Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells Published Online

The Church Historian’s Press is pleased to announce the online publication of the first six volumes of the diaries of Latter-day Saint leader and women’s rights activist Emmeline B. Wells, covering 1844 to 1879. For the first time, an annotated transcript of these volumes is available for free to the public at churchhistorianspress.org/emmeline-b-wells.

This publication furthers the aim of the Church Historian’s Press to increase access to materials related to the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Previous publications include the Joseph Smith Papers, documents chronicling the early history of the Relief Societydiscourses by Latter-day Saint women, the Journal of George Q. Cannon, and the Journal of George F. Richards.

The forty-seven volumes of diaries kept by Emmeline B. Wells provide a window into the life of one of the most influential Latter-day Saint women in the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In them she is both history maker, as she meets with presidents and works with national suffrage leaders, and historian, as she records noteworthy events and her daily interactions with and impressions of prominent members of her community. She provides glimpses into her relationships with family, friends, and church leaders. She declares her faith in God even in the face of tragedy. The diaries are a record of her perceptions and philosophies, and they are valuable not only to historians but also to those simply curious about this remarkable woman and the time in which she lived.

This initial publication features annotated transcripts of Emmeline Wells’s first six diaries. All forty-seven of her diaries will eventually be published. The original diaries are owned by the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University. Officials there have generously permitted the press to publish transcripts of the diaries.