolph Seely; 1978.

Processed; Mary Downs; 2009.

Register of E. Cecil McGavin papers
Mary Downs, student processor, and John Murphy, curator
1 December 2009
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