When Mel Bashore hired on with the Church History Department in 1975, "strictly tasked to create finding aids for research," he noticed a deficiency that he set about to correct. Now, 30 years later, a national historic trails association has honored Brother Bashore for the database he launched in that pre-Internet age and has built up over the years into a convenient, on-line resource.
"I would see people come into the library, and I estimate about a third of the people coming in were interested in that pioneer experience of their ancestors, and we had nothing, really, to help them," Brother Bashore reflected in a recent interview.
An old index created by the Church Historian's Office around the turn of the century was error-ridden and relied too much on secondary sources, Brother Bashore said. "For example, there's an entry in there that someone came in the '1847 Brigham Young handcart company.' Handcarts in '47? That's 10 years before they did come!
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