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Milton V. Backman Jr. papers

Identifier: MSS 8785

Scope and Contents

Includes research notes, articles, syllabi, lecture notes, publication manuscripts, diaries, genealogical materials, four computers, computer disks, audiocassettes, videocassettes, photographic slides, and other materials on professional career, teaching, and family history. Topics included with these materials tend to center around the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, focusing on the Church's interactions with the cities of Kirtland, Ohio and Nauvoo, Illinois, as well as photographs of the family and Milton's mission to the Nauvoo Vistors' Center. Materials date approximately 1943 to 2013.


  • approximately 1943-2013


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 Milton V. Backman Jr. papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.

Biographical History

Milton V. Backman Jr. (1927-2016) is a historian of American religions with particular emphasis on the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Milton Vaughn Backman Jr. was born on June 11, 1927 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He enlisted in the Maritime Service near the end of World War II. After his Maritime Service, he served a mission in South Africa for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He then served in the Korean War. On his birthday in 1953 he married Kathleen McLatchy. He graduated with a degree in history from the University of Utah in 1954. He then went on to receive his PhD in history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1959. He was a professor of church history at Brigham Young University from 1960 to 1991.

He published many books including American Religions and the Rise of Mormonism, Christian Churches of America: Origins and Beliefs, Eyewitness Accounts of the Restoration, and many more. After retiring he served several short-term LDS missions in Nauvoo, Illinois and two additional LDS missions with his second wife Sharon Richey, in Nauvoo and Kirtland, Ohio. Backman died on February 6, 2016 in Herriman, Utah.


26 cartons ((26 linear ft.) )

2 boxes ((1 linear ft.) )

3 oversize folders (1.5 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Arranged in four series: 1. Milton V. Backman Jr. personal papers, 1943-2013. 2. Milton V. Backman Jr. mission papers, approximately 1990-2013. 3. Milton V. Backman Jr. teaching papers, 1960-1991. 4. Milton V. Backman Jr. research collection, 1943-2013.

Custodial History

Collection donated by Milton V. Backman in October 2015.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Milton V. Backman; October 2015.


Utah and the American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (20th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy 5.VII, August 2007.)

Processing Information

Processed; Erin Owens; October 2015; Chelsea McNeil; February 2021.

Register of Milton V. Backman Jr. papers
Erin Owens
2016 March 11
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.

Revision Statements

  • 2021 February 26: Box 32 processed and added to series 3; Chelsea McNeil.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States