Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
A guide to the Nancy and Roger Olmsted papers, 1847-2007
HDC1665 (SAFR 23820)  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (234.94 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication and Use Rights
  • Processing Note
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Historical or Biographical Note
  • Collection Scope and Content
  • Collection Arrangement

  • Title: Nancy and Roger Olmsted papers
    Date: 1847-2007
    Date (bulk): 1975-2007
    Collection No. (Catalog No.): HDC1665 (SAFR 23820)
    Author ||Olmsted, Roger R: Olmsted, Nancy Olmsted, Roger R.
    Physical Description: 25 linear ft.
    Repository: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Historic Documents Department
    Building E, Fort Mason
    San Francisco, CA 94123
    Abstract: The Nancy and Roger Olmsted papers (SAFR 23820, HDC 1665) consist of 571 files in 34 boxes separated into 3 series. This collection has been processed to the file unit level and is open for use without restrictions.
    Physical Location: San Francisco Maritime NHP, Historic Documents Department
    Language(s): In English.


    This collection is open for use unless otherwise noted.

    Publication and Use Rights

    Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

    Processing Note

    The descriptions in this collection guide were compiled using the best available sources of information. Such sources include the creator's annotations or descriptions, collection accession files, primary and secondary source material and subject matter experts. While every effort was made to provide accurate information, in the event that you find any errors in this guide please contact the reference staff in order for us to evaulate and make corrections to this guide.
    Please cite the title and collection number in any correspondence with our staff.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item description], [Location within collection organization identified by Collection Number/Series Number/File Unit Number/Item Number], HDC1665 (SAFR 23820), Nancy and Roger Olmsted papers, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Acquisition Information

    This collection was kept in the possession of the originators until its donation by the co-executor of Nancy Olmsted's estate.

    Historical or Biographical Note

    The Nancy and Roger Olmsted papers mainly consist of the collected papers of the family historical research and writing business, Resource Consultants, from 1975 until 2007. Their son, Roger W. Olmsted, contributed to the business from 1992 until 1999.
    Nancy Leigh Olmsted, nee Neely (1927- ), graduated Summa Cum Laude from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Sociology in 1962. She then completed two years of post-graduate studies at Dominican College in San Rafael, California. While a student at Dominican College she met and married Roger R. Olmsted, the first Curator of the San Francisco Maritime Museum. In 1975, Nancy and Roger Olmsted established Resource Consultants as an historical research and writing business. Over the next 32 years, Resource Consultants operated as independent contractors producing historical reports, books, exhibits and research articles for government and private organizations. Among their clients were the US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Department of the Interior, California's Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the planning office of the city of San Francisco, the California Historical Society and the San Francisco Port Authority. Nancy Olmsted was also the editor, designer and a group leader for the travel company Marin Adventures, and editor of the California Explorer newsletter from 1986 through 1990.
    Roger Robertson Olmsted (1927-1981) was the first curator of the San Francisco Maritime Museum and was instrumental in the restoration of the lumber schooner C.A. THAYER and the steam schooner WAPAMA. He was also editor of American West Magazine, editor of the Sierra Club Bulletin from 1973 to 1975, and director of publications for the California Historical Society. He was the curator of the History Department at the Oakland Museum from 1969 to 1972, and was the co-author with Tom Watkins of "Here Today," a study of San Francisco's many historic buildings and architecture. His Master's thesis on the history of Scow Schooners in San Francisco Bay was edited and published posthumously by his wife in 1989.
    Roger Walcott Olmsted (1962-1999) entered the University of California at Berkeley at age 16 in 1978. Graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1983 with a double major in History and Anthropology, he was awarded a Mellon Fellowship and attended the UC Berkeley School of Law. Taking his father's place at Resource Consultants in 1992, he worked with Nancy Olmsted to produce historical and archaeological studies of San Francisco and Oakland for Caltrans. They also worked together on a 1993 report for the Sonoma State Archaeological Studies Center that mapped out potential hazardous sites in the Mission Bay district of San Francisco, and a 1994 historical assessment of floating dry dock facilities in Sausalito, California for the Housing and Urban Development office of Marin County.

    Collection Scope and Content

    The Nancy and Roger Olmsted papers (SAFR 23820, HDC 1665) consist of 571 files in 34 boxes separated into 3 series. This collection has been processed to the file unit level and is open for use without restrictions.
    The Nancy and Roger Olmsted papers (SAFR 23820, HDC 1665), is comprised mainly of the research materials, collected photographs, draft manuscripts and finished projects of Research Consultants. Research Consultants was a research and historical writing business started in 1975 by the husband and wife team of Roger R. Olmsted (1928-1981) and Nancy L. Olmsted (born 1927), while working as independent contractors studying the historical and cultural impact of a sewer line rebuild for San Francisco's Waste Water Program (later renamed the Clean Water Program). Nancy Olmsted continued Resource Consultants alone after her husband's death in 1981, until their son Roger W. Olmsted joined her as a writing partner in 1992. After Roger W.'s death in 1999, she again ran the business alone.
    From its founding through 2007, Resource Consultants produced thirty-three reports, books or exhibits on the history of San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay Area. This collection documents the research and writing of those projects and also includes correspondence, unfinished memoirs, poetry, historical essays and tour guide activities. The collection also includes more than 1,800 individual photographs, pieces of artwork and maps organized by subject.

    Collection Arrangement

    A collection of 28 legal sized boxes, 7 rolls, 6 over sized boxes and 1 drawer, arranged in 3 series. Series 1 is the major projects of Resource Consultants in chronological order. Series 2 consists of historical research, small projects, exhibitions, tours, memoirs and poetry. Series 3 is a photographic collection arranged alphabetically by subject.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Olmsted, Roger R., 1927-1981
    Olmsted, Nancy Leigh
    San Francisco (Calif.)
    Manuscripts for publication
    Maritime history