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Russell R. Rich papers

Identifier: UA 611

Scope and Contents

Includes talks, correspondence, class lectures, and research. Also included are research notes and chapter drafts for "Ensign to the Nations."


  • 1951-1984


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

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

Russell R. Rich (1912-1988) was a Mormon religious instructor in Utah.

Russell Rogers Rich was born January 5, 1912 to Jesse Pomeroy and Louise Rogers Rich in Chicago, Illinois. His father was a law student at the University of Chicago at the time of his birth. He attended school in Preston, Idaho and Logan, Utah, graduating from Logan High School in 1929. While in high school, he participated in both track and football. He attended one year at Utah State Agricultural College in Logan, Utah, before serving as an Mormon missionary in Germany and Austria from 1930-1933. He graduated from Utah State in 1936, serving as student body president his senior year.

Following graduation, Rich accepted a position in the LDS Church Education System. He taught seminary in Driggs, Idaho and Logan, Utah. In 1946 he accepted the position of Director of the Institute of Religion at Arizona State University in Tempe. He was awarded a master's degree in Church History from Brigham Young University in 1949 and the following year was appointed Institute Director at the University of Wyoming. In 1953 he was transferred to Brigham Young University where he taught for twenty-four years for the College of Religion. From 1955 to 1960 he served as chairman of the Church History Department. He retired from active teaching in 1977. In 1955 he was awarded a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Wyoming.

Among the many classes Rich taught at BYU were the survey classes in LDS Church History (Religion 341, 342, 343) for which he prepared a detailed study guide to B.H. Robert's Comprehensive History of the Church. He also authored the current textbook for Religion 342, (History of the Church, 1846 to 1900) Ensign to the Nations. Rich taught several graduate classes in Mormon history, the student papers from these classes are an important part of this collection.

Rich is best known for his study of Mormon schismatic movements. He is an expert on various Mormon splinter groups, spending many of his summers visiting with these various groups and corresponding frequently with these various groups and corresponding frequently with the various churches' leaders and members. He not only collected their literature on his visits, but he also frequently subscribed to their publications. During the late 1950s and early 1960s he delivered several Leadership Week lectures on his research of these churches which were later published.

Rich married Margeret Cardon on June, 1936, in the Salt Lake City Temple and they are the parents of seven children. The Riches served as tour guides in the Independence, Missouri, Visitor's Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1981 to 1983.


42 boxes (21 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available online.

Custodial History

The bulk of this collection was donated by the Riches in 1981. Renee Mounteer donated 4 linear feet of material in March 2001.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Rich family; 1981.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Renee Mounteer; 2001.


University history (University Archives collecting policy, February 2010).

Separated Materials

A box of photographs has been transferred to the UA Photo archives. The photographs include photos from various trips he took, photos dealing with Mormon schisms, photos of various LDS Church history sites, photos used in his book Ensign to the Nations, and College of Religion faculty photographs. Photocopies have been made of his photos dealing with Mormon splinter groups and have been placed with the other material relating to these various churches.

Processing Information

Processed; Chad Orton, David Whittaker, and J. Gordon Daines III; 1984.

Register of the Russell R. Rich papers
In Progress
Chad Orton, David Whittaker, and J. Gordon Daines III
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.
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections. University Archives Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo UT 84602 US