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M. Wilford Poulson papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 823

Scope and Contents

Collection contains correspondence, diaries, and research materials of M. Wilford Poulson. Some of this material is regarding his work as a psychologist. Also included are many important research documents pertaining to the Chuch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which include diaries, letters, and newspaper clippings. Much of the research of the early church history pertains to Joseph Smith. The documents date from 1826-1964. Some of the materials are originals while many are photocopies or microfiche reproductions.


  • 1826-1964


Conditions Governing Access

Privacy restricted; 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 publish material from M. Wilford Poulson papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

M. Wilford Poulson (1884-1969) was a professor of psychology and collector of Mormon literature.

M. Wilford Poulson was born on 21 November 1884 in Pleasant Grove to Niels and Maria Poulson. He served a mission to Sweden from 1904-1906. He married Estelle Mecham on 24 April 1907. He graduated from Brigham Young High School in 1910. He received a Bachelors of Arts degree in 1914. In 1919 he received his Masters degree from the University of Utah. He later conducted graduate work at the University of Chicago, University of California, and Stanford University. Estelle died on 18 August 1935. Poulson then married Jenniev Jorgenson Smith on 12 June 1936, they later divorced. In 1946 he was one of forty men in the nation to take a world study tour. He was a professor of psychology at Brigham Young University from 1910 to 1958. He served as a chairman of the Psychology Department for many years. In addition, he was the president of the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters, the president of the Utah Library Association, and a member of the American Psycho Psychology Association. He was known to have one of the finest private collections of Mormon books and literature in existence. M. Wilford Poulson died on 26 January 1969 at the age of eighty-four in Salt Lake City, Utah.


1 oversize folder (0.1 linear ft.)

13 boxes (6.5 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Collection contains correspondence, diaries, and research materials of M. Wilford Poulson. Also included are many research documents pertaining to the LDS Church which include diaries, letters and newspaper clippings.

Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available online.

Other Finding Aids

The legacy online finding aid no longer matches the current physical collection. An edited-by-hand finding aid can be found in the case file for use by patrons, if needed to determine current location of materials in the collection.

Custodial History

Donated by Sam Weller's Zion Bookstore in 1989.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Sam Weller's Zion Bookstore; 1989.


LDS scholarship and historiography (19th and 20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy 5.III).

Separated Materials

Photograph of a seer stone (MSS P 187).

Processing Information

Processed; Katie Connors, student processor, and John Murphy, curator; 2009.

Register of M. Wilford Poulson papers
Katie Connors and Lyndsey Skanchy, student processors, and John Murphy, curator,
2009 January 20
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