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Howard Olson Family Papers

Call Number: RG 238
Scope and Contents
This collection provides valuable documentation of the life and work of Howard and Louise Olson as Lutheran missionaries in Tanzania, including their educational work, research related to African music and languages, and the experience of raising children in a missionary setting. The family correspondence from the 1940s and 1950s provides more detailed information about their work in Tanzania. There is no correspondence from the 1960s and the correspondence beginning with the 1970s is primarily with the Olson's children, focusing more on their lives, but with some mention of the Olsons' activities in Tanzania.

The Writings of Series II primarily relate to Howard Olson's work in the areas of linguistics and African music. Additional documentation regarding African music and hymns is found in Series III. The documentation of Conferences and Lay Courses in Series IV includes the Olsons' teaching curricula related to Africa and African music as well as records from reunions of Lutheran missionaries to East Africa. Series V, Collected Material, includes photocopies of historical documents related to the Lutheran mission in Tanzania and two audiotapes related to African languages. The collection concludes with Series VII, Biographical Documentation.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of the Olson family, 2011
  1. I. Correspondence, 1945-1988, n.d.
  2. II. Writings, 1955-2004
  3. III. African Music Documentation
  4. IV. Conferences and Lay Courses, 1994-2004, n.d.
  5. V. Collected Material, 1943-1991, n.d.
  6. VI. Biographical Documentation, 2010, n.d.
1.5 Linear Feet (4 boxes)
Related Names
Olson, Howard S.
Language of Materials