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American West Center

About the Center

The First Center in the Nation devoted to the Interdisciplinary Study of the American West

Founded in 1964, the American West Center of the University of Utah is dedicated to advancing the interdisciplinary study and understanding of the American West through publicly engaged scholarship. The center’s mission is three-fold: to produce scholarship that serves the needs of our community partners and clients, to produce and sponsor innovative humanities programming for public and scholarly audiences, and to train the next generation of publicly engaged scholars.

If you would like to learn more about AWC projects, training in oral history, digital history, and other public history methods, or our other activities -- including our contract research for the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and a number of American Indian Nations -- contact us at 801-581-7611.

Project Highlights 

Vietnam Oral History Project


On this, the 50th Anniversary of the Second Tonkin Gulf Incident, the American West Center is proud to announce the launch of the Vietnam War Oral History Project. Using interviews, the project will document how American involvement in Southeast Asia changed Utah and the United States. We invite the Utah community to contribute their stories and help us preserve the legacy of this important period in our history. 


Saline Stories: An Oral History of Great Salt Lake

In August of 2013 the American West Center launched a new project focused on creating a comprehensive oral history collection that documents human engagement with Great Salt Lake. The interviews tell the stories of a broad spectrum of user groups and stakeholders including people engaged in scientific research, government/land management, recreation, art, industry, and conservation.  


Utah American Indian Digital Archive 

The Utah American Indian Digital Archive is a joint venture between the American West Center and the Marriott Library with generous support and guidance from the Division of Indian Affairs of the State of Utah. The project compiles essential Utah tribal primary source documents digitized for an online, key-word searchable archive. In undertaking this state-of-the-art venture, Center staff has built on the extensive research done across the country by Floyd O’Neil and Greg Thompson in their combined years of service at the American West Center. The goal is to create an archive that will serve more than just researchers, offering the tribes themselves unprecedented ease of access to information about their past.

Now Available! Utah American Indian Digital Archive and The Utah Indian Curriculum Project at


Saving the Legacy: An Oral History of Utah's Veterans

Saving the Legacy: An Oral History of Utah's Veterans is the Center's largest ongoing oral history project. At present, more than 600 veterans from World War II to the Iraq War and War in Afghanistan, have been interviewed and their stories preserved for future generations. For more information please visit the Saving the Legacy Oral History page under Oral Histories.


University History Project

The oral histories of University of Utah leaders are being taken as part of the long-term project to document the history of the University and its interaction with the community. Recent additions to the Everett Cooley Oral History Collection include interviews with past University presidents, vice presidents and deans; and the directors of research/teaching projects and program:  the development of the artificial heart, the ACCESS program for women in science, pediatric neuroscience, and the University's board of trustees.

 Donate ButtonYour support is crucial to our projects. Gifts support student research, community outreach, and projects that span a wide range of disciplinary fields at the University of Utah. If would like to make a contribution, please contact us directly at (801) 581-7611 or make a secure online donation using the University of Utah Online Giving Form.
Last Updated: 11/16/16