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Leona Holbrook papers

Identifier: MSS 1740

Scope and Contents

Includes correspondence, writings, speech transcripts, subject files, photographs, printed items, reports, and other papers. Major topics include the Olympics, dance and other forms of human movement, and the physical education of women in the United States and around the world. Includes information on the construction of the Richards Building on the Brigham Young University campus and Holbrooks' participation in several professional organizations. Dated approximately 1927 to 1991.


  • approximately 1927-1991


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 Leona Holbrook papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.

Biographical History

Leona Holbrook (1909-1980) was a faculty member in the Brigham Young University Department of Physical Education.

Leona Holbrook was born in Lehi, Utah, on April 7, 1909, to Horace Cook Holbrook and Leona Garn. After living in New Zealand while her parents served a mission, she was accelerated to high school at the age of thirteen. She attended East High School in Salt Lake City from 1922 to 1925. At age sixteen, Leona entered the University of Utah, declaring physical education as her major. There she was elected president of the Women's Athletic Association and awarded the Phi Delta Pi Cup.

Her first teaching position was at West Junior High School in Salt Lake City in 1931. In 1935 she was awarded a masters of science degree from the Teachers College at Columbia University, New York City, as well as a doctorate degree in education in 1950. After working in various leadership positions in several camps for women and girls, Leona accepted a teaching position at Brigham Young University in 1937. At BYU, Leona had a large part in planning the construction of the Richards Building. Later in her life she donated three hundred thousand dollars to the dance and women's physical education programs at BYU. She passed away at the age of seventy-one in her Provo home, of natural causes.

Leona Holbrook received numerous honors and acted in many leadership positions in her lifetime, including the president of the American Camping Association (Wasatch Section) (1946), president of the National Assocation for Physical Education of College Women (1964-1966), president of the American Assocation for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (1966-1967), recipient of the BYU Alumni Distinguished Service Award (1967), member of the board of directors of the United States Olympic Committee (1968), enshrined in the Helms Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame (1971), recipient of the Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Teaching Award (1977), director of the National Olympic Academy III at BYU (1978), and recipient of the Luther Halsey Gulick Award (1974) and the Dorothy S. Ainsworth Honor Award (1979).


103 cartons (103 linear ft.)

20 boxes (10 linear ft.)

2 oversize boxes (3.32 linear ft.)

1 quarto (1.38 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Arranged into eleven series: 1. Leona Holbrook papers on the Olympics, 1960-1991. 2. Leona Holbrook books and periodicals, approximately 1927-1991. 3. Leona Holbrook journals, magazines, and pamphlets, approximately 1927-1991. 4. Leona Holbrook speeches and papers, approximately 1927-1991. 5. Leona Holbrook correspondence, approximately 1927-1991. 6. Leona Holbrook physical education papers, approximately 1927-1991. 7. Leona Holbrook education papers, approximately 1927-1991. 8. Leona Holbrook personal papers, approximately 1927-1991. 9. Leona Holbrook professional papers, approximately 1927-1991. 10. Leona Holbrook financial papers, approximately 1927-1991. 11. Leona Holbrook photographs and other material, approximately 1927-1991.

The original order of the collection has been maintained.

Other Finding Aids

Partial box-level inventory available online.

Custodial History

Donated by Arva Whitby in October 1981.

Donated by Nena Rey Hawkes in Sept 1997.

Transferred from Library Acquisitions in May 2000.

MSS 1774 and MSS 1778 were merged with other Leona Holbrook papers and catalogued under MSS 1740 in Mar 2001.

Transferred from Bibliographic Department of HBLL Brigham Young University.

Donated by Don Norton.

Transferred from the Department of Dance in October 2014.

Transferred from the Excercise Science Department in March 2016.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Arva Whitby; October 1981.

Donated; Nena Rey Hawkes; September 1997.

MSS 1774 and MSS 1778 merged; March 2001.

Transferred; Bibliographic Department; date of acquisition not identified.

Donated; Don Norton; date of acquisition not identified.

Transferred from Library Acquisitions; May 2000.

Transferred from Department of Dance; October 2014.

Transferred; Department of Exercise Science; March 2016.


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

Processing Information

Processed; Dani Peterson; August 2011.

Processed; Hannah Waddel; December 2014.

Processed; Eric Wolford; January 2017.

Register of Leona Holbrook papers
Dani Peterson
2011 August 19
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