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Williams (Hanson A., Jr.) Collection of Photographs and Negatives
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Collection Details
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  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Biographical note
  • Arrangement
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Archival Materials
  • Processing Information note

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Pepperdine University. Special Collections and University Archives.
    Title: Hanson A. Williams, Jr. Collection of Photographs and Negatives
    Creator: Williams, Hanson A., Jr.
    Identifier/Call Number: 0017
    Physical Description: 13.86 Linear Feet (34 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1946-1954
    Abstract: The collection consists of photographs and negatives taken by Hanson A. Williams, Jr. between 1946 and 1954. Images are primarily of the George Pepperdine College campus and photos taken while Williams was a private in the US Army during the Korean War, between 1950 and 1952.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Advance notice required for access.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

    Preferred Citation

    [Box/folder# or item name], Hanson A. Williams, Jr. Collection of Photographs and Negatives, Collection no. 0017, Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries, Pepperdine University.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Materials were donated by Hanson Williams' wife, Talma (Tommie) Williams in several installments April, 2010, March 18, 2011, and September 3, 2013.

    Biographical note

    Hanson A. Williams Jr. was born in Pueblo, Colorado on November 14, 1928 to Hanson and Cecil May Williams. His family moved to the Los Angeles area when he was eleven and he later graduated from Dorsey High School as a photography major. Dr. Olaf (Oly) Tegner, Dean Emeritus of Pepperdine's School of Education (which later became the Graduate School of Education and Psychology) and former professor, arranged for Williams to receive a photography scholarship to attend George Pepperdine College. Throughout his studies, Williams served as a student photographer and many of his photographs were used in the Pepperdine yearbook, the Promenade, of which Williams served as the editor-in-chief during his senior year. Williams was also listed in the Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges his senior year. Williams graduated from George Pepperdine College in June 1950 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art.
    Six months later, Williams was drafted into the army on December 10, 1950. He attended basic training at Fort Ord (located in Monterey, CA) and was later stationed at Fort MacArthur (San Pedro, CA). At first, he served on kitchen patrol but was later assigned to Special Services once his unique skills were discovered. He was given a job teaching photography at the hobby shop and taking photos for the camp newspaper. After a year in Special Services, he was reassigned to the Signal Corps and deployed to Korea where he worked as a war photographer. In this capacity, he often photographed soldiers in combat, special events, and visiting dignitaries such as generals, politicians, and celebrities. Williams recalled carrying his personal camera with him every day, and even resorted to developing film in rivers and rice paddies when necessary. To get a better understanding of the country, Williams would ride his bike into remote locations and photograph the people, their farms and some of the local villages. He spent 13 months in Korea traveling to cities such as Seoul, Incheon, and Taegu.
    Williams returned to civilian life in December, 1952 after serving two full years in the army. From 1952 to 1955 Williams worked freelance as a photographer in Hollywood photographing celebrities and VIP events. He also taught photography and cinematography classes for Compton Junior College and George Pepperdine College. In 1955, he met his future wife Talma (Tommie) Smith during a travel photography class he taught at Pepperdine. The two married on August 3, 1956 in Inglewood, CA. Dr. Tegner served as best man in the wedding and fellow Pepperdine alum, Fred Benton and Howard Hoover served as ushers. Hanson and Tommie had two children, Heather and Scott, and seven grandchildren.
    In 1957, Williams established his professional photography studio in Hermosa Beach, CA which he owned and operated for 40 years. He'd often work on commercial projects, weddings, and portrait sessions. Williams taught photography classes for the Redondo Union High School District and later full time at El Camino College. In addition, he pursued his passion for traveling and journeyed to Europe 13 times and led two Pepperdine tours: one to Scandinavia in 1973 and one to Mexico City in 1975. Williams passed away on December 3, 2009 in Orange County, California.


    The collection is divided into two series: 1. Korean War and 2. George Pepperdine College. The Korean War series is further divided into the following sub-series: 1.1: Fort Ord; 1.2: Fort McArthur; 1.3: Military; 1.4: People; and 1.5: Scenic. The George Pepperdine College series is divided into the following sub-series: 2.1: Campus; 2.2: People; and 2.3: Student Activities. Both series are organized alphabetically within each sub-series.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of photographs and negatives taken by Hanson A. Williams, Jr. between 1946 and 1954. The collection is divided into two series: the Korean War and George Pepperdine College. Both are organized alphabetically and showcase Williams' photography during his time as a private in the war and as a student. Major subjects in the Korean War series include photos from basic training, the journey to and from Korea, people, cities and villages, and newspapers which published Williams' work. The George Pepperdine College series features photographs of the Los Angeles campus, headshots of faculty and graduates, athletics, and student activities.

    Related Archival Materials

    Other photographs of the George Pepperdine College campus, students, faculty, and events can be found in the George Pepperdine College records 0087, in the Pepperdine University Archives Photographs, Negatives, and Slides 0031, or online via the Pepperdine Digital Collections, in the University Archives Photograph Collection (http://pepperdine.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/)

    Processing Information note

    The collection level record was created by Jamie Henricks in March, 2013. The collection was arranged and described by Sophie Zhu, Emily Hansen, and Katie Richardson in 2014.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Compact discs
    Photography -- Negatives
    Universities and colleges -- Photography
    War photography
    Los Angeles (Calif.) -- History
    Black-and-white photography
    Korean War, 1950-1953 -- Photography
    Pepperdine College
    Williams, Hanson A., Jr.