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Draft of Pioneering with film -- A history of Church and Brigham Young University films / Wetzel O. Whitaker

 Item — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 1443

Scope and Contents

Draft of Wetzel O. Whitaker's "Pioneering with Film -- A History of Church and Brigham Young University Films," which was published in 1983. The book outlined the history of the Brigham Young University Motion Picture Studio as told by Wetzel O. Whitaker, who established and ran the studio for 22 years. The draft does not appear to be a complete version of the final publication. It is dated 1975 to 1976.


  • 1975-1976


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 use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Biographical / Historical

Wetzel Owen Whitaker was born on September 30, 1908, in Heber City, Utah, and was raised in Brigham City, Utah. In 1918, he and his family moved to Denver, Colorado, where he grew up.

Wetzel attended the Chicago Art Institute, and afterwards moved to St. Louis to work as a newspaper art director. He later moved to California where he had a successful career as an animator for Disney Studios. In 1952, he took a position at Brigham Young University to establish and head the BYU Motion Picture Studio. He led the studio until his retirement in 1974.

Wetzel and his brother, Scott Whitaker, were responsible for many iconic Latter-day Saint films such as "Johnny Lingo," "Pioneers in Petticoats," and "The Windows of Heaven." Wetzel received an honorary doctorate from Brigham Young University in 1971.

Whitaker passed away on November 1, 1985, in Murray, Utah.


1 volume (unnumbered leaves) ; 28 cm

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Donated in 1978 by W.O. Whittaker.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; 1978; W.O. Whittaker.


History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon and Western American Manuscripts Collection Development Policy V.B.5.a, 2020)

Processing Information

Proccessed; Isabella Titus: 2024.

Register of Draft of Pioneering with film -- A history of Church and Brigham Young University films / Wetzel O. Whitaker
In Progress
Isabella Titus
2024 April 5
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