Arrington lecture features two of Arrington’s children

Leonard J. Arrington, Professor of Economics at Utah State University for 28 years, was appointed official Church Historian of the LDS Church in 1972. Beginning in 1996 Utah State University annually hosts the Arrington Mormon History Lecture Series, Arrington himself giving the inaugural lecture 14 years ago. This year’s lecture, Thursday, September 23, will feature two of his children, Susan Arrington Madsen and Carl Arrington. It begins at 7 p.m. at the Logan LDS Tabernacle. The lecture, “A Paper Mountain: The Extraordinary Diary of Leonard James Arrington,” takes a look back at the lecture’s namesake and the opening of his diary at Special Collections and Archives at Utah State University’s Merrill-Cazier Library. “We hope we can do it justice,” said Madsen. “It’s a huge diary, he started it when he was 10 years old, growing up in Twin Falls, Idaho. His diary continues up until a week before he died. On the shelf at Utah State University Special Collections it takes up 26 linear feet. There is plenty there to read, it’s a fascinating diary.” When Dr. Arrington donated his collection of 10,000 books and 750 boxes of material to USU Special Collections he stipulated that only his three children have access to the diary the first 10 years after his death, which was in 1999. “We just passed that 10 year mark,” said Madsen, “and now it’s time to open it up and let people read it and allow researchers to learn of things they may not have known before. “We have some stories to tell, there is some humor and there are some situations that were discouraging as with almost any kind of career. We hope we can present it in a way that will do it justice,” said Susan Arrington Madsen.

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