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Vasco M. Tanner family papers, approximately 1890-1989

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2306 Series 1

Scope and Contents

Contains family histories in the form of diaries and biographies, and financial papers relating to Vasco M. Tanner and his family accrued during his lifetime spent in Utah. Dated approximately 1890-1989.


  • approximately 1890-1989


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 Vasco M. Tanner papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.

Biographical History

From the Collection:

Vasco M. Tanner (1892-1989) was an entomologist and zoology and entomology professor at Brigham Young University.

Vasco Myron Tanner was born on October 29, 1892 in Payson, Utah to John Myron and Lois Ann Tanner. Tanner graduated from Brigham Young University in 1915 with a B.A. in biology. After completing coursework for a Master’s degree in Geology from the University of Utah, he taught high school for a year in Moroni, Utah and taught two years at Dixie Junior College, before officially graduating with his Master’s in 1920. During this time he met Annie Atkin at Dixie Junior College, whom he married on June 5, 1917. Tanner returned to his teaching position at Dixie Junior College, where he remained until 1924. During the summers of 1921 and 1923 he pursued a PhD at Stanford University, befriending David Starr Jordan who convinced him to study entomology. He earned his PhD in 1925 in zoology and entomology, with his dissertation on the morphology of the genitalia of female beetles. In the same year, he accepted a position as teacher for and chairman of the zoology and entomology department at Brigham Young University. He was chair until 1958 and teacher until 1970.

Tanner founded The Great Basin Naturalist in 1939 which he published and edited. He was awarded the Karl G. Maeser award for teaching excellence in 1972. He was chairman of the forestry and flood control committee in Provo’s chamber of commerce for thirty-five years and chairman of the city utilities board for twenty years. Tanner also spent time as a member of the Utah state parks and recreation commission, as president of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers, and as secretary and editor for the Utah Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1964, he was a Democratic state congressman candidate.

With his wife Annie they had five children, Carol, Marilyn, Carmela, Gloria, and Jordan, and helped raise Ahmed Shayesteh from age ten. Tanner passed away on April, 25 1989 in Utah.


3 cartons

67 folders

1 oversize folder

Language of Materials