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Church History

Library

Journal History of the Church

Research Guide

The Journal History of the Church is a daily history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1830 to 2008. It was taken mostly from newspapers but also from minutes and diary entries, and, as a result, it contains valuable historical and biographical information. Entries are arranged by date (with the page numbers restarting each day) and may contain information such as when a pioneer arrived in Utah, when a bishop was called, or when a ward or stake was organized.

There are multiple indexes and multiple formats for the Journal History, and sometimes this can be confusing. Please use the following links to learn more about the Journal History of the Church and how to access it

  • Journal History
  • Index for 1830–1972
    The index for 1830–1972 of the Journal History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a card index available as digital images.
  • Journal History Index 1990-2008
    From 1990–2008 the Journal History was indexed through the Church History Library's cataloging system. Click this link to access the library catalog and then click the "Magazine Index" tab to search only those articles appearing in newspapers and periodicals.

Learn more about this valuable Church History resource and how to explore its content by using the guide below.

Journal History 1830–1972

Journal History 1972–1989

Journal History 1990–2008

History of the Journal History

 

Journal History 1830–1972


The Journal History for 1830–1870 has been copied, spiral bound, and placed on the northeast wall of the Church History Library. These entries were bound in order to make them easy to access and photocopy.

The years of 1830-1923 are available on microfilm and digitally through the library catalog. The years of 1924-1972 are available on on microfilm only. These microfilms are located in cabinets near the reference desk of the Church History Library. The cabinet drawers are labeled “Journal History.” If you need assistance in locating these microfilms, please ask a staff member at the reference desk for help.

Index 1830–1972

This index is found on the Church History Library catalog. It is an alphabetical index, so you will need to find and click on the correct alphabetical range and then scroll through the entries until you find your search term. Once you have found the search term, click on it, and then click on the image on the right side of the screen to view the card. Record the information from the card, and then go to the microfilm, DVDs, or spiral-bound books to access the actual article. This index is also available on microfilm on the main floor of the Church History Library.

 

Journal History 1972–1989


The Journal History for 1972–1989 is on microfilm. These microfilms are located in cabinets near the reference desk of the Church History Library. The cabinet drawers are labeled “Journal History.”

Index for 1972–1989

There is only a microfilmed card index for 1972–1989. These microfilm reels are located after the 1830–1972 index set. If you need assistance in locating these microfilms, please ask a staff member at the reference desk for help. 

 

Journal History 1990–2008


Journal History 1990–1995

The Journal History for 1990–1995 is available in hard copy only. These Journal History entries are located in the secure stacks and must be ordered by the reference staff and viewed in the Reading Room.

Journal History 1996–2008

There is a full-text electronic copy of the Journal History for 1996–2008. It is are located in two databases that can only be accessed by Church history staff. There is also a hard copy located in the secure stacks.

Index 1990–2008

The Journal History for 1990–2008 was indexed through the Church History Library's cataloging system. The link above will take you to the online library catalog. Click the Index tab to filter out other records in the library collections. 

 

History of the Journal History


Andrew Jenson, ca. 1891

The Journal History did not actually begin in 1830. It was started in 1906 by Andrew Jenson, the Assistant Church Historian. He used information from previous Church Historians to retroactively compile this documentary history. In the 25 years prior to 1906, Jenson had gathered a variety of sources to publish histories and biographies, including his Church Chronology. He used the sources gathered for these projects to create the Journal History, and its organization undoubtedly arose from Jenson’s interest in chronology. Some of the early sources used were Joseph Smith's histories, Brigham Young’s manuscript history, the Deseret News, and the Church Historian’s Office Journal.

By 1913, Jenson had completed the years 1830–1852. By 1918 he was up to 1872, and at his death in 1941, the Journal History had reached the year 1930. His work was continued by staff working for the Church Historian's Office (now known as the Church History Department). In 2008 an administrative decision was made to cease compilation of the Journal History.