Skip to main content

Harold B. Lee Library administrative records, 1961-1993

Identifier: UA 5572 Series 5

Scope and Contents

Contains auction and book fair records, business cards, collection and contest descriptions, correspondence, European travel records, faculty purchases, missing books records, personnel records, and tax evaluations records, that were created by A. Dean Larsen in his capacity as the Director of Collection Development as he was acquiring and developing the Harold B. Lee Library holdings, 1961-1993.


  • 1961-1993


Conditions Governing Access

Restricted. Closed for 35 years from the date of creation of the records, and thereafter open to the public in accordance with the University Archives Policy.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Harold B. Lee Library records must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

From the Collection:

A. Dean Larsen (1930-2002) was a library administrator in Utah.

Aral Dean Larsen was born August 23, 1930 in Vineyard, Utah. He was the third of five children born to Vera Alice Austin and Ariel Ellis Larsen. He attended Lincoln High School in Orem where he was a member of the debate team, associate editor of the year book, president of Future Farmers of America (FFA) and a student assistant for a very inadequate school library. After graduating from high school he entered Brigham Young University (BYU), focusing his study on history and geography. After serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints he returned to his studies at BYU and obtained student employment in the University Library. From that time on, books and the library became an integral part of his life.

When he graduated from the university with a major in history, the Korean War was under way and he was drafted to serve in the army. After basic and specialized training, he was assigned to the Central Intelligence Corp in Stuttgart, Germany. This assignment and location provided extensive opportunities during weekends and short leaves to experience travel throughout Europe. This opportunity imbued him with a lasting appreciation for the arts, museums, libraries, book shops, rare book dealers, etc.

Dean returned home from his tour of duty with the army in the fall of 1956 and was hired full-time at the BYU library with an agreement that he would be given summers off to pursue a Master of Library Science degree, at the University of Michigan. In 1958 he married Jean Maycock and they had four children. He completed his degree in August of 1960. The next year he was appointed Director for Collection Development, in which position he acted until his retirement in 1993. He fully retired in 1995.

Dean was largely the architect for the Harold B. Lee Library's tremendous collection growth during the years from 1960 to 1990. The library's world class collections were Dean's legacy. Even when the library's holdings reached three million volumes, Dean could tell a book dealer if a particular title was in the library's holdings. His deep understanding of book culture was evident in his finding, networking, and negotiating with the leading book dealers and collectors of the day, both nationally and internationally. His devotion to his international contacts allowed Dean to acquire collections that would otherwise have been unattainable by the library. Due to his love of rare books, he also contributed significantly to the development of Brigham Young University's special collections. The A. Dean Larsen Book Collecting Conference was created to honor him and is held every year. He died on May 29, 2002.

Administrative History

From the Collection:

The Harold B. Lee Library (1973- ) is the library on the campus of Brigham Young University, and is responsible for providing students and the community with valuable resources for research, media projects, and personal use.

The Harold B. Lee Library was aligned with Media Services under the Assistant Academic Vice President of Brigham Young University in 1973. In that same year, the J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Library was renamed the Harold B. Lee Library. Internally, the Harold B. Lee Library is managed by the library director, who is aided by an associate university librarian and assistant university librarians, who oversee divisions of the library. Directors have included Donald K. Nelson (1973-1980), Sterling J. Albrecht (1980-2002), Randy J. Olsen (2002-2009), Julene Butler (2010-2012), Scott Duvall (interim, 2012-2013), and Jennifer Paustenbaugh (2013- ). The library building was expanded in 1976 and 2000 and continues to provide students and faculty access to scholarly materials.


1 carton

Language of Materials



Arranged alphabetically.

Repository Details

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

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo UT 84602 US