Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Oliver F. Atkins Papers, White House Central Files, 1969-1974
Collection Number: 6121076
Atkins, Oliver F., 1916-1977
Extent: 11 linear feet, 5 linear inches; 26 boxes
Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
Abstract: Oliver “Ollie” F. Atkins was President Nixon’s personal photographer and the chief of the White House Photographic staff (official
White House photographer). These files are comprehensive of the Nixon White House years, 1969-1974 and detail the primary
mission of the White House Photo Office (keeping a photographic record of Nixon’s presidency). These records also reflect
the Photo Office’s involvement with book projects, traveling photo exhibitions, and other functions relating to Nixon’s tenure
as president. This file series contains textual documents detailing the day-to-day operations of the Photo Office, a complete
copy of the President’s daily schedule, miscellaneous photos and photos and biographical information pertaining to White House
staff members, political appointees, and politicians.
Language of Material: English
Collection is open for research. Some materials may be unavailable based upon categories of materials exempt from public release
established in the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974.
Most government records are in the public domain, however, this series includes commercial materials, such as newspaper clippings,
that may be subject to copyright restrictions. Researchers should contact the copyright holder for information.
Oliver F. Atkins Papers, White House Central Files, 1969-1974. Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
These materials are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration under the provisions of Title I of
the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-526, 88 Stat. 1695) and implementing regulations.
Scope and Content of Collection
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