Skip to main content

Thomas G. Alexander papers

Identifier: MSS 1970

Scope and Contents

Contains the professional and personal papers of Thomas G. Alexander, dated 1954 to 2018. The professional papers include correspondence, reports, minutes, articles, awards, manuscript drafts, newspaper articles, posters, photographs, questionnaires, outlines, and audiocassettes. These materials pertain to research, students, committees, professional organizations, and courses taught by Dr. Alexander. The personal papers pertain to the U.S. Army and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


  • 1954-2018


Conditions Governing Access

Access restricted. The materials shall be accessed by permission of Thomas G. Alexander until his death. Permission to access materials shall be granted by permission of Thomas G. Alexander’s wife or his daughter, Tracy Lee Alexander Zappala, for ten (10) years following the death of Thomas G. Alexander. If the L. Tom Perry Special Collections is unable to contact either his wife or daughter, then the University Archivist will make access decisions. Ten (10) years following the death of Thomas G. Alexander the materials will be available for research without restriction.

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

Thomas G. Alexander (born 1935) was a professor at Brigham Young University and authored a number of award winning books concerning Latter-day Saint and Utah history.

Thomas G. Alexander was born in Logan, Utah on August 8, 1935, to Glen M. and Violet B. Alexander. He married Marilyn Johns of Ogden on August 15, 1959. They are the parents of five children and have six grandchildren.

He attended schools in Ogden, and earned an A. S. from Weber State University (1955), a BS (1960) and MS (1961) from Utah State University, and a PhD in American History from the University of California at Berkeley (1965). From 1956 to 1958 he served in the West German Mission.

He taught at Brigham Young University from 1964 to 2004, where he has the Lemuel Hardison Redd, Jr. Professor of Western American History and also the Director of Charles Redd Center for Western Studies. He taught Utah history and American environmental history. He has also taught at Utah State University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Southern Illinois University (where he held a National Historical Records Commission Fellowship), and the University of Utah. He is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of 24 books and monographs, more than 125 scholarly articles, and scores of reviews and scholarly presentations. He has also consulted with a number of national and international organizations and law firms, and on a number of television programs on the history of Utah and the Latter-day Saints.

At BYU he served as chair of the Faculty Advisory Council, and received the Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Faculty Lecturer Award, the highest faculty honor bestowed by the university.

He has won a number of awards for his publications. These include prizes for Mormonism in Transition: A History of the Latter-day Saints, 1890-1930 and Things in Heaven and Earth: The Life and Times of Wilford Woodruff, a Mormon Prophet. His book, Utah: The Right Place, was commissioned by the State of Utah as the official centennial history, and it is used in a number of institutions as a text for Utah history.

He has served as president of the Pacific Branch of the American Historical Association; the Mormon History Association; the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters; and the Association of Utah Historians; and as chair of the Utah Board of State History and the Utah Humanities Council. He is currently Vice President of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society.

He is a fellow of the Utah State Historical Society and the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters. Weber State University awarded him their Emeriti Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.

He has served in a large number of church positions including as a member of four bishoprics (including as a bishop), as a stake high councilman, and as ward and stake executive secretary. In 2004, after his retirement, he served an LDS Church Educational System mission in Berlin, Germany with his wife.

Biographical History

Richard W. Sadler (1940-) is a historian in Utah.

Richard W. Sadler was born in 1940. He is a historian specializing in Utah history and has written books on Ogden City, Weber City, and the Weber Basin water history. Richard was the president of the Utah Academy of Arts Sciences and Letters for two years beginning in 1979. He is a teacher at Weber State and was the author and editor of "Weber State College... A Centennial History," which documents the history of the first hundred years of Weber. Richard W. Sadler co-authored "Utah, The Right Place: The Official Centennial History," with fellow historian Thomas G. Alexander.


22 cartons (22 linear ft.)

119 boxes (59.5 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Arranged into six series: 1. Thomas G. Alexander correspondence, 1963-2004. 2. Thomas G. Alexander publications, 1964-2017. 3. Thomas G. Alexander office records, 1954-2018. 4. Thomas G. Alexander personal papers, 1954-2017. 5. Edgemont Stake records, 1978-2010. 6. Thomas G. Alexander teaching and subject papers, 1960-2014.

The materials have been left in the original order which appears to be grouped by subject with some chronological and alphabetical order present.

Other Finding Aids

A more detailed finding aid is available in the repository.

Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available online.

Custodial History

Transferred from Records Management in March 2004 and January 2007. Additional materials donated by Thomas G. Alexander in July 2009 and September 2018.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred; Records Management; March 2004.

Transferred; Records Management; January 2007.

Donated; Thomas G. Alexander; July 2009.

Addendum donated; Thomas G. Alexander; September 2018.


Office files (University Archives collecting policy, July 2003).

Related Materials

See also Forest Service Region IV research materials, 1827-1984 (MSS 1609).

Processing Information

Processed; Natalie Fisher; March 2004.

Processed; Cory Nimer; July 2004.

Processed; Matthew Leavitt; February 2007 and August 2009.

Processed; Grace Bithell; July 2019.

Register of Thomas G. Alexander papers
Matthew Leavitt
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