Gregory A. Prince Mormon Studies Collection
The Gregory A. Prince Mormon Studies Collection (MSS 16540), 1813-2020, contains about 10,000 items (107 cubic feet) and reflects a lifetime of dedicated scholarship and careful acquisition of materials by Gregory A. Prince that would be very difficult to replicate in modern times. It contains pamphlets, charts, books, manuscripts, diaries, journals, audiovisual materials, newspapers, photographs, artifacts, and ephemera related to the organization and evolution of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). This donation, acquired by a collaboration between the University of Virginia Library and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, makes the University of Virginia the leading site for the study of Mormonism outside of Utah. Its unique materials will support both the teaching and research goals of the Mormon Studies program. About two-thirds of the collection will join the circulating collections of the University Library with the remainder being placed in Special Collections Archives and Rare Book sections.
“Dr. Gregory A. Prince (1948-) was born and reared in Los Angeles, California. He attended Dixie College from 1965-1967, graduating as valedictorian. He attended the UCLA School of Dentistry from 1969-1973, again graduating as valedictorian. He received a Ph.D. in Pathology from UCLA in 1975, studying respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the primary cause of infant pneumonia worldwide.” He has collected LDS Church materials for almost fifty years and has written four books on Mormon topics himself, becoming a recognized historian in his own right. Prince became convinced that the University of Virginia could become an unrivaled center for Mormon Studies with the addition of his collection combined with the presence of an endowed Mormon Studies professorship and its world-class University research library.
Materials were organized to maintain the original groupings and arrangement created by Dr. Prince. General groupings include pamphlet files, biographical files, David McKay diaries, "The Deseret News" and "The Woman’s Exponent" publications, Senator Reed Smoot subject files, handbooks and other materials concerning the Beehive Girls, the Crisis of Faith survey and reports, ephemera, and audiovisual materials, chiefly DVDs.
The collection includes a great variety of subjects and formats, works by both practicing Mormons and critics of the religion, all covering a large historical period. It includes works concerning Mormonism of both an official nature and from a popular culture perspective, including magazine articles, cartoons, dime novels, a comic book, and a graphic novel. It contains materials in at least fourteen different languages that demonstrate the world-wide influence of Mormonism. Topics of focus include the structure and practices of the Church, the Book of Mormon, splinter sects, race, sexuality, gay and lesbian Mormons, the role of women in the Church of Latter-Day Saints, polygamy, politics, the temperance movement, crisis of faith surveys, and the presidency of David O. McKay. An appraiser stated that the internal structural changes of the church can be traced in the “lengthy runs of priesthood, young adult, woman's journals, seminary manuals, etc.” which were typically replaced periodically or thrown away, but in this case have been retained. The collection richly documents the establishment and development of a distinctly American and modern religion.
The pamphlet files primarily contain printed materials but also include other ephemera on a wide variety of topics, events, and people in the Mormon faith. Pamphlet files were organized by size: general pamphlets and large pamphlets. Prince maintained pamphlets about the subject of temperance separately.
Biographical files about significant members in the church were kept by the donor; much of this information was generated from a Brigham Young University website. These materials are organized alphabetically by title or name.
Runs of publications include "The Woman's Exponent," a bimonthly newspaper (1873-1914) from members of the Relief Society, an LDS women’s organization, and an incomplete twentieth century run of "The Deseret News."
Also present are 121 volumes of typescript copies of the "journals" of David O. McKay, that were kept by McKay’s long-time secretary, Clare Middlemiss, who had intentions of writing McKay’s memoir. Along with the diaries are additional volumes titled archival subjects, scrapbooks, published materials and related material.
The Senator Reed Smoot research files all focus on the Congressional hearings about whether the United States Senate should seat Senator Reed Smoot, an apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, elected by the Utah legislature in 1903. The hearings began in 1904 and continued until 1907, when a Senate vote failed to achieve the two-thirds majority required to expel a member. This allowed Smoot to retain his seat.
Audiovisual materials consist primarily of CDs and DVDs chiefly of interviews about a 2006 church history tour and KJZZ Television scholar interviews both related to the Joseph Smith Papers Project and a media kit, "The House of the Lord."
The collection also includes 53 boxes of rare books which will be cataloged separately. A significant part of the collections has been included in the University’s circulating collection.
Many of the materials in the collection have a Flake number. This number refers to its citation number in the Mormon bibliography, 1830-1930, by C.J. Flake and Larry W. Draper, relating to the first century of Mormonism. Volume 1 is A-M and Volume 2 is N-Z. An online version is available at:
- Creation: circa 1813-2020
- Prince, Gregory A., 1948- (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open and available for research use.
Conditions Governing Use
Some items are copies of materials held by other institutions and would require permission to copy.
Biographical / Historical
“Dr. Gregory A. Prince (1948-) was born and reared in Los Angeles, California. He attended Dixie College from 1965-1967, graduating as valedictorian. He attended the UCLA School of Dentistry from 1969-1973, again graduating as valedictorian. He received a Ph.D. in Pathology from UCLA in 1975, studying respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the primary cause of infant pneumonia worldwide.
Over a period of fifteen years at the National Institutes of Health and Johns Hopkins University, he and his co-workers developed the thesis that RSV disease could be prevented by administering antiviral antibodies to high-risk infants. He co-founded Virion Systems, Inc. to commercialize this thesis, and serves as its President and CEO. In 1989, Virion Systems and MedImmune, Inc. formed a joint venture to conduct clinical trials that ultimately resulted in the licensure by the Food and Drug Administration of RespiGam™ (1996), and Synagis™ (1998) for the prevention of RSV pneumonia in high-risk infants. Synagis™ is the first monoclonal antibody ever licensed for use against any infectious agent and its first-year sales made it one of the most successful biotech product launches in history. In addition to a career in science, Dr. Prince is an acclaimed historian.”
For further information about Dr. Prince, his publications and other work, see:
107 Cubic Feet (The Archival section of the papers arrived in 108 cubic and oversize boxes. )
Language of Materials
The Prince Mormon Studies collection is arranged in nine Series:
1) Beehive Girls Material (Boxes 1-7) 2) David O. McKay Diaries and Related Volumes (Ledgers 1-121) 3) Pamphlets (Boxes 8-122) 4) Biographical Files (Boxes 122-126)
For the biographical files, the date of creation are based on the end date of when the item was originally written or when it was published. All of this information was taken from the typescript copies themselves, most of which appear to have been generated from a Brigham Young University website and printed in 1999.
5) The Reed Smoot Hearings Related Materials (Boxes 127-134) 6) Temperance Pamphlets (Boxes 134-141) 7) Manuscripts, Ephemera and Miscellany (Boxes 142-152 and Ledgers 122-136) 8) Oversize Pamphlets and Newspapers
A Newspapers – Incomplete Runs (Flat Oversize Boxes 1-13) B Oversize Pamphlets, Photographs and Individual Newspapers (Flat Oversize Boxes 14-18 and one Oversize Flat File folder)
9) Audiovisual Materials (Boxes 153-157)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Mormon Studies Collection was a gift of Gregory A. Prince, on March 23, 2021.
Originally all the general pamphlet files arrived in hanging folders and 108 cubic boxes and needed to be rehoused. "The Women's Exponent" and "Deseret Church News" were in non coventional oversize boxes and also were rehoused.
This material contains offensive or harmful language based on race and religion. Some of this material may contain offensive or harmful language or imagery. The purpose of this note is to give users the opportunity to decide whether they need or want to view these materials, or at least, to mentally or emotionally prepare themselves to view the materials.
- History--Religious aspects--Mormon Church
- Mormon Church
- Mormon Church
- Mormon Church--Apologetic Works
- Mormon Church--Sacred Books
- Mormon converts
- Mormon gays
- Mormon missionaries
- Mormon pioneers--Utah--Biography
- Mormon women
- Smith, Joseph, Jr., 1805-1844
- Young, Brigham, 1801-1877
- polygamy--religious aspects--Mormon Church
- racism--Religious aspects--Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- segregation--religious aspects--Mormon Church
- Gregory A. Prince Mormon Studies Collection
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository
Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States