Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

Utah Territory Project

In February 1848 the United States government received title to much of the Southwest, including the territory that would eventually become Utah. The newly arrived Mormon migrants quickly formed a political government and created the State of Deseret (1849-1850). Congress would not admit Deseret to the Union, however, and instead created the Territory of Utah.  This territorial period (1850-1896), was marked by vast population growth, agricultural development, creation of transportation and communication net works, economic expansion, and assorted conflicts.

The invaluable records that preserve and document this period of Utah’s history can be found in numerous institutions throughout the State.  Because of the scattered nature of these records, the Utah Territory Project has been created to coordinate activities among all repositories, provide access to collections, ensure the permanent preservation of territorial records, and assist where needed with the dissemination of information about Utah’s Territorial period.

Initially the project will focus on records related to governance of the territory. The long term goal of the project is to progressively build and expand its vision and services until it encompasses all known records from Utah’s territorial period. Digitized content will be available in the Mountain West Digital Library.