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Olsen Family Papers
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Campus Photo Tour

Includes a series of photographic slides (taken by Professor Robert Olsen) and an accompanying handwritten script (written by Jo Olsen). The numbered captions on the script correspond to the numbers identified on the slide frame.

Olsen Family Papers

  • UA 8.6.3
  • Record group
  • 1947 - 1964

In the summer of 1947, Robert Olsen joined the faculty of Pacific Lutheran College as a Professor of Chemistry. He and his wife Josephine (“Jo”), along with sons Richard, Robert Jr., James, and Paul moved to Tacoma from Detroit, Michigan. While in Tacoma, the family expanded to include Ruth (1951) and Timothy (1953). Professor Olsen retired from PLU in 1976.

Shortly after the Olsen family relocated to Tacoma, Professor Olsen took a series of Kodachrome slide photographs of the campus and surrounding area. Jo Olsen wrote a script to accompany the slides describing their content and providing details about the family’s new home and community. The slides and script were sent to the family’s former congregation in Detroit to be viewed as a tour of the area. The slides have been digitized and the caption written by Jo Olsen has been included with each image.

The Olsen Times was a newspaper started by 10-year-old James B. Olsen in 1951, covering family and community news. The paper was distributed to family and friends across the country. The Olsen Times was published weekly from 1951-1954 and monthly from 1954-1956. It was followed or supplemented by The Olsen Times Bulletin (1958, 1960, 1961), The Olsen News (1951-1957), and family letters (1961, 1964).

Olsen Family

Slide 1

"We will start our tour of the campus of Pacific Lutheran College at Trinity Church, which is across Park Avenue from the campus. Dr. Ernest B. Steen is the pastor."

Slide 10

"Coming again onto the campus, we walk west and see the E. entrance to the Science Hall, with Olsen boys in doorway. This bldg. was dedicated this past Nov. 7th. It has Physics on the 1st fl., Biology on 2nd,+ Chemistry on 3rd."

Slide 12

"3 members of the science faculty.appear in this view. They are, l. to r. -- (Vernor) Johnson of Biology, (Anders) Ramstad of Chemistry, + (Harry) Adams of Math. This is Johnson's 2nd year -- Adams' 1st, but Ramstad has been here 20. (Science is now Ramstad Hall.) Note fluorescent lights on 2nd floor."

Slide 13

"This view of the library (now Xavier Hall) is taken thru a 3rd floor of Science Hall. The library was built in 1939, but stacks were completed this year."

Slide 14

"Going outside we look across at the library from the N.W. corner of Sc. Hall."

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