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Utah Division of State History reopens research center after three years

A visitor stands in the foreground, watching a state historian who holds up a photo of President Roosevelt. They're surrounded by boxes for the collection.
Carter Williams
Doug Misner, the library and collections coordinator for the Utah Division of State History, holds a signed photo of President Franklin D. Roosevelt during a tour held inside a temporary state history collections facility in Midvale on Jan. 27.

The Utah Division of State History relaunched its research center for the first time in almost three years last Thursday. Their vast history collection, which includes things like manuscripts, maps, and photo plates, was slowly transported to new locations that would be better equipped for handling sensitive documents and valuable historical artifacts. The move was also triggered by the Rio Grande Depot, where the collection was previously kept, being damaged in a 5.7-magnitude earthquake in March 2020.

To celebrate the completion of this long project, state historians offered rare tours of the artifacts housed in Midvale, which will have the most public access. The collection is currently spread across five state buildings, but a permanent home is currently under construction at the Utah Capitol and should be finished in 2025.

The division also relaunched its research center, the Utah Historical Society Engagement Room, for the first time since the earthquake and start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The research center allows people to view all of the historical objects upon request.

Requests can be made by calling 801-245-7227 or emailing

Duck is a general reporter and weekend announcer at UPR, and is studying broadcast journalism and disability studies at USU. They grew up in northern Colorado before moving to Logan in 2018, so the Rocky Mountain life is all they know. Free time is generally spent with their dog, Monty, listening to podcasts, reading or wishing they could be outside more.