Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Orlando Winfield Wilson Papers, [ca. 1928-1972]
BANC MSS 73/179 c  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (95.79 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Brief Biographical Sketch
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Orlando Winfield Wilson Papers,
    Date (inclusive): [ca. 1928-1972]
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 73/179 c
    Creator: Wilson, O. W. (Orlando Winfield), 1900-1972
    Extent: Number of containers: 2 cartons, 3 boxes, 2 volumes and 1 oversize folder
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: Letters written to him and by him; biographical material; manuscripts of his writings; copies of his speeches and statements; reprints and tear sheets of his articles and book reviews; personalia; awards and diplomas; memorial tributes; clippings; subject files. Relating to his career in police administration at Wichita, Kansas and Chicago, the development of the criminology program at the University of California, Berkeley, his consultant assignments and his writings in the field of police administration.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Orlando Winfield Wilson papers, BANC MSS 73/179 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Material Cataloged Separately

    • Photographs have been transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library -
      Identifier/Call Number: BANC PIC 1973.030-.031--PIC
    • Tapes have been transferred to the Phonotape Collection of The Bancroft Library (for location, see Container List)

    Brief Biographical Sketch

    Orlando Winfield Wilson, criminologist, police administrator and educator, was born on May 15, 1900 in Veblen, South Dakota. He started police work in 1921 as a patrolman with the Berkeley, California Police Department, working his way at the University of California as one of August Vollmer's "college cops." Graduating with an A.B. in 1924, he resigned from the Berkeley force in April 1925 to become chief of police in Fullerton, California. In 1928, on Vollmer's recommendation, he became police chief of Wichita, Kansas, a position he held until 1939 when he returned to Berkeley as professor of police administration at the School of Criminology, serving as dean, 1950-60. During this period he also did intermittent police consultation and advisory work, conducting a number of police surveys and directing reorganization of departments in several cities. In World War II, he served in the army in a variety of posts. In 1960 he went to Chicago at the request of Mayor Richard J. Daley, to head a blue-ribbon committee seeking a new police commissioner. The committee, after searching the country for a candidate, chose its own chairman, and Wilson accepted the job with the assurance that he would have the support he considered necessary to rebuild the department which had been rocked with graft and incompetence. Retiring in 1967 with a distinct record of achievement, he returned to California, living in Poway until his death on October 18, 1972.

    Scope and Content

    His papers were given to The Bancroft Library by his widow, Ruth Elinor Wilson, in May 1973. Covering the period 1928 to 1972, they include correspondence, biographical material, MSS of his writings, copies of speeches and statements, reprints and tear sheets of his articles and book reviews, personalia, awards and diplomas, memorial tributes, photographs and snapshots, clippings and subject files. The papers, in general, relate to his career in police administration at Wichita, Kansas, and Chicago; the development of the criminology program at the University of California, Berkeley; his consultant assignments; and his writings in the field of police administration. They are described in greater detail in the Key to Arrangement which follows. A list of the major correspondents represented in the collection follows the Key.
    Some material relating to his work in Wichita was given by Mrs. Wilson to the Kansas State Historical Society, and his library went to the Chicago Police Training Academy and to the San Diego Police Department.