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Eugene Francis Heil papers

Identifier: MSS 6140

Scope and Contents

The collection consists largely of photos, slides, and negatives packaged and labeled by subject/client and are of various pieces of architecture, world scenery, models, etc. It also contains assorted pamphlets on natural history, art, and antiquities, as well as diaries, financial information, scrapbooks, stationary, newspaper clippings, the script for "Out of This World," various awards, biographical information, assorted brochures and articles on art and fashion, travel brochures, postcards, magazines, and correspondence. It also includes manuscripts and some of the research of Joseph Earl Arrington, including work on panoramic photographs and the Nauvoo Temple. The collection dates span from 1917 to 1971.


  • 1925-1971


Conditions Governing Access

Photographs in Series 9-12 are condition restricted. Items kept in cold storage;access requires 24 hours advance notice. Negatives in Series 13 are condition restricted. Items kept in cold storage; access requires 24 hours advance notice. Films in Series 14 are condition restricted. Items kept in cold storage. All other materials are open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Biographical / Historical

Eugene Francis Heil (1925-1968) was a photographer in New York.

Gene Heil was born 25 March 1925 in St. Louis, Missouri. He began the study of the violin at eight, and became concertmeister of the St. Louis Philharmonic by sixteen. After high school, he served with the Navy Seabees in the South Pacific (New Guinea and the Philippines) during the Second World War. He was battalion photographer and was later encouraged to cultivate it as a medium in the fine arts.

After two years of military service, he attended the world-famed Parsons School of Design in New York City for three years; he also spent a term at the Parsons Atelier in Paris, which included an extensive tour of the arts of France and Italy. In 1950, he became a protégé of Lady Mendl at Versailles, and later, of Andre Ostier in Paris. He photographed members of the French government and aristocracy for French magazines. Gene photographed mainly fashion and architecture in Europe, Africa, North and South America.

Over the years, he was a photographer for the National Audubon Society, from 1946 to 1949, and for Ostier Associates, from 1949 to 1952; and a Public Relations Officer for the U.S. Army, from 1952 to 1954. He founded Gene Heil Studios (for General Commercial Photography and Interior Design) in 1954, and it remained open until his death.

Gene joined the Church in June 1963 and devoted his artistic talents to the Lord's service, as well as to Cole Porter’s 'Out of This World.' As of May 1967, he was Assistant to the Director of the Research Project on World Music within the School of International Affairs of Columbia University. He was also employed with Aladdin Business Service (seasonal sales of resort brochures, postcards, photography, and commemorative Church books), from 1963 to 1968. He married Lillian Elinor Harmon 10 June 1967. He died in an automobile accident a year later.


72 boxes (38 linear ft.)

6 oversize box (4.75 linear ft.)

4 oversize folders (0.8 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Arranged in 14 series: 1. Eugene Heil World War II papers, 1946-1953. 2. Eugene Heil biographical and legal records, 1925-1971. 3. Eugene Heil business financial records, 1959-1968. 4. Eugene Heil correspondence, 1957-1969. 5. Eugene Heil research, 1949-1969. 6. Eugene Heil publications, 1949-1968. 7. Eugene Heil professional memberships papers, 1948-1967. 8. Eugene Heil memorabilia, 1944-1968. 9. Eugene Heil photographs of personal life, 1925-1968. 10. Eugene Heil photographs of military service, 1943-1954. 11. Eugene Heil photographs of travel, 1947-1968. 12. Eugene Heil photographs of work, 1950-1968. 13. Eugene Heil negatives, 1946-1968. 14. Eugene Heil films, 1948.

Custodial History

This collection was donated by Lillian Heil in 1981.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Lillian Heil; 1981.


LDS scholarship and historiography (Collection development policy of 20th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts, August 2007).

Related Materials

See also the Lillian H. Heil papers (MSS 6139), Lillian H. Heil family papers (MSS 9191), and the Joseph E. Arrington papers (MSS 4194).

Processing Information

Processed; Amanda Clark; August 2007.

Processing Information

Processed; Jamie Wiser; 2023. Series description added after further processing.

  • Family genealogy records, empty negative albums, business receipts, personal receipts, and other similar materials.
Register of the Eugene Francis Heil papers
Under Revision
Amanda C. Clark, Karen Glenn, student processors; John M. Murphy, curator
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.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States