Skip to main content

J Malan Heslop photographs of photojournalism, Utah, and the world, 1948-1989

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS P 661 Series 5

Scope and Contents

Includes 14,405 photographs and 3,446 slides which represent Heslop's photojournalism career, with the exception of his photography work documenting The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). Over fifty percent of the photographs document events in Utah, especially in Salt Lake City. There are also extensive international travel. There are also some artistically experimental photographs in addition to photographs intended for advertising. Materials dated 1948-1989.


  • 1948-1989


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 J Malan Heslop photographs and other material must be obtained from the Supervisor of References Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

From the Collection:

J. Malan Heslop (1923-2011) was an American photojournalist, newspaper editor, and missionary from Utah.

J. Malan Heslop was born June 18, 1923, in Taylor, Weber County, Utah, to Jesse and Zella Malan Heslop. His birth certificate confirms that his name is J without the period. As Heslop would say, "It's a name and not an initial." When he was three years old the family moved to a farm in West Weber, Utah, where he grew up as the oldest of three children. Heslop's love of photography was inspired and encouraged by his father, Jesse, who acquired a glass plate camera around 1906. By the time Heslop was born, Jesse had the popular Kodak roll film folding camera. Heslop describes photography as an "abiding factor" in his life. In 1939 he began attending Weber High School, where one of his favorite school activities was taking photos for the yearbook. He graduated from high school on May 17, 1941, and enrolled at Weber College in Ogden, Utah, in the fall of 1941. He decided to study photography at Los Angeles City College and registered in September 1942. In October 1942 he enlisted in the Army Reserve Corps and by early November he was studying at Paramount Studios as a part of the Signal Corps Photographers School. By April 1943 he was called to active duty.

Before departing for Europe, Heslop married Fae Stokes on May 1, 1944, in the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His photographs provide a moving and memorable visual witness to the final nine months of the war's European Theater, from September 1944 to the end of the war in May 1945.

Upon his return Heslop reunited with his wife, Fae, and enrolled at Utah State Agricultural College (now Utah State University). He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Agriculture in the spring of 1948 and almost immediately he was hired by the Deseret News as a photographer. During his busy professional years, J. and Fae Heslop also raised a family of five children—Paul, daughter Lyn, Scott, Ann, and Don—and became the grandparents of nineteen.

J. Malan Heslop was foremost a photojournalist, with a career which spanned forty-five years. He was a photographer in World War II for the 167 Army Signal Photographic Company in the European Theater, and spent forty years with the Deseret News newspaper. During his distinguished forty-year career, he served twenty years as the chief photographer, eight years as Church News editor, and ten years as managing editor of the Deseret News, with three years as a mission president for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Heslop covered local, national, and international events while at the Deseret News, from the inauguration of Utah's governors to those of presidents of the United States. Professional honors included being ranked by Life magazine as sixth among 1720 entrants for its young photographers contest in 1951. In 1972 the Deseret News rewarded Heslop its first-ever "Outstanding Performance Award." Upon retirement in 1988 J and Fae continued to travel, spend time with family, and be involved in their church. J. took photographs wherever he went. Fae passed away in Salt Lake City on November 29, 2009. J. Malan Heslop died on July 29, 2011, in Salt Lake City, Utah.


19 boxes

Language of Materials



Arranged in seven subseries: 1. J Malan Heslop photographs of Utah, 1948-1989. 2. J Malan Heslop photographs of places other than Utah, 1948-1989. 3. J Malan Heslop photographs of people, 1948-1989. 4. J Malan Heslop photographs of American Fork Training School, 1957. 5. J Malan Heslop slides of professional associations presentations, 1962, 1977. 6. J Malan Heslop photographs of Cambodian refugees, 1979. 7. J Malan Heslop advertising photographs, 1948-1989.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Kept in cold storage; access requires 24 hours advance notice.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States