American MemoryThe National Digital Library Program: Archived Documentation

The Library of Congress / Ameritech National Digital Library Competition (1996-1999)

Image from collection

Lee Library at Brigham Young University with the Utah Academic Library Consortium and the Utah State Historical Society

Pioneer Trails: Overland to Utah and the Pacific, 1847-1869

Amount of award: $64,875

The Utah Academic Libraries Consortium digital collection consists of 155 items (approximately 6040 pages) from 59 diaries of pioneers trekking westward on the "Overland Trail," across America to Utah and the Pacific between 1847 and the meeting of the rails in 1869. In addition to the diaries, the collection includes 16 maps, 75 photographs and illustrations, and selections from 5 immigrant guides This digital collection will create a stronger and more useful collection of overland experiences than has ever been available to students and scholars. Stories of persistence and pain, birth and death, God and gold, trail dust and debris, learning, love, and laughter, and even trail tedium can be found in these original "on the trail" accounts. The collection tells the stories of Mormon pioneer families and others who were part of the national westering movement, sharing trail experiences common to hundreds of thousands of westward migrants. The creation of this digital collection provides a small window to the "uncommon" and the "common" trail experiences of all westering peoples.

Online Collection

Image Caption: Image 9. from Colfax, Schuyler. Across the continent by overland stage in 1865, 1865. (Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library, Vault MSS 501. 1 v. 41 leaves)