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Dennis L. Thomson papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 981

Scope and Contents

This collection, dated 1924 to 2006, contains many of Dennis L. Thomson's academic papers pertaining to university courses he taught and research he conducted. The collection also contains copies of Thomson's masters thesis and his doctoral dissertation. It also includes articles published by Thomson, course files, materials related to his administrative role at Brigham Young University, and a file on his involvement in the creation of the Namibian constitution.


  • 1924-2006


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 the Dennis L. Thomson papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical history

Dennis L. Thompson (born 1935) has been a political science professor at Brigham Young University since 1977.

Dennis L. Thomson was raised in Weston, Idaho. His parents moved to Arizona while he served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so when he returned he took over the family farm. It was during this period that he met his wife Karen. He graduated from the University of Idaho in political science, received a master's degree from Arizona State University and his doctorate in political science from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Along the way he served as a staff assistant to the governor of Arizona and as an Army Intelligence officer in New York. He entered the Foreign Service of the Department of State and served in Washington D.C., Paris, and London. He served as a member of several United States delegations negotiating treaties on Antarctica, Pan American railroads and north Pacific fisheries. He also served as deputy international secretary of the multilateral working group of NATO ambassadors.

He taught at the University of California at Santa Barbara, the University of Arizona, the University of Utah, and the State University of New York at Binghamton prior to coming to Brigham Young University in 1977. He has been a visiting professor in the Department of Politics at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and in the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Strasbourg in France. He has also been a Fulbright Scholar and visiting professor at Trinity College in Connecticut. He has served as a consultant to the Arizona and Idaho state legislatures, several Federal government agencies, and county governments in Louisiana, Idaho, Arizona, and New York. He was an advisor to the Constitutional Convention of the Republic of Namibia and has lectured at numerous African universities. He is the author, co-author, or editor of a dozen books, and numerous articles. He has served Brigham Young University as a department chair, associate dean, associate academic vice president, and associate director of the Jerusalem Center.

He and his wife, Karen, have seven children.


21 cartons (21 linear ft.)

18 boxes (9 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Arranged into seven series: 1. Dennis L. Thomson thesis and dissertation files, 1961-1969. 2. Dennis L. Thomson professional writing, circa 1969-1990. 3. Dennis L. Thomson correspondence, 1970-1997. 4. Dennis L. Thomson Namibia files, 1989-1993. 5. Dennis L. Thomson university files, 1975-1995. 6. Dennis L. Thomson course files, 1959-1984. 7. Dennis L. Thomson research files, 1924-2006. Materials have been grouped by subject.

Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available online.

Custodial History

These materials were donated to the Brigham Young University Archives by Dennis L. Thomson in June 2002. Noel Reynolds donated more materials in July 2011, followed by another donation by Dennis L. Thomson in August 2011.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Dennis L. Thomson; 2002.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Noel Reynolds; July 2011.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Dennis L. Thomson; August 2011.


Office files (University Archives Collecting Policy, July 2003).

Processing Information

Processed; Kayla Jones; August 2011.

Register of Dennis L. Thomson papers
Kayla Jones
2011 August 18
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. University Archives Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo UT 84602 US