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L. Tom Perry Special Collections exhibit prints

Identifier: MSS P 17

Scope and Contents

Contains oversized prints from the collections of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections that were used in exhibits. All photographs in the collection were produced from negatives in the respective collections of each photographer. Materials dated approximately 1860-1930.


  • approximately 1860-1930


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 use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Biographical / Historical

The L. Tom Perry Special Collections was named in May 2000, and was previously known as the Department of Special Collections; Manuscripts. It is located in the Harold B. Lee Library on the campus of Brigham Young University. Aline and L. Sam Skaggs, through their ALSAM Foundation, made a generous financial donation to the new library and requested that the Special Collections be named after L. Tom Perry, an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The department is responsible for collecting, preserving, and making available rare books, historical manuscripts, and university records. Department chairs have included Scott Duvall (1999-2002), P. Bradford Westwood (2002-2009), Russ Taylor (2009-2014), J. Gordon Daines III (2014-2020), Thomas R. Wells, (2020-2021), and Dainan Skeem (2021- ).

Biographical / Historical

Charles William Carter was born in London, England, on August 4, 1832. Carter came to Salt Lake City in 1859, where he set up his first photography studio. He was one of Utah's first early photographers. Among some of his well known photographs were the construction of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Temple and Tabernacle, the Shoshone Indians, mining, the Transcontinental Railroad construction and life of the members of the Church. He died on January 27, 1918, in the home of his daughter (Mrs. George Smith) in Midvale, Utah.

Biographical / Historical

George Beard was born in Yeardsley cum Whaley in Cheshire, England, on December 21, 1854. He was the youngest of nine children born to Ellen Elizabeth Clark and Thomas Beard, who worked in a coal mine. His parents and oldest brother were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1852, and the rest of the family was baptized later. George immigrated to Utah with his mother and sisters in 1868. They settled in Coalville, Utah, where George married Lovenia Bullock on March 31, 1877. They had eight children who were frequently shown in his artwork and photographs. Beard's artistic interests became a large part of his career aside from managing the Coalville Cooperative Mercantile Institution. He also taught choir, directed musicals in the Opera House, served as a Latter-day Saint bishop from 1889 to 1895, and served as mayor of Coalville from 1891 to 1892. George Beard died on October 3, 1944 in Coalville.

Biographical / Historical

Franklin Stewart Harris was born August 29, 1884 in Benjamin, Utah. He moved with his family to the state of Chihuahua, Mexico in the 1890s to the colonies there. He would study at Brigham Young University and go on to Cornell to receive his doctorate.

Harris served as president of Brigham Young University from 1921 until 1945. His administration was characterized by improvement in academics and by growth of the University's physical facilities, such as the construction of the Heber J. Grant Library building. Even with the financial pressures of the Great Depression from the late 1920s to the 1930s, Harris was able to help increase Brigham Young University attendance, library and campus facilities.

In 1945 Harris left Brigham Young University to be the president of the Utah State Agricultural College (what is now Utah State University). He died April 18, 1960 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Biographical / Historical

Lizzie Edith Irvine was born January 7, 1884 in Sheep Ranch, California to Thomas Hanna Irvine and Mary Irene Hill. Edith was hired by the Standard Electric Company of California to photograph construction of the Electra Power Plant as a teenager. Her photographs largely concentrate on her community, including local schools, community events, and portraits of friends and neighbors; however, she is most famous for her 1906 San Francisco Earthquake photos. She was also a teacher who served as a Board of Education member as well as the principal of Moke Hill High School. Edith retired from education in the early 1930s due to health concerns. In her later years, she edited and contributed to Mokelumne Hill's newspaper, the Calaveras weekly. Edith Irvine died in Calaveras County, California on August 14, 1949.

Biographical / Historical

George Edward Anderson (Ed, as he was called) was born October 28, 1860, in Salt Lake City, to George A. Anderson and Mary Ann Thorn, and was the oldest of nine children. He was apprenticed as a teenager under the renowned photographer, Charles R. Savage. It was at Savage's Temple Bazaar that he became friends with fellow apprentices John Hafen and John F. Bennett. Hafen was later to become an accomplished artist and Bennett was to become instrumental in preserving Anderson's collection of glass plate negatives.

At the age of seventeen, Anderson established his own photography studio in Salt Lake City with his brothers, Stanley and Adam. He subsequently established a studio in Manti, Utah in 1886. In the fall of 1888 he moved his studio to Springville, Utah, with his bride, Olive Lowry. He is perhaps best known for his traveling tent studio, set up in small towns throughout central, eastern, and southern Utah, where he captured the lives of the residents. These studios thrived throughout the years 1884-1907.

Although today we might think of Ed Anderson as a portrait photographer, his clear and artistic studio portraits are complemented by thousands of documentary portraits taken near homes, barns, and businesses. They document not only families but also small town Utah history. He documented, among other things, railroad history, mining history including the Scofield mine disaster, and the building of temples by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Pure landscape photographs were never his interest, but to many Church members, his 1907-1908 photographs of Church history sites are their only acquaintance with Anderson's photography. He photographed these sites while traveling across the country to begin his LDS Church mission in England from 1909-1911. The Deseret Sunday School Union of the Church published some of the views, as Anderson called them, in a booklet entitled The Birth of Mormonism in Picture.

Upon the completion of his mission, Anderson returned to South Royalton, Vermont, and set up a photography studio near the birthplace of the prophet Joseph Smith. He added a number of Church history site photographs, as well as portraits of Church members and local residents to his growing collection. Finally, in November 1913, he returned to his family and home in Springville, Utah.

After a seven year absence his photographic business was unhealthy and his family life was strained. But business and money were never the motivating forces of Ed Anderson's life—art and religion were his driving forces. Continuing to experience financial and marital strains, Anderson tried to revive his traveling tent studio but was met with little success. He was, however, able to earn some money from the sale of The Birth of Mormonism booklet.

The later years of Ed Anderson's life were spent in documenting families and life in Utah Valley and traveling to newly constructed temples. In 1923, he traveled to Cardston, Alberta, Canada with Church authorities for the dedication of that city's temple. He was to spend two years in Canada, thus returning to Springville in 1925. Though ill in the fall of 1927 and despite his wife's urging not to go, Anderson went once again with Church officials to document the dedication of another temple, this time in Mesa, Arizona. It was to be his last trip. He died of heart failure on May 9, 1928, after being brought home to Springville.


3 oversize boxes (2.1 linear ft.)

7 oversize folders (0.75 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Photographs were produced by L. Tom Perry Special Collections from repository collections for use in exhibits in the Harold B. Lee Library. After the conclusion of the exhibit, the prints were transferred to this collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred; L. Tom Perry Special Collections; 2007.


Photographs (Photograph Archives).

Related Materials

See also the Edith Irvine collection (MSS P 585), the Franklin Harris collection (MSS P 340), the George Edward Anderson collection (MSS P 1), the C. W. Carter collection (MSS P 133), and the George Beard collection (MSS P 3).

Processing Information

Processed; Abe Austin; 2012.

Processing Information

Processed; Anne Ashton; 2024. File-level description added.

Register of L. Tom Perry Special Collections exhibit prints
In Progress
Abe Austin
2012 April 4
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