Our Reference Services have a brand-new look! After two decades of sharing a research room with State History at the Rio Grande, we have moved our services into the Archives building! If you’re looking for government-created records from Utah, we have you covered! You can reach our Reference Archivists using our new email address: email@example.com. In addition to providing reference services via email, we also schedule private, in-person appointments every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Our new Reference Room is located in the Utah State Archives building at 346 South Rio Grande Street in Salt Lake City.
Curious about how the Archives came to be? This blog gives a comprehensive look at our early history. Originally, our archival holdings were housed in the basement of the Utah State Capitol. In the 1980s, the records were moved into a warehouse on Salt Lake City’s west side. Permanent records weren’t the only thing on the move, as 1984 saw the agency offices, microfilming services, and Research Center move into a two-story building on the northwest corner of the Capitol grounds. The public Research Center opened on March 10, 1986, in an area that had previously been used for storage of master microfilm.
Before becoming the home of the Archives, the building’s long history included occupancy by several other state agencies. The structure was initially designed as a laboratory building for the twenty-year-old Materials Department of the State Road Commission. Following a $250,000 remodeling project undertaken especially to meet the needs of the State Chemist, the building became home to four laboratory divisions of the Department of Agriculture in 1966. The General Laboratory or Office State Chemist, which moved from the Capitol basement where it had been for 34 years, was joined in the enlarged structure by the Weights and Measures Office and Laboratory, the Seed Laboratory, and the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.
Move to Rio Grande
At the turn of the 21st century, major changes were on the horizon for the Utah State Archives. In 2003, the state legislature appropriated funding for the Archives to move off of Capitol Hill and into a specially designed building south of the Rio Grande Depot in downtown Salt Lake. This move provided the opportunity to reunite staff with the permanent collection, which had previously been stored offsite at a warehouse near Decker Lake in West Valley City. The new building also provided the benefit of bringing State Archives and State History closer together (both physically and in partnership). Despite being administered by two separate departments, in 2005, the agencies moved into a shared Research Center in the Rio Grande Depot.
Rio Grande Era
From 2005 until the earthquake in March 2020, the Utah State Archives and Utah State History divisions worked out of one Research Room located in the historic Rio Grande building.
Current Reference Room
After months of planning, moving, and reorganizing, we are proud to introduce our brand new Reference Room, located in the Utah State Archives building. Reference Archivists Heidi Stringham and Tony Castro worked with the Division of Facilities Construction and Management to add bookshelves, tables, micrograph readers, and more into our training room. If you want to view records from our repository, you can make an appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you!