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H. Donl Peterson research collection on the Book of Abraham

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2019

Scope and Contents

Contains materials pertaining to the research of the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price conducted by H. Donl Peterson. Includes research files, photocopies of newspapers, materials from books, probate records, and genealogical information. Details the early exploration of Egypt from the 18th and 19th centuries and Antonio Lebolo’s travel and discovery of Ancient Egyptian antiquities and manuscripts, Michael H. Chandler’s acquisition of the lost mummies and papyri, and their eventually being sold in Kirtland, Ohio to founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith, Jr. Dated approximately 1964-1994.


  • 1964-1994


Conditions Governing Access

No photocopying will be permitted without curator permission. Box 30 is restricted for conservation purposes. Copies of these materials have been provided in box 29. Contact the Supervisor of Reference Services for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from H. Donl Peterson research collection on the Book of Abraham must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

H. Donl Peterson (1930-1994) was a religion professor at Brigham Young University.

He was born February 17, 1930, in Lehi, Utah, to Harry C. and Mada Peck Peterson. He married his sweetheart, Mary Lou Schenk, on March 18, 1953, in the Salt Lake Temple. As a young man he served in the Western States Mission, and when he returned home attended Brigham Young University for a B.S. and M.S, and later went on to earn a doctorate at Washington State University. He worked as a seminary and institute teacher for many years and eventually became a religion professor at BYU where he conducted research on the Book of Abraham. Peterson died of cancer on March 21, 1994.


33 boxes (16.5 linear ft.)

1 film boxes (0.33 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

Register available in repository. File-level inventory available online.

Custodial History

Compiled by H. Donl Peterson from 1964 until his death in 1994. Donated by his wife in 1995.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Mary Lou Peterson; 1995.


LDS scholarship and historiography (20th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy, 5.VII, August 2007).

Processing Information

Processed; Caitlyn Towne, student manuscript processor, and John M. Murphy, curator; 2017.

  • The Egyptian Museum. Guide Nr. 15. Translated by Jody Shiffman. Milan, Italy: Federico Garolla Editore, 1982. Bernardi, Marziano. Turin and It's Environs. Translated by Alexander Cameron-Curry. Rome, Italy: Instituto Poligrafico Dello Stato, 1951. The Egyptian Museum. The Royal Mummies. Egypt: S.C.A Press. Martin, Richard A. Mummies. USA: Field Museum Press, 1969. Brigham Young University. Studies: A Voice for the Community of LDS Scholars volume 8 (Winter 1968). Larson, Charles M. his own hands upon papyrus: a new look at the Joseph Smith papyri. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Institute for Religious Research, 1992. Laszlo, Kakosy. Dzsehutimesz Sirja Thebaban. Budapest, Hungary: Pytheas KFT, 1989. Peterson, H. Donl. Antonio Lebolo: His Roots and Branches. Provo, Utah: 1982.
Register of H. Donl Peterson research collection on the Book of Abraham
Caitlyn Towne
2017 January 23
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