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Biography of Jean Elizabeth Fossum May

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2083

Scope and Contents

Compiled by James A. May about his mother, Jean Fossum May, drawing heavily on her letters, journals, and notes. Gives detailed information about her life in Baker, Oregon, 1906-1959; service as a missionary in the California Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1927-1928; marriage to Andrew May, 1930; family life (as a widow after 1933); service as head resident of Stover Hall (men's housing) on the campus of Brigham Young University, 1959-1969; and efforts to restore a small home that she purchased in Manti, Utah, during the 1960s. During her LDS mission she served in Los Angeles, Santa Ana, and in other places. She also traveled extensively throughout the mission. The history includes correspondence, journal entries, and tributes written by Jean May's relatives and acquaintances. Pages 300-302 contain information about the "Dancing Grandmas," a group of campus women who performed in a dance festival at BYU in December 1961.


  • 1990-1998


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

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 publish material from Biography of Jean Elizabeth Fossum May must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.


4 folders (401 leaves) : typescript ; 28 cm.

Custodial History

Brian Reeves, University Archivist, wrote a letter to James May on 12 June 1998, requesting information about Jean Fossum May. Jim responded on 17 June 1998 via e-mail, and sent the biography as an attachment.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; James Andrew May; 1998.


LDS, Utah, and Western American women (20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy, 5.V, 2007).

Register of Biography of Jean Elizabeth Fossum May
Andrea Wyss
2011 March 16
Description rules
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