Thomas Battersby Child Audio-Visual Collection,

Overview of the Collection

(Child) Thomas B.
Thomas Battersby Child Audio-Visual Collection
2 audiocassetes, 2 reel-to-reel audiotape, 1 VHS videocassette
Collection Number
The Thomas Battersby Child Audio-Visual Collection details Thomas B. Child's life through a tour of Gilgal Garden and his funeral. There is also a video of his son and nephew giving a walking tour of the garden with details on the garden's and Child's history and importance.
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT

Telephone: 8015818863
Access Restrictions

Materials must be used on-site; no use of original material, access copies will be made available for viewing. Five business days advanced notice required. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law, condition of the material, or by donor.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Thomas Battersby Child, Jr. (1888-1963) was the creator of Gilgal Garden. Starting in 1945, at the age of fifty-seven, he began working on Gilgal Garden with the help of few people. Using stone from all over Utah, he built twelve sculptures and over seventy engraved stones. Through his dedication to the church, Gilgal Garden came to show important themes including the restoration of the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood that allowed worthy men to baptize and bestow the Holy Ghost, the great Mormon migration West from Nauvoo to escape persectution, and the deep connection between the ancient Israelites and the LDS forefathers.

Up until his death in 1963, Child's worked devotedly on Gilgal Garden. After his death, the Grant Fetzer family bought the garden and maintained it until 2000 when they attempted to sell it. Through the dedication by the Friends of Gilgal Garden, enough money was raised to buy the garden and reopen it as a city park. Friends of Gilgal have worked since 2000 to continue preservation and restoration by raising funds to continue their work. Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, the park is accessible everyday as a place to wander and explore the work of Child and experience the wonders of the garden.

Gilgal Garden, spanning half an acre, offers many tourist and locals an interesting view of Child's creativity and devotion. Using a variety of stones from around Utah, Child created a tranquil space filled with many Mormon tributes like the sphinx with Joseph Smith Jr.'s face and other biblical allusions like Nebuchadnezzar's Dream from the Book of Daniel. Besides themes of Mormonism, Child has included an altar to his wife and a statue of himself with brick pants, often mentioned as a key point in Gilgal Garden. Child also carved a thirty foot rock in relief with a heavenly messenger with an unsheathed sword. Through exploration of the garden, many can find hidden sculptural treasures that reveal the beauty and eccentricities of Child's garden.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This collection has been digitized and is available in the Special Collections' reading room on compact disc or DVD.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.

Permission to publish material from the Thomas Battersby Child Audio-Visual Collection must be obtained from the Special Collections Multimedia Archivist.

Preferred Citation

Initial Citation: Thomas Battersby Child Audio-Visual Collection A0757, Special Collections and Archives. University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Following Citations:A0757.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Materials are arranged as provided by the donor.

Acquisition Information

Donated by in .

Processing Note

Processed by Braden J McKenna in 2013.

Related Materials

See the Friends of Gilgal Garden Audio-Visual Collection(A0008)

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
1 Gilgal Tour, Bishop Child
sound, 71:00 minutes
Thomas B. Child conducts a tour of Gilgal garden while explaining the importance of his work in connection to the Mormon faith. Hymns are also sung
2 Rock Garden, Bishop Thomas B. Child
Poor quality, untouched up, 76:00 minutes
Same program as 1 but from a different cassette master.
3 Thomas B. Child's Funeral
sound, 11:00 minutes
reel-to-reel audiotape
A short excerpt of people singing and talking about Child at his funeral.
1963 November 6
4 Funeral Service of Thomas B. Child
sound, 60:00 minutes
reel-to-reel audiotape
Recording contains the majority of Child's funeral service.
1963 November 6
5 Thomas B. Child Jr.'s Gilgal Garden
Color, sound, 34:00 minutes
VHS videocassette
A walking tour of Gilgal Garden by Child's son, Arthur Child, and Child's nephew, Franklin L. Child. The history and meaning of the sculptures are given descriptive explanations. Some Child family history is also included.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Gilgal Garden

Corporate Names

  • Friends of Gilgal

Geographical Names

  • Utah

Form or Genre Terms

  • Moving images
  • Sound recordings