Credits / Database History

The Mormon Literature Database is maintained by the Mormon Literature Database Committee at the Harold B. Lee Library of Brigham Young University:

The Mormon Literature Database Committee

Content Editors Library Administration Technical Personnel
Gideon Burton Julene Butler Bill Lund
Larry Draper
  John Finlay
Connie Lamb   Annalee Zeidner
Robert Means    

If you have questions you may direct these to one of the content editors, above, or submit data here.

We gratefully acknowledge the Harold B. Lee Library for its long term commitment to hosting and maintaining this database, and for providing data from the HBLL Library Catalog. The contributions of various libarians, scholars, and bibliographers are described and acknowledged in the database history, below. We also acknowledge Covenant Communications, Inc. for its permission to copy and use product and image data from its website for inclusion in the MLDB.

History

The Mormon Literature Database is the combined effort of many scholars, bibliographers, and librarians, and the current committee wishes to express its gratitude for those whose prior contributions have made possible the realization of this resource. In the 1980s Eugene England of BYU's English Department assembled an early bibliographic database that relied heavily upon the annual subject bibliographies in literature published by BYU Studies. Those bibliographies, in turn, have been based upon the bibliographic work of Chad Flake, Scott Duvall, and other librarians.

In the 1990s Robert Means, Connie Lamb, and Larry Draper of BYU's Harold B. Lee Library began to assemble a Mormon Authors list in an attempt to service library patrons wanting to know more about the authors of the increasingly popular genre of Mormon fiction. This resulted in a preliminary bibliography of Mormon fiction spanning the entire twentieth century. (An online version of that print bibliography is available here, though all of this data has since been subsumed within the Mormon Literature Database, where many corrections and updates have been made).

During the mid 1990s Gideon Burton of BYU's English Department created the Mormon Literature Website, which included author bibliographies within a static-page "Who's Who" as well as Eugene England's database in an online version of very limited capacities (a flat-file database). Burton began working with a programmer, Jim Boud, to create a relational database that would make possible a more attractive and accessible online database where more annotations and data could be included, and where the relational links would enable an easy flow between data about authors, works, publishers, periodicals, and works related to one another (such as works in a series or collection or works that reviewed other works). The prototype may still be viewed online here.

After meeting one another at a conference of the Association for Mormon Letters, Means, Lamb, Draper, and Burton decided to combine their projects into the Mormon Literature Database. After receiving the approval and support of the Harold B. Lee Library, these four began meeting with IT personnel Bill Lund and then John Finlay to design and program a new version of the relational database prototype developed by Burton and Boud. Interfaces were designed by Annalee Zeidner. The database went live in 2003.

From 2005-07, site administrator Gideon Burton, in his capacity as Associate Editor / Mormon Studies Editor for BYU Studies, was working on a special issue of that academic journal devoted to Mormons and movies, co-editing this with Randy Astle (a student of the London Film School). Astle's history of Mormons and movies in that issue is the basis of the focus pages on Five Waves of Mormon Film. Astle's exhaustive Mormon filmography has now been entered into this database, as have all the motion pictures in the catalogue of the Church library (thanks to the assistance of Karen Bolzendahl). Information on all student films showcased in BYU's Final Cut student film festival was provided by the Theatre and Media Arts department and has also been entered in the database.

During this period, as the Harold B. Lee Library's Mormon Media Committee entertained a proposal that the Mormon Literature Database be supported and developed as a way of tracking various Mormon media and assisting in collection decisions. In addition, a Mormon Studies Coordinating Committee was established in the library, headed by Connie Lamb. Brad Westwood (chair of Special Collections) has been very supportive of the database as a model for other projects, and helped to advocate its support and expansion. Music librarain Janet Bradford, recognizing the value of the current database structure, submitted a proposal for interior funding to expand the database to include film. This was approved, and during late 2006 and 2007 she, and her assistant, Ruth Eldredge, met with Gideon Burton to prepare data for entry and to propose programming changes needed to accommodate music data entries.

With the inclusion of film and then music, it became appropriate to rename the database to reflec these and future phases of database grwoth. In May, 2007, the database was renamed Mormon Literature & Creative Arts.

This database has relied upon and continues to draw data from the bibliographic works (both in print and online) of many specialists, whom we would like to credit: Chad Flake, Scott Duvall, David Whittaker, Larry Draper, Marny Parkin, Terry L Jeffress, Randy Astle, Paris Anderson, Daniel Hess, BYU Studies, and the Association for Mormon Letters.

The current MLCA committee wishes to thank the Harold B. Lee Library and the BYU Dept. of English for its ongoing support of this resource.