An Extraordinary Collection of Mormon Historical Materials

March 14, 2004 | 9 comments
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I was researching the rarity of some early Church documents my stepfather collected over the years, when I came across John Hajicek’s website, mormonism.com. It seems he’s a non-LDS resident of Independence, Missouri, and he has amassed what looks like the largest collection of LDS-related historical materials, rare books, manuscripts, and artifacts in private hands. It makes for truly fascinating reading.

Has anyone ever seen or studied this or any other significant collection of historical Church materials?

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9 Responses to An Extraordinary Collection of Mormon Historical Materials

  1. Fred Astaire on March 14, 2004 at 9:57 am

    “It seems he’s a non-LDS resident of Independence, Missouri…”

    Really? This is from his website:

    “We are definitely Christians, and moreover I feel like the father of a characteristically special Christian family. The basics of our plain, natural, and unaltered faith are found in the Bible, particularly the New Testament. Some people would not consider my children and me to active in a “regularly organized” church—however, we hold the values and keep the principles of the former-day church of Christ (and the identical latter-day American church historically), and believe that the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ is restored on earth, and consider ourselves confirmed members of that church and the kingdom of God. We believe that God has a valid and authorized Priesthood here on Earth—there are only two other ordinations spanning the time between the ordination of a young man known as Elder Page from upstate New York in 1831 and the man who converted me at age 18. Although not mainstream, we contribute 10% of our income and 25% of our time for the benefit of the church.”

  2. greg.org on March 14, 2004 at 3:39 pm

    Oops. guess I was so fascinated reading the other page, and the main page where he described himself as “a friend of” the Church.

  3. Renee on March 15, 2004 at 8:37 pm

    I’m lost as to how F.A.’s comment makes him LDS. He said he’s not active in an organized church. Now perhaps he follows the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but perhaps he follows his own brand ala the various offshoots of the church. I guess that means he can call himself LDS, but I wouldn’t say he is a member of the church based on the said statments here.

  4. Matt G on March 15, 2004 at 10:59 pm

    I think you’re right, Renee. I looked at his website a while back and came away with the idea that he’s an independent who comes from RLDS lineage. (His Dad also posts on an on-line list I look at which has mostly Community of Christ and other “non-Brighamite” Mormons.)

  5. Nate Oman on March 16, 2004 at 1:15 pm

    I once visited Palmyra with some friends and we went to the home of local antiquarian (non-Mormon) who had a really incredible collection of local historical stuff. Far and away the most interesting were some “seer stones” used by local “peepers” at the time of Joseph Smith and a large cache of letters sent from Nauvoo to Palmyra. The letters were by Palmyrans who had joined the church and then migrated with the Saints, eventually settling in Nauvoo. They were written to non-Mormon family and friends in Palmyra. They contained everything from descriptions of life in Nauvoo to stories of conversion and personal testimonies. Wonderful stuff!!

  6. Thom on March 16, 2004 at 2:21 pm

    In reviewing his website, I was taken with the idea of collecting Mormon antiquities for their investment value. I have always been fascinated with the idea of having a first edition copy of the Book of Mormon, but true to the LDS tradition of frugality (i.e. being cheap), I always thought it would be a waste of money better spent on other things, like establishing a missionary fund. But hey, if collecting old, rare Mormon books can serve as a viable part of investing for retirement and such, watchout! Then again, later in life, could I part with an early edition of the BofM to finance serving a senior mission with my wife? Oh the dilemas of having money. Maybe I’ll just go back to being cheap.

  7. Andy on June 28, 2004 at 8:06 pm

    Yes, his collection looks quite impressive.

    I don’t know if his website states it specifically, but it seems pretty clear that he is a member of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, sometimes known as Strangites or Voree mormons. If you take a look at Strangite.org, you can see that most of that website is written by Hajicek.

    As a collector and historian though, he certainly does not limit himself to just collecting “Strangite” material. He clearly has an interest in any material related to early mormon / LDS/ restorationist history.

    -Andy

  8. DeLoyd Bithell on December 20, 2004 at 2:05 pm

    I have a copy of the Book of Mormon in German that was printed in 1852. It belonged to my Grandmother. Where could I check to see if it was worth anything to a collector?

  9. Nate Oman on December 20, 2004 at 2:23 pm

    I would contact Benchmark Books in Salt Lake City, Utah or Sam Weller’s Book in Salt Lake. Both shops deal with rare and antique LDS books.

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