Oliver F. Atkins (White House Central Files: Staff Member and Office Files)

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The Presidential historical materials of Oliver F. Atkins, Chief of the White House Photo Office Staff, and personal photographer to President Nixon, are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration, under the provisions of Title I of the Presidential Materials and Preservation Act of 1974 (44 U.S.C. 2111 note) and implementing regulations. In accordance with the act and regulations, archivists reviewed the file group to identify private or personal, as well as nonhistorical items. Such items, if found, have been withdrawn for return to the individual with primary proprietary or commemorative interest in them.

Materials covered by the act have been archivally processed and are described in this finding aid. Items which are security classified or otherwise restricted under the act and regulations have been removed and placed in a closed file. A Document Withdrawal Record (NA Form 14021) has been placed in the front of each folder describing each withdrawn item. Employees of the National Archives will review periodically the unclassified portions of closed materials for the purpose of opening those which no longer require restriction. Classified documents may be reviewed for declassification under authority of Executive Order 13526 in response to a Mandatory Review Request (NA Form 14020) submitted by the researcher.

  • Linear feet of materials:  8.7
  • Approximate number of pages:  20,800
Biographical Note

1917 Born Hyde Park, Massachusetts

1938 B.A. Journalism, University of Alabama

1938-1940 Photographer for the Washington Daily News

1940-1945 War Correspondent for the Saturday Evening Post

1945 Photographer for the Saturday Evening Post

1968 Personal photographer to Republican presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon

1968-1974 Personal photographer to President Nixon and chief of the White House Photographic Staff

After graduating from the University of Alabama in 1938, Ollie Atkins embarked on a very successful photojournalism career, beginning with his position with the Birmingham Post. Following this, Ollie moved to Washington, D.C., where he took a position with the Washington Daily News. Shortly after his move to Washington, Ollie began his twenty-eight-year career as a war correspondent and photographer with the prestigious Saturday Evening Post. While with the Post, Atkins traveled throughout Europe, Africa and the Far East, at times chronicling the careers of foreign leaders such as Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia, Egypt's Nasser, Charles De Gaulle of France, and Pope Paul VI. In 1968 Richard Nixon was campaigning for the presidency and Atkins was asked to become his photographer. Following the election Atkins became the personal photographer for President Nixon and the chief White House photographer in charge of the White House photography staff.

Atkins was a charter member of the National Press Photographers Association and served as chair of that group's Freedom of Information Committee. In addition he served two terms as President of the White House News Photographers Association.

Scope and Content Note

Oliver "Ollie" Atkins began his association with Richard M. Nixon in 1968 when Nixon was campaigning for the presidency. Then a photographer for the Saturday Evening Post, Atkins left the Post to become Nixon's personal photographer. When Nixon was elected President, Ollie became the President's personal photographer and chief of the White House Photographic staff. Ollie accompanied the president on all of his major trips abroad and was present to photograph Nixon on August 9, 1974 when he resigned and left the White House. The materials of White House Photographer Ollie Atkins and the White House Photo Office are intertwined and therefore should be regarded as one set of materials. These records span the entire presidency of Richard M. Nixon from the first inauguration through the date of his resignation in 1974.

The majority of the materials of the White House Photo Office were not filed by name, subject, or chronologically. In order to facilitate the processing of this collection, materials were placed into folders, given titles, and boxed in their original order. To facilitate research, the folders have been reorganized into a filing scheme similar to that used in the White House. The material within each folder was not organized chronologically so the dates on the folders reflect the span of dates covered within each folder.

For preservation reasons, all photographic prints found within the textual files have been removed to a parallel file and replaced with a photocopy and withdrawal sheet. Researchers can have access to the original photo by requesting the parallel file of the same name from the withdrawn photo file. Duplications of non-White House Photo Office prints can be obtained through any of the approved Archives vendors. When making such a request, please indicate both the folder title and item number.

Textual records of the White House Photo Office detail the primary mission of the office, the photographic record of the presidency of Richard M. Nixon. In addition, these records show the Photo Office's involvement with book projects, traveling photo exhibitions, and other functions relating to Nixon's tenure as president.

The Archives & Manuscript division of the George Mason University Library System holds a collection of materials donated to the University by Ollie Atkins' wife in 1978. This collection contains approximately 10,000 photos taken by Ollie when he served as a photographer for the Saturday Evening Post (1946-1968). In addition, this collection contained thousands of prints from the White House Photo Office, taken by Mr. Atkins and members of his staff.

The Saturday Evening Post photos were donated with a complete set of prints, negatives, contact sheets and 250 matted photographs which have been used in three exhibits in GMU's Fenwick Library Art Gallery. In all, the Atkins collection comprises 80 linear feet.

Series Description

Boxes:   1-6
Series:   Administrative Files
Spans:   1969-1974
Description:   This series contains the textual documents chronicling the day-to-day operations of the White House Photo Office. The files contain general correspondence, production reports, scheduling information, appointment books, and general office business arranged in alphabetical order. In addition, this series contains a collection of negative and contact sheet logs detailing all of the photos taken during the Nixon administration. These logs contain the photographer's name, date, film format and type, and the name of the photo processor.

Boxes:   7-9
Series:   The President's Schedule
Spans:   1969-1974
Description:   This file series has a complete copy of the President's daily schedule from his inauguration to the day of his resignation. In addition to the standard information found in any copy of President Nixon's schedule, the Photo Office copy is periodically annotated. This information is extremely valuable in that it establishes which White House photographer took which pictures and gives some insight into how Mr. Atkins used his staff to their fullest potential.

Boxes:   10-12
Series:   Exhibitions and Publications
Spans:   1969-1974
Description:   This series details the work Atkins did on numerous projects that involved the use of White House photographs. These projects include magazine photo requests, books on Nixon's trips abroad, exhibitions of White House photos that toured the world, and Atkins work on the book, "Eye on Nixon," written and edited by Julie Nixon-Eisenhower. The efforts taken by Atkins to ensure that the work of the photo office staff and images of the President were presented to the public in accordance with his high professional standards is clearly evident in this file.

Boxes:   13-14
Series:   Personalities File
Spans:   1969-1974
Description:   A collection of alphabetically organized files containing photos and biographical information. The files in this series pertain to White House staff members, political appointees, and politicians allied with the Nixon administration. Some files contained photos and bios, while others contained one or the other or neither. Empty folders were kept within this series because they represent the intent of the administration to keep information on a particular staff member or appointee.

Boxes:   15
Series:   Miscellaneous Photos
Description:   Found amongst Atkins textual office files were a great number of envelopes, folders, and print sleeves containing photographs and negatives. Most of the photos are from the White House Photo Office collection while some can be credited to outside professional photographers. The vast majority of the photos found in this file are of White House staff and their families.

Folder Title List

Series I: Administrative Files

Box 1

[White House Phone Book]
[Appointment Book - 1969]
[Appointment Book - 1970]
[Appointment Book - 1971]

Box 2

[Appointment Book - 1972]
[Appointment Book - 1973]
[Appointment Book - 1974]

Box 3

[Ollie Atkins Appointment Book - No Date]
[Photo lab Order Copies] [1 of 3] [2/6/73-9/6/72]
[Photo lab Order Copies] [2 of 3] [9/6/72-6/15/72]
[Photo lab Order Copies] [3 of 3] [6/15/72-2/2/72]
[Photo Lab Order 22 Mar 73, Lab Order 2633]
[photo Lab Order 2632] [March 22, 1973]
[List of Negatives for Transparency]
[Listing of Color Contact Sheets] [1 of 4]
[Listing of Color Contact Sheets] [2 of 4]
[Listing of Color Contact Sheets] [3 of 4]
[Listing of Color Contact Sheets] [4 of 4]

Box 4

Stand-by Duty Photographer [November 24, 1970 - Decmber 30, 1971]
Duty Photographer- 1972 - 1973 [1 of 2]
Duty Photographer- 1972 - 1973 [2 of 2]
Atkins - Travel Vouchers [1 of 3]
Atkins - Travel Vouchers [2 of 3]
Atkins - Travel Vouchers [3 of 3]
Photo Lab - Billings [September 1972 - December 1973]
Production Reports [1 of 2] [1969-1973]
Production Reports [2 of 2] [1969-1973]
[Correspondence to Pam Powell] [April 1974]
[Correspondence from the U.S. Camera Publishing Corp. - 4/23/71]
[Correspondence from J. Bruce Whelihan] [April-May 1971]
Vice President Correspondence [January 1969 - February 1974]
Ollie Atkins [February - August 1974]
[Compix to CREEP]
[1972 Army & Navy Club Membership Directory]

Box 5

Autograph requests [January 1973 - July 1974]
'72 Campaign [1 of 2] [December 1971 - September 1973]
'72 Campaign [2 of 2] [December 1970 - December 1971]
China Trip [October 1971 - April 1972]
[Citizens for Raggio committee]
Convention 1972 [1 of 2]
Convention 1972 [2 of 2]
Curators Office [October 1970 - September 1973]
Kissinger Trips [February 1973]
Richard Nixon Library [1 of 3] [May 16, 1974]
Richard Nixon Library [2 of 3] [March 73, June 1970]
Richard Nixon Library [3 of 3] [March-April 1972]
Reorganization- 2nd Term [1 of 2] December 1972 - February 1973]
Reorganization- 2nd Term [2 of 2] December 1972 - February 1973]
Russia Trip [May 1972]
Vice President- Official Picture [December 1972 - August 1973]

Box 6

[Black and White and Color Negatives Log 1/20/69-12/23/71]
[Ektachrome Negative Log -1/20/60-4/26/71]
["D" File Negative Log - 8/15/72-1120/73]
["E" File Negative Log - 1120/73-5/31/74]
["E" File Negative Log - 6/1/74-8/9/74]

Series II: The President's Schedule

Box 7

The President's Schedule- January 1969
The President's Schedule- February 1969
The President's Schedule- March 1969
The President's Schedule- April 1969
The President's Schedule- June 1969
The President's Schedule- July 1969
The President's Schedule- August 1969
The President's Schedule- September 1969
The President's Schedule- October 1969
The President's Schedule- November 1969
The President's Schedule- December 1969
The President's Schedule- January 1970
The President's Schedule- February 1970
The President's Schedule- March 1970
The President's Schedule- April 1970
The President's Schedule- May 1970
The President's Schedule- June 1970
The President's Schedule- July 1970
The President's Schedule- August 1970
The President's Schedule- September 1970
The President's Schedule- October 1970
The President's Schedule- November 1970
The President's Schedule- December 1970
The President's Schedule- January 1971
The President's Schedule- February 1971
The President's Schedule- March 1971
The President's Schedule- April 1971
The President's Schedule- May 1971
The President's Schedule- June 1971

Box 8

The President's Schedule- July 1971
The President's Schedule- August 1971
The President's Schedule- September 1971
The President's Schedule- October 1971
The President's Schedule- November 1971
The President's Schedule- December 1971
The President's Schedule- January 1972
The President's Schedule- February 1972
The President's Schedule- March 1972
The President's Schedule- April 1972
The President's Schedule- May 1972
The President's Schedule- June 1972
The President's Schedule- July 1972
The President's Schedule- August 1972
The President's Schedule- September 1972
The President's Schedule- October 1972
The President's Schedule- November 1972
The President's Schedule- December 1972
The President's Schedule- January 1973
The President's Schedule- February 1973
The President's Schedule- March 1973
The President's Schedule- April 1973
The President's Schedule- May 1973
The President's Schedule- June 1973
The President's Schedule- July 1973
The President's Schedule- August 1973
The President's Schedule- October 1973
The President's Schedule- November 1973
The President's Schedule- December 1973

Box 9

The President's Schedule- January 1974
The President's Schedule- February 1974
The President's Schedule- March 1974
The President's Schedule- April 1974
The President's Schedule- May 1974
The President's Schedule- June 1974
The President's Schedule- July 1974
The President's Schedule- August 1974

Series III: Exhibitions and Publications

Box 10

Exhibitions [1 of 2]
Exhibitions [2 of 2]
[White House Photo Exhibits] [1 of 3]
[White House Photo Exhibits] [2 of 3]
[White House Photo Exhibits] [3 of 3]
[The First Two Years Exhibit]
[Polaroids of "First Two Years" exhibit] [1 of 2]
[Polaroids of "First Two Years" exhibit] [2 of 2]
["Photo Expo '71" program with letter]
The First Two Years Exhibit
Exhibits- Past [May 7, 1973]
Exhibits [April- August 1972]
Exhibits- Current [September 1972 - August 1973]
Displays [May 1971, August 1973]

Box 11

Hawthorn - "Eye on Nixon" [1 of 3] [May - December 1972]
Hawthorn - "Eye on Nixon" [2 of 3] [May - June 1972]
Hawthorn - "Eye on Nixon" [3 of 3] [March - April 1972]
Book Project - Bantam [December 1971 - January 1973]
Book Project
Lofton - Monday Mag [July 1972]
Inaugural [1973]
[Copy of "The Inaugural Book 1973"]
[Copy of "Summons to Greatness"]
[1969 Article about Nixon]
[Photo of Rose Mary Woods with attachment] [July 1970]
Mrs. Nixon's Book [June-August 1973]
["Eye on Nixon" cover with pre-publishing materials] [1 of 2]
["Eye on Nixon" cover with pre-publishing materials] [2 of 2]
[“Eye on Nixon" jacket cover with possible covers inside]
["Eye on Nixon" jacket cover- Empty]
[Loose copies of "A Quest for Lasting Peace"]
[Loose copies of "First Monday Magazine"]

Box 12

[Copies of "The Week that Changed the World"]
[Copy of the "Republican"]
[Commemorative photo album for the 1970 Europe Trip]
[17 Copies of "Quest for a Lasting Peace"]
[23 Copies of "The Week That Changed the World"]
["Monday" magazine binders]
[1968 Campaign Newspapers]
[Fall 1972 - Saturday Evening Post]
[Washington Post Parade Magazines, June 25, and April 30, 1972]
[Bound Volumes of "The Republican," July 69-March 71]
[Publications Containing WH Photo Office Photos]

Series IV: Personalities File

Box 13

Armstrong, Mrs. Anne RNC
Baldson, Kathleen WH Staff
Banuelos, Romona Treasurer
Bedell, Catherine US Tariff Chair.
Bentley, Helen Fed. Maritime Chair
Blatshford, Joe Action
Brooks, Mary Dir. of the Mint
Brown, Robert
Brown, William III EEOC
Brock, William Senator-Tenn.
Buckley, James L. Sen-NY
Burgess, Isabel Nat. Trans. Safety Bd.
Burns, Barbara HEW
Butterfield, Alex
Butz, Earl Sec. of Agriculture
Cahill, Gov. William T. NJ
Conable, Barber B. Rep-NY
Connally, John Sec. of Treasury
Cook, Marlowe W. Sen-Ken
Crane, Philip M. Rep-Ill.
Dole, Robert Senator-Kansas
Dean, John
Dolf Droge WH
Dunn, Gov. Winfield Tenn
Ehrlichman, John D. WH Staff
Eppley, Evelyn GSA
Fannin, Paul J. Sen-Arizona
Finch, Robert H. WH Staff
Flanigan, Peter M. WH Staff
Fletcher, James NASA
Ford, Gerald Rep-Michigan
Franklin, Barbara WH Staff
Goldwater, Barry Sen-Arizona
Gurney, Edward J. Sen-Florida
Hampton, Robert CSC
Hanford, Eliz. Ofc. of Consumer Affairs
Hanks, Nancy Nat. Endow. of Arts
Hannah, John Aid
Hardin, Clifford
Hauser, Rita WH
Hitt, Patricia HEW
Hodgson, James D. Sec. of Labor
Holton, Gov. A. Linwood Va.
Jaffe, Jerome WH Staff
Javits, Jacob Senator-NY
Johnson ?
Johnson, Donald VA
Kaupinen, Allen G. Comm.
Keller, Vicki
Kemp, JackF. Rep-NY
Khosrovi, Carol OEO
Gov. Claude Kirk Fla.
Klein, Herbert G. WH Staff
Kleppe, Thomas SBA
Knauer, Virginia Consumer Affairs
Koontz, Elizabeth Consumer Affairs
Laird, Melvin Sec. of Defense
Lincoln, Gen. George A. OEP
Loomis, Henry USIA
Love, Gov. John A. Colorado
Milliken, Gov. William G. Mich.
Mitchell, John A.
Morton, Rogers Sec. of Interior
Thomas Pappas
Parker, Dave
Pederson ?
Peterson, Peter G. Sec. of Commerce
Reagan, Gov. Ronald Calif.
Reid, Charlotte FCC
Rhodes, John J. Rep.-Arizona
Richardson, Elliot Sec. of HEW
Mayor Frank Rizzo
Rockefeller, Gov. Nelson A. NY
Ronmey, George Sec. of HUD
Ruckelshaus, William EPA
Rumsfeld, Donald WH Staff
Saxbe, Senator William B. Ohio

Box 14

Scott, Hugh Senator-Penn.
Schlesinger, James ABC
Sevell, Ginger
Shultz, George P, OMB WH
Snow, Mary Ann
Spain, Jayne CSC
Spencer, Dr. Barbara VP OFC
Stans, Maurice
Stuart, Constance WH Staff
Sturtevant, Brereton Commerce
Taft, Robert Senator-Ohio
Tarr, Curtis SS
Uccello, Antonia DOT
Volcker, Paul
Volpe, John A. Secretary of Transportation
William Walker
Washington, Walter
Walsh, Ethel EEOC
Watson, Barbara State Dept.
Whitaker, John
Whitman, Dr. Marina Economic Council
Woods, Rose Mary Sec. to the President
White House Wives
Younger, Eville DA Los Angeles
Campaign Newspapers
Iranian Newspaper May 31, 1972
Portrait of Richard Nixon
Presidential Seal Photos

Series V: Miscellaneous Photos

Box 15

[Jack Weir, Dunlop Studios]
[4xS Negatives-held together]
[Color Negatives-Mrs. MacGregor]
[110" Mrs. MacGregor 3Smm B&W Negatives]
[Loose Photos]
[Prints of RN w/ Emil Mossbacher]
[RN w/ Emil Mossbacher, Jr. (smiling)]
[Photo of W. Rogers, RN, E. Mossbacher, Jr.]
[Photo of RN and E. Mossbacher (seated)]
[TV Slides used in Campaign]
["Kodak Paper" box w/ the staff photos]
[Loose Photos]
[10 Prints Jeb Magruder]
[10 Prints Weinberger]
[10 Prints Yolk]
[10 Prints A. Kennedy]
[10 Prints Jonsson]
[10 Prints Malik]
[10 Prints Don Schollander]
[10 Prints Bonnan]
[10 Prints Bush]
[10 Prints Pappas]
[10 Prints F. Dale]
[10 Prints Rogers]
[10 Prints Ann Dore]
[Loose Photos]
[Envelope marked: Ken Clawson]
[Envelope marked: E 3284]
[Envelope marked: John Sawhill]
[Envelope marked: E 3315-5]
[Envelope marked: Give to news Magazines]
[Envelope marked: E 3286-18]
[Envelope marked: E 3286-21A]
[Envelope marked: E 2221-05]
[Envelope marked: Richard Nixon]
[Envelope marked: Pearl Bailey and Richard Nixon]
[Envelope marked: Photos of RN w/the White House Staff]
[Envelope marked: Various Photos of Staff]
[Color Enlargement and Negatives]
[NLN Still Photos being processed]
[Photo of Robert Taft, Jr.]
[Photo of Richard Roudebush]
[Photo of Lowell Weicher]
[Photo of Laura Romney]
[Photo of Glen Beall]
[Photo of W/lliam Cramer]
[Photo of George Bush]
[Photo of Tom Kleppe]
[Photo of John Wold]
[Photo of Lawrence Burton]