Museum Curator Desperate For Return Of Stolen Research

Oct 12, 2018, 7:12 PM | Updated: 9:36 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The director and curator of the Fort Douglas Military Museum has been desperate to get back a carrying case that was stolen from his car.

He’s making a plea to the public because most of the materials stolen were research papers about the military history of Utah, and have no value to anyone but him.

“The research is so important,” said Beau Burgess, who has been the curator at the museum for six years.

Burgess has helped craft the stories of the military men and women of Utah for the displays of the museum on the campus of the University of Utah.

“When you’re doing that kind of work, you have a little notebook, you grab the scrap of paper from the front desk, a napkin, whatever is around because that’s when it strikes you,” he said.

All of the paperwork was unique and irreplaceable. He had it packed in a soft shell black case.

Burgess was house-sitting Sunday night in Plain City, west of Ogden, and he left the case in his car during a rain storm. Sometime early Monday, someone smashed into his car and swiped it.

“You figure, it’s just paperwork, nobody’s going to steal those,” said Burgess.

He was wrong.

“My window had been shattered all over the driveway,” he said.

It was when he realized the case was gone that he really panicked.

“My heart sank,” Burgess said. “I got just numb.”

There was no financial loss, or loss of artifacts for the state. However, valuable threads of Utah military history were gone, including the stories behind future exhibits at the museum.

“It’s hours and hours of (my) life,” said Burgess. “Ideas about the stories of who has been here.”

He wasn’t even precisely sure about all of the information he lost because there was so much of it, and the material was not categorized.

“It’s really kind of like this tool box of knowledge,” he said. “It really just erases all of that information, all of that knowledge of what could’ve been.”

He was pretty sure the thief must have thought the case contained a laptop.

“It wasn’t anything of monetary value. It was something I essentially can’t re-create without having that back,” said Burgess.

If anyone knows anything about the case of research papers, Burgess said he just wants it back, anonymously would be fine.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, and Glenn Wright shake hands after debating in the 3rd Congressional Dist...
Dennis Romboy, Deseret News & Lad Egan, KSL TV

Utah congressional debate between John Curtis, Glenn Wright highlights differences

Republican Rep. John Curtis and Democratic challenger Glenn Wright engaged in a low-key debate Thursday.
1 day ago
Crime tape blocking pedestrian from Redwood Meadows Park (KSL TV)...
Michael Houck

Teenager shot near Meadows Park, one juvenile in custody

Salt Lake City Police are investigating a shooting involving a group of juveniles Thursday evening.
1 day ago
Former Utah GOP Chairman Thomas Wright takes notes during a Utah gubernatorial Republican primary d...
Dennis Romboy, Deseret News

Who’s in — and is anyone out — for congressional, Senate debates ahead of midterm election?

Utah is expecting five debates in October for the upcoming races.
1 day ago
Castle of Chaos...
Brooke Williams and Madison Swenson, KSL TV

Haunted attractions to visit in Utah this Halloween

Here's a list of some haunted attractions we found that you can enjoy this Halloween.
1 day ago
Tire marks are visible on 13-year-old Isaiah Munger's chest after he was hit by a car while riding ...
Michael Locklear

Parents of teen hit by car in Bountiful crosswalk urge drivers to pay attention

The parents of a teen hit by a car on Wednesday are grateful he’s alive, and they’re also urging drivers to pay more attention.
1 day ago
Neighbors looking around to find the odd smell. (KSL TV)...
Lauren Steinbrecher

North Salt Lake sniffing out source of rotten stench surrounding city

North Salt Lake city officials are trying to figure out what caused a putrid, perplexing smell to take over the entire town Thursday morning, permeating the air for miles.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Museum Curator Desperate For Return Of Stolen Research