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Collection of diplomas and certificates

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 312

Scope and Contents

Certificates and diplomas awarded to faculty and students of Brigham Young University, Brigham Young Academy, and one from Ricks Normal College. Includes diplomas for George H. Brimhall, Edwin S. Hinckley, Margaret Vilate Elliott, Karl G. Maeser and Hester Mabel Warner. Items date from between 1870 and 1953.


  • 1870-1953


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 Collection of diplomas and certificates must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.

Administrative History

Brigham Young Academy (1875-1903) was established by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints under the direction of Brigham Young for the instruction of church members in the area of Provo, Utah.

Brigham Young Academy was the predecessor to Brigham Young University and Brigham Young High School. Brigham Young saw the school as a place where all secular learning should be fused with teachings from the scriptures. Despite steady growth during its early years, the Academy was threatened by a series of financial and physical setbacks. With the help and sacrifice of Abraham O. Smoot, the campus moved in 1891 to new facilities on University Avenue in Provo Utah. The Academy's curriculum strengthened and enrollment grew. In 1903, the name was officially changed to Brigham Young University.

Brigham Young Academy principals included Warren N. Dusenberry (1876), Karl G. Maeser (1876-1892), and Benjamin Cluff (1892-1903).

Administrative History

Brigham Young University (1903- ) is a university sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Provo, Utah.

Brigham Young University was established in 1903 in a renaming of Brigham Young Academy. Past and present Brigham Young University presidents include George H. Brimhall (1903-1921), Franklin S. Harris (1921-1945), Howard S. McDonald (1945-1949), (acting president) Christian Jensen (1949-1951), Ernest L. Wilkinson (1951-1971), Dallin H. Oaks (1971-1980), Jeffrey R. Holland (1980-1989), Rex E. Lee (1989-1995), Merrill J. Bateman (1996-2003), Cecil O. Samuelson (2003-2014), and Kevin J. Worthen (2014- ).

Brigham Young University is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as part of the Church Educational System (CES). The university is governed by a Board of Trustees, which, since 1939, has consisted of the First Presidency of the Church as well as other General Authorities or general officers of the Church appointed by the First Presidency. The Board of Trustees provides general direction and oversees the formulation of broad policies as well as the approval of all executive leadership and faculty appointments at the university. The Board of Trustees delegates to the University President the responsibility to conduct the operations of the institution and administer the policies enacted by the board. The President serves as the chief executive officer and general manager of the University. Since 1996, the President of the university has also been a General Authority of the Church.

Brigham Young University has grown from a small academy to one of the world's largest private universities. Sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, BYU offers a unique educational environment that promotes learning by study and also by faith.

Administrative History

Ricks Normal College (1918-1923) was a school in Rexburg affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Idaho. Previously known as Ricks Academy, it changed as the school was granted state certification which now allowed graduates of the school the ability to teach in Idaho. In 1923 the school was renamed Ricks College as the college curriculum expanded.


1 box (0.5 linear ft.)

2 oversize folder (0.02 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available online.

Other Finding Aids

A more detailed finding aid is available in print in the repository.

Custodial History

Stephen L. Richards diploma was received with the Leola D. Green Merrill papers (MSS 3748) and was transferred from Special Collections to the University Archives in 2015.

Margaret Vilate Elliott diploma transferred from the Historic Clothing Collection, collected by the Department of Clothing and Textiles, 2017.

Hester Devenport diploma was donated by Chris Devenport, great-grandson of Hester Devenport, on June 6, 2017. Diploma had been passed down to him through his grandfather, Karl Warner Devenport.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Stephen L. Richards diploma; transferred; May 8, 2015.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Margaret Vilate Elliott diploma: Transferred; 2017.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Hester Devenport diploma: Donated; Chris Devenport; June 6, 2017.


Departmental records (University Archives collecting policy, July 2003).

Related Materials

For additional certificates, see copies attached in Faculty Minutes, Vol. 4, 1883-1885, p. 151-165. Also for additional BYU Training School certificates see MSS 352 Edwin Smith Hinckley papers.


Items are listed roughly alphabetically (by last name, if applicable) within the categories of students, faculty, and university.

Processing Information

Processed; Hollis Scott.

Processing Information

Processed; Sadie Hutchinson, student manuscript processor; August 3, 2015.

Processing Information

Processed; Eric Wolford; student manuscript processor; April 12, 2017.

Processing Information

Processed; Jace Packer, student manuscript processor; July 25, 2017.

Register of Collection of diplomas and certificates
James Cloward
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.
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Revision Statements

  • 2011 January 11: GilEADized to correct small errors.
  • 2015 August 3: Edited for compliance with DACS and CCLA standards; added Biographical history notes for all creators, Custodial History note, and Immediate source of Acquisition note.
  • 2017 April 12: Material added to collection; Eric Wolford; student manuscript processor.
  • 2017 July: Material added to collection; Jace Packer, student manuscript processor.

Repository Details

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

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo UT 84602 US