PROVO, Utah The renovated special collections wing of the BYU Harold B. Lee Library named May 26 in honor of Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve is a fitting tribute to a man known for his integrity, compassion and love of learning, said BYU President Merrill J. Bateman.
"It will be a center of learning, both modern in its technology and extensive in its influence, reaching far beyond campus," said Elder Bateman of the Seventy who conducted the ceremony in which the new library wing was named.
The L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library was funded by a $3 million grant donated to the university in the apostle's name from the ALSAM Foundation, a private organization founded by Sam and Aline Skaggs.
During the ceremony, Elder Perry read a letter to the couple, thanking them for their contribution to the university in his name. The letter will be displayed permanently in the library.
Elder Perry said during a telephone interview with the Church News that he is overwhelmed and honored to have his name associated with the library wing, which contains materials collected from all over the world. He hopes that not only BYU students, but also Church members everywhere will benefit from the educational materials.
The special collections library recently reopened after undergoing renovations and relocation as part of the Lee Library addition and remodeling. It is now one of the pre-eminent special collection facilities in the nation, said university librarian Sterling J. Albrecht.
The library's holdings include 280,000 books and printed items, more than half a million historical photographs related to Utah and the American West and more than 8,000 manuscript collections.
Special features of the collection include Mormon and Western Americana, folklore, Victorian and 19th and 20th century literature and the Arts and Communication Archive, which includes the papers of motion picture legends Cecil B. DeMille, Howard Hawks, King Vidor and James Stewart, as well as an extensive film music archive.