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Couple collects, donates first-edition copies of the Book of Mormon in all 149 translations to BYU Library

by | Jun. 01, 2020

Latter-day Saint couple Carolyn Potter Ingersoll and her husband, William Boley Ingersoll, recently donated 149 first editions of Book of Mormon translations to the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University.

It started in the 1970s when the Ingersolls happened upon an 1830 first edition copy of the Book of Mormon in Baltimore, Maryland, BYU News reported. At the time, the couple had been looking for furniture in an antique shop but couldn’t pass up buying the book of scripture. They purchased it on the spot for $6,000.

Decades down the road, the Ingersolls had acquired other 1830 first edition copies of the Book of Mormon with a goal to find first editions of the Book of Mormon in all 149 translations. One of their favorite things has been showing their collection, which is housed in an 18th-century bookshelf, to the missionaries when they came over for dinner.

“I mean, their jaws would drop,” William told BYU News, “especially when they saw the 1830 edition.”

According to Greg Seppi, BYU assistant librarian and curator of Mormon and Western Americana, the collection—which will be housed and available for viewing in the Special Collections—will be put to good use.

“We previously had only a single copy of most of the editions the Ingersolls donated,” Seppi told BYU News. “We now feel much more comfortable putting the books in public hands. Visitors come to BYU from all over the world, including students, researchers, and visiting dignitaries. For many, holding a first edition of the Book of Mormon printed in their nation or language is an incredible experience.”

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW THE INGERSOLLS ACQUIRED THEIR COLLECTION AT news.byu.edu.

Featured image by Nate Edwards, BYU
Danielle christensen

Danielle Christensen

Danielle is a features writer and editor for LDS Living. Previously, she served as web producer for Church News, where she managed their website and social media platforms. Danielle is a graduate of Brigham Young University in English and has been published with Deseret NewsChurch NewsBYU Magazine, and Spires Intercollegiate Arts and Literary Magazine.

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