Devon Dewey,, File

Private collectors donate rare Book of Mormon collection to BYU

By Jen Riess, | Posted - May 31, 2020 at 9:31 p.m.

PROVO — Brigham Young University alumni Carolyn Potter Ingersoll and William Boley Ingersoll both had a passion for the Book of Mormon since they were children. However, they didn't expect to become the rare collectors they are today.

The BYU Library announced the Ingersoll's rare collection — which includes several copies of the 1830 edition of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' scripture, along with first editions in all 149 translations — has been donated to the L. Tom Perry Special Collections department of the Harold B. Lee Library.

The Ingersolls told BYU they first bought an 1830 first edition for $6,000 while visiting Baltimore in the 1970s, but their collection didn't accumulate overnight. It was at least eight years later he bought their second one, then another 10 years for the third, he said.

In the 1990s, a book dealer connected him to Sam Weller’s Books (now Weller Book Works) in Salt Lake City, and the staff there helped him complete the collection, they told the university.

“They’ll be able to see the fruits of their labor in their lifetime,” their daughter, Courtney Ingersoll DeMordaunt, told BYU. “Their grandchildren and great-grandchildren will come to see this collection.”

With the donation, more students and visitors will have the opportunity to handle and study the books, the university said.

The Ingersolls told BYU they would show their collection to missionaries who visited their Washington, D.C., home for dinner. “I mean, their jaws would drop,” William said, “especially when they saw the 1830 edition.”

The books are available to the public in Special Collections during the library's normal operating hours. They could also be located in the library catalog with the Ingersolls' names.

Editor's note: The content of this article was taken from a press release sent out by Brigham Young University. This is not information gathered by a reporter.

Jen Riess

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