Preface to the Second Edition
Chad J. Flake and Larry W. Draper, eds., A Mormon Bibliography, 1830–1930: Books, Pamphlets, Periodicals, and Broadsides Relating to the First Century of Mormonism,
2nd ed. (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004).
Preface to the Second Edition
This new edition provides bibliographic entries for materials published during the same time period as the original edition of A Mormon Bibliography, issued in 1978, namely the first century of Mormonism, 1830–1930. The new edition incorporates entries from both the original edition issued in 1978 and the Ten Year Supplement published in 1989. The Supplement added about 1,800 entries to the 10,000 entries of the original volume. This edition includes more than 2,700 additional entries that were either intentionally left out of the earlier volumes or have been discovered in the years since 1989. Consequently, this edition includes more than 14,400 total entries.
It has been twenty-five years since the original publication, and interest in a new edition has remained strong. We decided to issue a new edition shortly after the publication of our Indexes volume in 1992. The tedious work required to create those indexes convinced us that there was a better way than simply typing it all out. We knew that existing computer programs could reduce the future work load required to produce a new edition. We initially considered scanning the volumes and using an optical character recognition (OCR) program to convert the text to a digital format. This would have been completed relatively quickly, but eventually we decided that this method would allow many unavoidable errors to be generated by the OCR programs of the day. Ultimately we decided to manually type the data into a flat file computer database. This would allow us to print both a new hard copy edition of the bibliography in the desired format and generate the needed indexes nearly automatically and certainly with greater accuracy. The database format also provided a way to do more sophisticated searching than is possible with a simple text file format. On an imputing schedule of less than ten hours per week, the database took about two years to complete. Since that time we have been continually making corrections to the original entries as well as adding new entries based on a slightly revised inclusion criteria.
Originally, only books with substantial Mormon content, perhaps as much as an entire chapter, were judged worthy of inclusion. But after years of experience, judgments in this regard have liberalized so that now the criteria for inclusion are less stringent. Recently we have specifically sought out relevant state and county histories that contain descriptions of the Mormon presence in those localities. We have also included more than six hundred United States government documents that deal with proposed bills, passed legislation, territorial laws, and court cases relating to the Mormons.
The new edition does have features that need some explanation. Through the years we have discovered that a surprising number of books had made it into the first edition twice; that is, there were two entries for the same item placed in different places because they had different main entries. It usually happened only when an item had no stated author. This problem also occurred but to a lesser extent in the Ten Year Supplement. It was the result of using library catalog records from different libraries that cataloged the books with different main entries. So we had a modest group of entries that we called “double entries” and even in a few cases “triple entries.” We are now confident that the vast majority of these have been identified and the redundant entries eliminated.
However, one of the results of resolving multiple entries is that some entry numbers are no longer used. To avoid confusion we have chosen to vacate entry numbers for eliminated or moved entries rather than reusing numbers for newly added entries. This means that there will be occasional gaps in some number sequences. Moved entries also cause a gap in number sequences; these occur when an author’s name in the first edition is discovered to be misspelled or an initial is added for a middle name. This causes a change in where the entry should be placed alphabetically. For example, John Davis in the first edition was corrected to provide his full name, John Silvanus Davis; this left a gap in entry numbers from 2692 to 2716. There are also cases where an entry has not been relocated but rather eliminated. This may have been the result of discovering the book was published after 1930 and therefore did not merit inclusion after all. Therefore, if a missing number is encountered one should search for that item by title (in the title index) to find where the entry has been relocated in the second edition.
Another change we made from the first edition was the elimination of some bibliographic reference notes. For example, the references to Joseph Sabin’s Bibleotheca Americana were found to be sometimes inaccurate and consequently confusing. However, at the same time we have added bibliographic reference notes to three other Mormon-related bibliographies published since 1988. These are Peter Crawley’s A descriptive bibliography of the Mormon church, vol. 1, 1830–1847, Ronald D. Dennis’s Welsh Mormon writing from 1844 to 1862: A historical bibliography, and Susan L. Fales and Chad J. Flake’s Mormons and Mormonism in U.S. government documents: A bibliography. We have also slightly changed the format of entries by imposing a systematic order on the arrangement of notes. In the first edition the order of notes were not entirely consistent. Now a caption title note always appears before a wrapper note and a content note always precedes any bibliographic reference notes. These improvements have required untold hours of editing, but ultimately we feel it has resulted in a better, more consistent resource.
The indexes found at the end of volume 2 have been produced to fill several needs; particularly important is the need to search by title. The title index uses truncated titles that are only as long as necessary to differentiate between each unique entry. These truncated titles are sorted alphabetically with all initial articles removed. So the title The birth of Mormonism is found under “b” for birth, not “t” for The. An interesting account of several remarkable visions is found under “i” for interesting, not under “a” for An. Initial articles for non-English language titles are also removed, for example Een profeet der Laatste Dagen is found under profeet not under Een, which is an article in Dutch.
The chronological index has proven to be valuable in at least two ways. First, it provides scholars with blocks of material to survey the publications of a specific decade or even shorter period. Second, it allows a view of publication trends or fluctuations in publishing activity over the entire hundred-year period at a quick glance. As one would expect, the number of publications that deal in some way with Mormonism published during the first decade (1830–40) was quite modest. That number increased gradually throughout the decade but the trend changed with the move of the Church to Nauvoo in 1839, when a sharp jump in relevant imprints appeared beginning in 1840. This increase was the result of the Church having more stable conditions in America as well as increasing its missionary activity, especially in Britain. This relatively high publication rate remained constant until 1846, when the Church was forced to leave Nauvoo. The exodus to the Great Basin caused a substantial two-year drop in publishing and only after conditions normalized for the Church in Utah in the early to mid-1850s, did the rate increase. The next event that changed the rate of publication was the Utah Expedition of 1857–58. Brigham Young used this event to retrench the entire body of Church publishing as he imposed limitations on both periodical and missionary publications. The result was a drop in overall publishing beginning in 1856, reaching a low point in 1861. The American Civil War also influenced the continuance of this trend through the mid-1860s, whereupon publishing rates gradually increased through the late 1860s and 1870s. It was not until after the death of Brigham Young (1877) that imprint figures again reached the highs of the early 1850s.
Following Young’s death the next peak in publication rates occurred in 1882, when the impact of polygamy had become an important factor in the world of Mormon publications. During this period, Church growth, anti-Mormon writings (which proclaimed the evils of Mormon polygamy), Mormons responding to the anti-polygamy press, and an increase in western American travel literature all contributed to a decade of publishing unparalleled in the nineteenth century. Only following the passage of the Edmunds law (1882), the Edmunds-Tucker law (1886), and finally the issuance of the polygamy Manifesto (1890) did publication numbers level off. Following these years publication numbers remained relatively low until the end of the century.
For reasons not completely known, publication numbers reached their highest levels in the years 1900, 1905, 1908, 1910, 1920, and 1930. For the decade of 1900–1910, the peaks are most likely explained by the numerous materials published during the much-publicized Reed Smoot hearings. After the hearings concluded publication numbers generally leveled off. The numbers remained moderate through the World War I period and then took a dip during the years 1921–23. Following this 1923 low, figures rise steadily to the end of the decade in 1930. The reason was undoubtedly an increase in missionary activity and the consequent need of missionary publications. There were also substantial increases in local Church publications. This last decade (the 1920s) saw the appearance of ward and stake newspapers, ward teaching outlines, reports, and a myriad of other types of Church publications. In fact, the escalation in the publishing of this type of material was one of the determining factors in choosing 1830 to 1930 as the period that the bibliography would cover.
Non-English Language Index
Of the more than 14,400 entries in this new edition nearly 2,100, or about 7 percent are publications in non-English languages. It was suggested that an index of foreign language material could provide researchers with an important resource for examining the growth of the Church in various foreign lands. Just as searching the publications of a certain decade might suggest interesting conclusions from a chronological perspective, examining Mormonism’s publishing history in a certain country could also prove productive. Hence the inclusion of a foreign language index will be helpful to those who would like to research Mormonism from that vantage point. This index is arranged alphabetically by language and includes entries in twenty-four non-English languages.
The most prolific publishers of non-English works related to Mormonism during this period were the Scandinavians, the largest portion being Danish imprints. Together with Swedish and a few imprints in Norwegian and Icelandic, the Scandinavian languages make up nearly nine hundred entries, or 43 percent of all foreign imprints for the period. The relatively few Norwegian imprints are explained by the fact that it was not until about 1905 that Danish and Norwegian separated into individual languages. Before that time Norwegian converts read Danish tracts. Due to Iceland’s small population, the missionary effort there was relatively modest, hence the small number of Icelandic publications.
There are several reasons for the high number of Danish publications. Missionary activity in Denmark included the rapid reprinting of many publications first printed in English. These included Parley P. Pratt’s Voice of Warning, Lorenzo Snow’s The only way to be saved, and John Taylor’s Is Mormonism a false faith? Another reason for finding so many Danish entries in the bibliography is the publication of an exhaustive bibliography of Mormonism in Danish by Jorgen Schmidt entitled Oh, Du Zion, I Vest den Danske Mormon-Emigration, 1850–1900. This important bibliography, published in 1965, allowed all non-periodical entries cited in Schmidt to be included in the original 1978 edition of the bibliography. At the present time no other foreign language bibliography of this magnitude that includes both Mormon and non-Mormon publications relevant to Mormonism has been produced.
The next group of languages with significant numbers of publications are those of the western European countries of Germany, France, and the Netherlands. The reasons for this large body of literature was the steady increase of Mormon publications in general and the subsequent translation of that material into foreign languages for use by missionaries and members in those foreign countries. Another reason was the appearance of a significant amount of travel literature published in these countries. During the last two decades of the nineteenth century, many authors from western Europe passed through Utah in their travels and produced accounts of what they saw in a multitude of published descriptions. The inclusion of Mormonism in general histories of the United States and in histories of religion in America also caused the numbers of publications in these languages to increase significantly. The relatively large number of publications in Welsh is due principally to the missionary publications of Dan Jones and John S. Davis and to the fine bibliography by Ron Dennis that enumerates them.
Other languages with relatively significant numbers of entries are the Polynesian languages of Hawaiian and Maori. This genre of material is the result of early missionary activity and the consequent establishment of a Mormon press in the Hawaiian Islands and New Zealand. Other Polynesian languages with smaller publication numbers are Tahitian, Tongan, and Samoan.
Japanese and Spanish are essentially languages which appeared in the Mormon press only after the turn of the twentieth century. Publications in these languages mirror the late introduction of Mormonism to Japan and missionary work in Mexico and the Spanish-speaking regions of the United States in the early part of this century. Missionary activity of any significance in South America and Spain occurred after 1930.
Other languages are represented in quite small numbers compared to the Scandinavian, western European, and Polynesian languages. This is because of the late entry of missionaries into a country or because of the missionaries’ modest success in some areas of the world. Missionary activity in Italy, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Finland was brief and generated only a few tracts, general works, and periodicals. An interesting phenomenon of Mormon publishing during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is the Greek, Turkish, and Armenian tracts published primarily for the Turkish Mission from 1884 to 1924. The one tract printed in Hindustani represents a mission to India, even though proselytizing was primarily limited to the English population. Russian publications in the bibliography are strictly limited to travel literature and books translated from English and do not represent Mormon activity in the country.
Thus, we present here the new and revised edition of A Mormon Bibliography. It represents many years of tedious editing and refinement. It is not complete in the strictest sense as we fully expect to continue making corrections and adding newly discovered items as we find them. It goes without saying that making bibliographies of this type is a never-ending proposition. There will always be new books that surface, appear in a note from an astute collector, or spring up in a library or dealer catalog; items with references to the Mormons will continue to be found and added to this database.
Over the years we have received the kind assistance of many colleagues, associates, and acquaintances—the list is too long to enumerate. We do wish to acknowledge in particular the contributions of Peter Crawley, who made numerous useful suggestions and willingly proofread the manuscript (no easy task for anyone), and to Chad O. Foulger of the Family and Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, who without complaint—literally hundreds of times—searched for detailed information that has found its way into the bibliography. Their assistance has made the final product more accurate and useable.
We also acknowledge administrators and colleagues of the Harold B. Lee Library and L. Tom Perry Special Collections of the Brigham Young University for financial support and time granted away from our normal library assignments. These include Randy J. Olsen, Scott H. Duvall, and P. Bradford Westwood. We also thank administrators of the Family and Church History Department for similar support, and for the editorial work of Richard D. Draper and his associates in the Religious Studies Center, Devan Jensen, Charlotte H. Pollard, James S. Lambert, Marc Wilson, and Anna M. Anderson.