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D. Elden Beck papers

Identifier: MSS 3061

Scope and Contents

Collection contains teaching materials Beck used in the classroom and photographs related to his profession.


  • 1922-1964


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the D. Elden Beck papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

D. Elden Beck (1906-1967) was a professor of zoology and entomology in Utah.

D. Elden Beck was born on April 11, 1906, in Spanish Fork, Utah to Mitchell Robertson Beck and Ruth Eleanor Davis. He was raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and was baptized in 1914. That same year he moved with his family to McGill, Nevada, and then in 1921 relocated again to Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. Beck graduated from Lava Hot Springs High School in 1925, then attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. There he studied zoology and entomology, earning his bachelor's degree in 1929 and a master's degree in 1930. He then continued his education at Iowa State College, where he received his Ph.D. in 1933. In May of that year he married Florence Robinson in the Salt Lake Temple; they had four children.

After graduating from Iowa State, Beck was appointed as head of the Biology Department at Dixie State College in St. George, Utah. He taught there until 1938 when he joined the faculty of the Zoology and Entomology Department at Brigham Young University. During the Second World War, Beck left the university to serve in the Medical Entomological Service in the United States Army Medical Department. He served from 1943 to 1945 at bases in the United States and in Guadalcanal. Afterward he rejoined the university faculty, continuing his research on malaria-carrying insects in Taiwan and helping to set up a mosquito abatement program in Utah County. Later in his career he also became involved in studying the effects of atom bombs on the native wildlife in Nevada.

Beck served as chair of the Department of Zoology and Entomology at Brigham Young University between 1962 and 1965. He died in Provo, Utah on August 9, 1967.


26 boxes (13 linear ft.)

8 cartons (8 linear ft.)

17 media boxes ((10.2 linear ft.) )

Language of Materials



Arranged in four series: 1. D. Elden Beck letters and other material, 1924-1964. 2. D. Elden Beck course material, 1926-1964. 3. D. Elden Beck photographs. 4. D. Elden Beck negatives, 1939-1956.

Other Finding Aids

A more detailed finding aid is available in print in the repository.

Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available online. Updates have been made to the collection since the formation of this aid.


LDS scholarship and historiography (20th century Western & Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy, 5.III, 2007).

Processing Information

Processed; Bradley J. Gibb, J. Gordon Daines III and Kathryn Schmidt; September 2004.

Processing Information

Processed; McKinley Griffin, student manuscript processor, and John M. Murphy, curator; February 9, 2016.

Register of D. Elden Beck papers
In Progress
Bradley J. Gibb
2004 September
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Revision Statements

  • 2009 September 8: GilEADized to correct small errors.
  • 2009 September 11: Updated to DACS and CCLA compliance by Ryan Sagers.
  • 2016 February 9: Addendum processed and revisions to original collection made by student manuscript processor McKinley Griffin.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States