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Guide to the Leland A. Olson papers
1955-1961

Collection number: HMC-1064.
Creator: Olson, Leland A.
Title: Leland A. Olson papers.
Dates: 1955-1961.
Volume of collection: 0.6 cubic feet. 
Language of materials: Collection materials in English.
Collection summary: Mostly 35 mm slides related to Mr. Olson’s work as a surveyor for the White Alice sites.

Biographical note:
Leland A. Olson was born in March 1908 in Boyceville, Wisconsin.  He majored in engineering at the University of Minnesota. He was employed by Western Electric Co. from 1955 until his death in 1971.  In 1955, he applied for and received secret clearance for the Defense Projects Division of the U.S. Air Force.  He worked as a surveyor for the White Alice project, primarily on-site selection and surveying. 

Collection description:
The collection contains a variety of materials related to Mr. Olson’s work in Alaska and northern Canada on the White Alice communications system, part of the DEW (Distant Early Warning) line.  The majority of the collection is comprised of 35mm color slides taken at a variety of White Alice sites and elsewhere in Alaska. The collection also contains six black and white photographs, a few publications related to the White Alice project, and a charm bracelet with a White Alice charm on it.  Locations pictured in the images include Anchorage, Homer, Kodiak, Nome, Cold Bay, Cape Sarichef, Fairbanks, Cordova, Port Moller, Baffin Island, Resolution Island, and many other White Alice locales.

Arrangement: The collection contents are grouped by type: slides, photographs, publications, and the charm bracelet. The slides were retained in the order in which they were arranged.

Digitized copies:Digitized copies: Digital copies of most slides (excluding overexposed or blurred items) are available on the Alaska’s Digital Archives site. Use Leland Olson as a search term.

Rights note: Copyright to the materials created by Leland Olson is held by Archives and Special Collections.

Preferred citation: Leland A. Olson papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Acquisition note: The collection was given to the Archives by Alys L. Olson and Kristen L. Rose, Leland Olson’s daughter and granddaughter.

Processing information: This collection was described by Arlene Schmuland in 2010. Biographical information was provided by Alys L. Olson. Slides were removed from slide boxes and rehoused in archival slide enclosures: arrangement of the slides in the boxes was retained.  Folders are labeled with the information provided on the slide boxes, which is not always complete.