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Who Tells Your Story?

Who Tells Your Story? Exhibition Open House
Thursday, January 18, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Utah State Capitol, 
4th floor

 This exhibition provides an opportunity for everyone to engage in the conversation surrounding “Hamilton: An American Musical” when it arrives in Utah this spring. The open house will include remarks by Governor Gary R. Herbert and a performance by The BBoy Federation.

This exhibition explores the varied ways that people of Utah have documented their lives throughout history. There are many media that can be used to tell a story, and these are just a few ways that Utahns have chosen to share their experiences. Continue reading

66th Annual Utah History Conference

Transportation and Movement

September 27–28, 2018

It’s possible to read Utah history as a story of movement and transportation. The centrality of movement to exploration, industry, and travel—major themes in Utah history—is obvious. Less so is the way movement can be seen on a more conceptual level as a way to evaluate change over space and time: the variation and transformation of the landscape, the flow of ideas and people into and out of the state, the mobility of groups and individuals, the development of transportation-related infrastructure, and the transportation and communication networks connecting the state to regional and national systems.

The flow of ideas and people is now more global than ever before, rendering traditional boundaries that confined physical movement less operable.

The Utah Historical State Society, thanks to our generous sponsors, offers the conference free to scholars, writers, educators, students, and the general public. Registration is required.  Registration will be available March 15, 2018.


Thursday, September 27 
8:30 am–5:00 pm
Rio Grande Depot, 300 S. Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City
State Archives Building, 346 South Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City

Friday, September 28 
7:45 am – check in and morning refreshment
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Plenary, lunchtime keynote and awards presentation, history and panel sessions
Utah Cultural Celebration Center, 1355 West 3100 South, West Valley

We are pleased to announce David Haward Bain, author of “Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad,” will provide the conference keynote address. Basin is the author of dozens of books and articles.

Empire Express is an epic narrative history covering not only the dramatic struggle to link the oceans with twin bands of iron but three decades in which America doubled in size, fought three wars, and discovered itself. A main selection of the Book of the Month Club and a selection of the History Book Club, Empire Express was a finalist both for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in History and the Francis Parkman Prize, and won the New England Historical Association’s and the National Railroad and Locomotive Historical Society’s annual book prizes; the author was elected a Fellow in the Society of American Historians. The work was featured on Brian Lamb’s C-SPAN show, “Booknotes” and adapted by PBS “The American Experience” into a 2-hour documentary.



Thursday, September 27 – TBA

Friday, September 28 – TBA

Schedule at a Glance – TBA


Call for Papers

This is both a call for papers and a call for community recognition of the centrality of transportation and movement to Utah and the western region. We invite the public, scholars, students, policymakers, and organizations to submit proposals for papers, panels, or multimedia presentations on this theme.

2018 Outstanding Achievement Awards

Nominations Now Being Accepted!

The Utah Division of State History’s annual awards recognize individuals and groups who have made a significant contribution to history, prehistory or historic preservation in the state of Utah. Whether these efforts on behalf of the past are quiet or prominent, they benefit the state’s citizens in tangible and intangible ways. Utah State History therefore invites nominations of persons or organizations who have given extraordinary service or completed outstanding projects in the field of Utah archaeology, preservation or history, or in support of one of Utah’s heritage organizations. This project or activity may include research, preservation, education, fundraising, community programs, volunteerism, journalism or other activities.

Helen Z. Papanikolas Award
Best Student Paper on Utah Women’s History

Utah State History sponsors the Papanikolas Award to encourage new scholarly research in the area of Utah women’s history at colleges and universities.  The award is named for Helen Z. Papanikolas (1917-2004), a former member of the Utah State Board of History who was most noted for her research and writing on Utah and ethnic history, but also wrote fiction, as well as women’s history.

Submission Guidelines

  • Papers must address some historical aspect of women’s lives in Utah.
  • The author must be enrolled at a college or university.
  • Papers should not be published.
  • Papers should include original research that includes primary sources. The paper must be footnoted.
  • Papers should not be more than 50 pages long.
  • Papers must be received by May 15, 2018.
  • Please call or E-mail us on May 16, 2018 if you have not heard directly from us that we received your paper.

The winner receives a monetary award as well as being honored at Utah State History’s annual meeting held September 28 at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center.

Submit papers to:
Linda Thatcher
(801) 534-0911

Thank you to our generous conference sponsors!



Rio Gallery

The Rio & Alice Galleries were established as a free service to Utah artists and surrounding communities. These venues allow emerging artists, professional artists, and curators to collaborate in the process of exhibition-making as well as engage the community through thoughtful and innovative art-making and dialogue. The Rio Gallery is located in the grand lobby of the historic Rio Grande Depot.

Past Exhibitions

Monday – Friday 8 am – 5 pm | Open Saturdays from 10 – 2, Nov 11 – Apr 21 for Winter Market
Closed Sunday
300 S Rio Grande Street SLC, UT 84101
Free and open to the public

Exhibition Proposal Guidelines

March 16th-May 11th, 2018

Gallery Stroll Opening Reception March 16, 2018, 6-9pm


Familiar Flora: Four Visual Responses to Living with Plants, includes works by artists Melinda Ostraff, Jenny Ostraff, Elise Boucher Ostraff, and Alexis FryerOstraff. The four artists in this show are a mother, a daughter, and two daughters-in-law. They work in a variety of two dimensional media including encaustic, collage, painting, and printmaking. In addition to being artists, they are connected by a love of the plant life that they cultivate in pots and gardens around their homes. Their mother, Melinda, is an ethnobotanist and her knowledge and interests have inspired and intrigued her daughters as they have become familiar with her work. They have come to appreciate more fully how plants are an important part of each of our lives.

Plants feed, heal, build, inspire, beautify, and provide the air we breathe. The artists each take great pleasure in venturing out into nature and enjoying the plant life that is so varied, vast, and beautiful. On the other hand, a plant that occupies one’s most frequented and comfortable rooms may become as dear as a friend. The artists appreciate this relationship as well as the inspiration that a plant’s form, pattern, and texture provide in creating imagery. They have each provided a selection of work that reflects the relationships they have to plants and observations they have made as they have approached plants as the shared subject of their work.



Contact the Rio Gallery Manager
Felicia Baca at 801.245.7272

The Rio Gallery is a member of the

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Movie Theater: Find Movies Filmed in Utah






Utah History Story Maps












Maps on the Hill Archive


2018 – The Rise of Utah’s Railroads

2018 – Westerns: Then and Now

2018 – Movies Filmed in Utah


2017 – Veterans Memorials in Utah

2017 – Vandalism Occurrences

2017 – CCC in Utah

2016 – Utah Cemeteries Database

2015 – Ghost Towns of Utah

2014 – Sites with Rock Art

World War I Anniversary 1917-2017