Citation: Utah State Historical Society, Utah State Historical Society Administration Files, Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws, Utah State Archives and Records Service, Series 3192.


The Call to Organize in July was just the beginning. The next few months were spent creating the foundation of the organization. While the society was not to be an agency of the state government for another 20 years, it still was officially titled the State Historical Society of Utah with the objectives noted previously. They were looking to be a historical society, an archives, a library, and a museum.The Society intended for the information they were preserving on behalf of the people of Utah to be used for historical research and in the exchanging of views and criticisms. Preservation and remembrance was to increase public understanding.

Months were spent drafting the Society’s Articles of Incorporation and the By-laws (the first pages of each can be seen here). These documents set out the goals and aims of the new society and defined its purpose. It is interesting to note that the Articles of Incorporation specifically state that the headquarters of the society would be housed at the Capitol, and that the society was intended to last for 50 years.

Membership was also clearly defined in these records. The by-laws state that “Any person of good moral character who is interested in the work … may be eligible to membership.” The Society offered a variety of possible memberships and the original “Charter Members” came from all over the state, though a majority of them were from Salt Lake City. The Society’s officers were defined as President, Vice-President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, and Librarian. These positions were to be filled by an annual election. The society held its first meeting on January 17, 1898.


Page Last Updated July 20, 2017.