Donated Materials of Ollie Atkins


The Nixon Presidential Library and Museum owes debt of gratitude to Dale and Leonard Adler for the gift of the over 7,000 original negatives and associated contact sheets, prints and publications from all phases of the career of Ms. Adler’s father, Oliver F. Atkins. Mr. Atkins (known universally as “Ollie”) served as President Nixon’s official White House photographer from 1969 to 1974. Ollie also had a long and distinguished photographic career starting with The Birmingham Post and The Washington Daily News in the late 1930s and early 1940s.  Ollie served as a photographer for the Red Cross during World War II and the recovery in Europe and North Africa. In the late 1940s Ollie went to work for The Saturday Evening Post as their roving photographer in Washington, DC, where he documented events around Capitol Hill and the White House for almost twenty years. Ollie’s work caught the eye of candidate Richard Nixon in 1968. He served as the campaign’s official photographer and got the assignment as President Nixon’s official photographer upon Nixon’s ascent to the White House. Shortly after Nixon’s resignation in August 1974 Ollie accepted a vice-presidency with Curtis Publishing Company, the publisher of The Saturday Evening Post, a post he held until he died in 1977.

Scope and Content Note

The materials comprise over 7,000 original film negatives and transparencies; numerous associated contact sheets, prints and related publications. The materials document photographic assignments from various employers from 1941 until 1977. Subject matter includes Red Cross activities in Europe and North Africa; refugee programs in post-World War II Europe and North Africa; various political figures and public events in post-war Washington, DC; and President Nixon’s visits to the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union in 1972. The photographic material described here both complements and overlaps an earlier donation given by the Atkins estate to George Mason University’s “Special Collections and Archives” division.

About the Finding Aid

The Finding Aids for this collection include:

  • PDF document containing item-level descriptions
  • A partial set of "contact sheets" (un-enlarged prints from the original 4x5 or medium format photo negatives). Numbering starts at 0001 and ends at 7270.

Contact the Nixon Library staff for more information about this finding aid.

Copyright Information

Many of these images may be subject to copyright restrictions.

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