The Claremont Colleges Library is excited and honored to present a summer exhibit that highlights the newly-acquired Fernando R. and Enriqueta Gomez Mormon Mexican History Collection. This collection features a wide range of materials on the history of various Mormon churches in Mexico, including congregational records, mission records and other published material, much of which is in Spanish and dates from between the 1870s and 1950s. It was gifted to the Claremont Graduate University in August 2020 and is now stewarded by The Claremont Colleges Library, which serves all seven institutions of The Claremont Colleges Consortium.
The collection began when the Gomezes, along with Fernando’s cousin, Raymundo Gomez Gonzalez, founded El Museo de Historia del Mormonismo en Mexico, A.C. in Mexico City in 1991. The museum officially opened in July 1995 and included a documents library, a video library, a research department to coordinate research with other museums and universities, a conference room and editorial offices where reference and other works were prepared for publication. The foundation of the museum’s collection originated from Fernando’s aunt, Consuelo Gomez.
After returning from their Mexico Temple assignment in Merida in 2004, the Gomezes began to look for a location in the United States to establish an extension of the museum in Mexico. In September 2010, they purchased a building located across the street from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. With the opening of The Museum of Mormon Mexican History in June 2011, the Gomezes began a new chapter into their mission of documenting Mormon history south of the border. However, El Museo de Historia del Mormonismo en Mexico, A.C. closed a few years later in 2014, relocating many of the museum’s contents to the Provo location.
Thanks to the museums’ work, this collection, to the best of our knowledge, is the most extensive, publicly accessible collection in the world of Mormon history among Spanish-speaking Latter-day Saints in the Americas. This exhibit offers a glimpse into the collection which is now also available for research, both in-person via Reading Room appointment and online via the Claremont Colleges Digital Library. Highlights of this collection include:
- In Yaotlapixqui: El Atalaya de México (1937) – This was the official organ of the Mexican Mission. An “organ” in this context means an official publication, such as a newsletter or magazine, that represents the opinions of a group or organization or that is produced for a particular group of people.
- Sixta Martínez: A Living Testimony = Sixta Martínez: Un Testimonio Viviente (2002) – Sister Sixta Martínez was a 90-year-old member of the Merida Temple who shared her pioneer story.
- The Book of Mormon published in multiple languages, including Chamorro, Cambodian, Hindi and Korean. This is just a small sample of the more than five linear feet of the Book of Mormon in many languages included in this collection. All books will be cataloged individually and separately from the archival collection and will soon be discoverable in Library Search, The Claremont Colleges Library’s discovery system.
This exhibit is open to current Claremont Colleges students, faculty and staff and by appointment to the community. Members of the community can schedule your exhibition viewing appointment here.
North Lobby Gallery, The Claremont Colleges Library (800 N. Dartmouth Ave., Claremont, CA 91711)
Now – October 2022 (extended!)
Exhibit on view Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information, please contact Special Collections.
View and/or download the Unboxing the Fernando R. and Enriqueta Gomez Mormon Mexican History Collection exhibit flyer.