ERIC Number: EJ875916
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Polygamy and the Public Library: The Establishment of Public Libraries in Utah before 1910
Stauffer, Suzanne M.
Library Quarterly, v75 n3 p346-370 Jul 2005
Utah's libraries were perceived as instruments for "the establishment of a recognized social order" by each successive group that came to power and were often founded as the result of conflict between Mormon culture and the larger American society. On their arrival, Mormons established libraries primarily to provide access to information necessary to the practical aspects of establishing their new utopian "Kingdom of God." As conflict with the mainstream culture grew, religious, political, economic, and social groups in American society looked to libraries to eradicate polygamy; undermine the Mormon religion, culture, and political power; and establish the recognized American social order as the dominant culture in Utah. The period of conflict was followed by reconciliation, unification, and assimilation as the Mormon Church and society abandoned its utopian ideology and sought acceptance into the greater culture of the United States. Utah's women, previously sharply divided, organized into women's clubs and literary societies to found these institutions. By 1910, the public library in Utah had become an institution of a generally accepted American secular social order.
Descriptors: Conflict, Access to Information, Public Libraries, Political Power, United States History, Social Influences, Cultural Influences, Religious Factors, Social Change
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Utah