Mormonism (Latter-Day Saints)

IC Library Print & Media Resources

IC Library Databases (Articles)

Selected databases

     ATLA religion database with ATLASerials : Our discipline-specific database for religion research.  Setting search limits on the home page is a good idea if you are looking specifically for journal articles (under "publication type" select "article" to eliminate books and essays in books, which will not be available full text) or if you read only English (under Language select "English" to eliminate retrievals in other languages).
     Subject searching is available--just open the "Select a Field" drop-down menu to the right of the search slots.  And you can preview the Subject Headings available here by clicking on "Indexes" above the search slots and selecting "Subjects All."  Not only will this allow you to confirm Subject Headings, but for each one you will be given a "count" of how many records have been assigned it, so you can see in advance where the greatest number of resources are available for your topic.  The best Subject headings here are Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Mormons, Book of Mormon, and Smith, Joseph.

     General OneFile : is the most user-friendly of our comprehensive databases, covering almost any topic from a wide range of disciplinary angles and offering lots of full text.  Use the default Subject search to find the best subject heading for your topic (and when you find a good one be sure to look at the "Related Subjects" to see if there's something even better).  For example, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Mormonism, and Mormons.
     After finding the best Subject term, use the “Subdivisions” link below it for focus.  These allow you to target articles on a particular aspect of the topic, including "Environmental aspects," “Ethical Aspects,” “Political Aspects,” "Religious Aspects," and “Social Aspects.”
      If the best available subdivision is still too broad, open it and add your own Keywords in the "Search within these results" slot at the upper left.
     User Advisory: When first viewing your retrievals in General OneFile, note that you are seeing onlythe "Magazines" (popular articles) and must click on the tabs for "Academic Journals" (scholarly articles) or "News" (newspaper articles) to see those results.

     ProQuest Research Library : is another comprehensive database with substantial full text.  Use the "Thesaurus" (above the search slots) to preview what Subject Headings are available.  Subect searching can be a more efficient way to search than with only Keywords, since it guarantees that the articles retrieved actually be about the Subject--not just use a particular word.  The primary Subject term used here is Mormonism (but also see "User Advisory" below). 
     Note that to the right of your search results you can limit your retrieval by "Source Type" (including Magazines, Newspapers, Scholarly Journals),  "Document Type," (including Cover Story, Editorial, or Interview), "Document Feature" (including Photographs, Illustrations), and "Location."
     Above each set of articles you retrieve ProQuest will display related Subject searches to help either broaden or narrow your focus.
     User Advisory: ProQuest is fussy about entering Subject searches in the designated search slot. If your subject is a person, enter the name--last name first--in the "Person" slot; if a named group of any kind--Microsoft, Radiohead, the New York Mets, or a church, e.g. the Catholic Church--enter it in "Co/Org." So any Subject search on the Church ofJesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints must be entered in the Co/Org slot.
     Academic Search Premier : Like General OneFile and Proquest, a large comprehensive database with ample full text.  Note that you can browse the "Subject Terms" (above the search slots) and once you find a likely Subject Heading for your topic you can "explode" (double click) it for a list of related Subject terms.  The primary Subject term used here is Mormon Church and if you "explode" it you will see a list of related Subject headings.  Also note that with each retrieval set there is a "Geography" button on the left where you can narrow the results by country--for instance, the United States--as well as "Source Types" where you can choose to view only the "academic" (scholarly) journal articles.

     America: History and Life : A large scholarly database, with much of the full text supplied by JSTOR, but the advantage to searching here is the availability of Subject searching and an "Historical Period" limit.  The Subject Heading most often used here is simply Mormons--so you may need to add more specific Keywords.  But whereas the date limit in most databases refers to the date articles were published, the "Historical Period" limit available here allows you to target the period of time discussed in the article.  And while the emphasis here is on "History," if you set the date range to 2005-2011, you will retrieve articles with at least one foot in the present.  Note: setting the "Document Type" to "Article" will winnow out all the reviews and book citations.

      JSTOR : covers a wide range of scholarly journals in most disciplines, always beginning with the first issue of each one.  This provides (almost) 100% full text of journals from the first half of the twentieth century and the second half of the nineteenth.
     JSTOR offers only a Keyword search of its complete full text, so retrievals are large, but the relevancy ranking does a good job of putting the strongest matches on the first few pages.  This relevancy ranking does not weigh date, however, and will display a mix of articles written decades apart.  So if your topic is time sensitive, be alert to publication dates.
     User Advisory: The academic journals covered here feature numerous book reviews, so it's a good idea to tick the "Article" limit below the search slots so you won't be overwhelmed by book reviews on your topic. 
     Also note the "Date Range" limit, which in a database with an archive this deep can be very useful.  Scholarly articles did not regularly appear on Mormonism until the final decades of the 19th century, but running a search on Mormons or Mormonism and setting a date range of 1880-1900 will retrieve almost 100 articles on how the early Mormons appeared to their contemporaries.

      New York Times (1851-2009) gives access to the full text of the New York Times 1851-2006. Reset the default search of "citation and document text" to "citation and abstract" (since this is a Keyword search of 100% full text, you are likely to generate too many passing mentions of your search terms if you search all the text; first try the more focused "citation and abstract" search and only broaden it to "document text" if you retrieve too few hits).
Use the "date range" limits to target the primary sources available here--contemporary/eyewitness reports. Without a date range limit you may retrieve hundreds of articles written decades after the events they discuss. For example, a search on Mormons or Mormonism with a date range limit of 1851-1880 will target the Time's original coverage of what was then a fringe sect, often deplored in the mainstream media.

      LexisNexis Academic :
    News: Our best national, international, and local newspaper coverage--100% full text. Don't settle for the default "Easy Search"--choose "News" at the lower left and then "All News." Then change the default "Everywhere" search to "Headline & Lead" (otherwise a keyword searche of full text will retrieve too many irrelevant hits). Even more effective at targeting articles where your topic is discussed, not simply mentioned, is to use the "at least 5 occurrences" option from the drop-down menu to the right of each search slot. This guarantees that your search will retrieve only articles in which your terms are used at least 5 times--an indication that they constitute a main topic.Use "Specify date" to select a time range also helps narrow your results.
    Law Reviews: If you click on the “US Legal” button at the left of the LexisNexis home page and then choose "Law Reviews", you can search these excellent resources for articles discussing Native American rights, legal status, and tribal law. The search is Keyword of 100% full text and often your retrieval sets will be large. A good way to focus your results is to use the “at least 5 occurrences” option from the drop down menu to the right of the search slots. This will guarantee that your search terms occur at least 5 times in all the articles retrieved—indicating a main topic.
     User Advisory: There is no Subject searching here, so In entering keyword searches as recommended above be aware that the exclamation point ! is the truncation symbol here and Mormon! will retrieve Mormon, Mormons, and Mormonism.  Likewise, remember to put "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" in quotation marks to keep the words together as a phrase.

     Project Muse , although a smaller database, it complements JSTOR. LIke JSTOR it provides 100% full text of mostly scholarly journals, but its coverage is entirely current--mainly spanning the last 10-15 years.  Muse uses a "black box" search approach--you enter your search terms in one slot with no designated field options--but in addition to slapping in keywords, you can use the same Library of Congress Subject Headings that work in the Library catalog (see above under "Subject Searches").  This broad approach to searching tends to generate large retrievals, so it's best to be as specific as possible.  And note--once you have a retrieval set, you can add more search terms by clicking "Modify Search" at the top.

Go West, Young Mormon

                      Joseph Smith               Brigham Young       LDS Temple, Salt Lake City

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Lisabeth Chabot

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Reference Resources: Print

The Reference collection is located at the far end of the Library's main floor.

Web Resources

Selected Web Sites

  • Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847-1868: Part of the Church History Library of the LDS in Salt Lake City, this offers many transcripts from the Mormon migration.  The link is to a chronological list of the companies that made the journey to Utah, each of which will conect to a "Sources" link.
  • Joseph Smith: A highly sectarian account of the life and significance of Joseph Smith, created and maintained by the LDS.
  • Brigham Young: An account of his life and works by true believers at Brigham Young University.
  • Mormons in America: From the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, this survey of contemporary Mormon views offers book-length analysis supported by the most current data (published January 2012).  Also check out the Pew Forum's briefer overview, "A Portrait of Mormons in the U.S."
  • The Mormons: Web site supporting the 4-hour PBS series from 2007.  There are considerable background readings here and video access to the entire series.
  • Utah Lighthouse Ministry: from a husband-wife team, both former Mormons, this site provides a wide-ranging gateway to online materials highly critical of the Church of Latter Day Saints.
  • Recovery from Mormonism: A gateway to online materials skeptical about or hostile to Mormonism's claims of revelation and the mission of the LDS church.
  • Affrimation: Gay & Lesbian Mormons: for over 30 years this international organization has been providing a forum and safe space for exploring the compatability--or lack of it--between Mormonism and LGBT individuals.

Citation Help

MLA Citation

MLA is the citation style used by most disciplines in the Humanities. Here is my guide to the latest (2016) update of the MLA style.