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Oscar Thomas Olson Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Olson, Oscar Thomas, 1887-
Title: Oscar Thomas Olson Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1880-1961
Quantity: 9.0 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American clergyman, Cleveland Methodist minister. Correspondence, incoming and outgoing (1917-1959); manuscript addresses, essays, prayers, sermons (1911-1961); photographs; and printed material, including articles, booklets, newsletters, reports, sermons (1918-1961), and other printed items relating to the Epworth-Euclid Methodist Church of Cleveland (1934-1959).
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Oscar Thomas Olson (1887-19??) was an American clergyman and author, active in the Methodist and Methodist Episcopal Church.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Olson received his A.B. at Albion College of Michigan in 1911, his A.M. in 1913, and his D.D. in 1922. He studied at Union Theological Seminary from 1911-1913, received his Doctor of Letters at Western Maryland College in 1935, and his Doctor of Laws at Mount Union College in 1938.

Olson was ordained minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1912, pastor of the First Church, Royal Oak, Michigan from 1912-1919, Trinity Church, Detroit, 1919-1921, Mt. Vernon Place Church, Baltimore 1921-1932, Wilmette Parish Church 1932-1934, and Epworth-Euclid Church, Cleveland, from 1934-1959.

He was Simpson lecturer at DePauw University, 1929-30, and exchange preacher for World Alliance for Peace, Great Britain, Glasgow in the summer of 1929. He was a member of the Joint Hymnal Commission of Methodist Churches, representing Methodist Episcopal Church, S. and Methodist Protestant Churches. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal General Conference in 1932, a member of the General Conference Commission on Course of Study, Commission on Supervision and Administrator of Methodist Episcopal Church. He was chairman of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ Committee on Worship, and director of the publicity of Methodist Episcopal General Conference in 1936. In 1937 he was a member of the Uniting Conference of Methodist Churches (chairman of committee on rituals and worship). In 1940 he was a member of the General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference from 1940 to 1944 of the Methodist Church.

Olson was also a committee member on ministerial training of the Methodist Church, a trustee of St. Luke's Hospital, and a member of Sigma Nu, Delta Sigma Rho, and Phi Beta Kappa. He is the author of Some Values for Today (1930) and editor of Book of Worship for Church and Home (1945).

He was married October 16, 1912 to the former Edith Margaret Ketcham, with whom he had three children.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Oscar Thomas Olson Papers consist of correspondence, subject files, writings (manuscripts), and printed matter, including more than thirty years' of the The Epworth-Euclid Outlook, the newsletter of the Epworth-Euclid Methodist Church in Cleveland, Ohio.

Correspondence is divided into incoming, outgoing, and correspondence by subject. (Inclusive Dates: 1917-1959)

Subject files includes daily memos, map, medals, Methodist biographies, photographs, and receipts. (Inclusive Dates: 1880-1961)

The majority of Manuscripts are by Olson, with a few items about him. Articles and addresses, all typed, are first by Olson and then about Olson. Fragments, Notes, and Lists made by Olson are both typed and handwritten. Music includes music manuscripts. Prayers includes prayers both typed and handwritten. Sermons, all typed, are by Olson. (Inclusive Dates: 1911-1961)

Printed matter includes articles, booklets, bulletins, essays, news items, orders of worship, pamphlets, prayers, programs, reports, sermons, and studies. (Inclusive Dates: 1918-1961)

Orders of Worship from the Epworth-Euclid Methodist Church is bound in notebooks by fiscal year. (Inclusive Dates: 1936-1959)

The Epworth-Euclid Outlook is bound in hard covers, by year. (Inclusive Dates: 1934-1959)

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Arrangement of the Collection

Incoming correspondence and correspondence by subject are arranged alphabetically; outgoing Correspondence is arranged chronologically. Subject files are arranged alphabetically by topic, then chronologically. Manuscripts are subdivided by type. Printed matter is arranged alphabetically by subject. Orders of worship and The Epworth-Euclid Outlook are bound chronologically.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has numerous collections relating to the Methodist church and clergy. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

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Subject Headings


Olson, Oscar Thomas, 1887-

Corporate Bodies

Epworth-Euclid Methodist Church (Cleveland, Ohio)


Clergy -- United States.
Methodist Church -- Clergy.
Methodists -- United States.
Sermons, American.

Genres and Forms

Manuscripts for publication.
Speeches (documents)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Oscar Thomas Olson Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: [Summit record]
Date: circa 1970
Revision history: 22 Jun 2009 - converted to EAD, boxes renumbered (MRC)

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Biographical Material
Box 1 Miscellaneous
Box 1 A-G
Box 1 H-L
Box 1 M-S
Box 1 T-Y
Box 1 1917-1959
Box 1 To wife from Europe 1948, 1951, 1953
By Subject
Box 1 Baltimore
Box 1 Circulars 1918-1919
Box 1 Milwaukee defeat 1952
Box 1 Pryor 1949
Box 1 Questionnaires 1926
Box 1 Retirement 1957
Box 1 Retirement 1959
Box 1 Of others
Box 1 To Mrs. Olson 1964
Subject file
Box 2 Daily Memos 1922-1961 (4 folders)
Box 2 Map 1880
Box 2 Medals
Box 2 Methodists
Box 2 Biographies
Box 2 Photographs
Box 2 Receipts 1908-1960
Articles, addresses
by Olson
Box 3 1. Typescripts and carbons (2 folders)
Box 3 2. Unfiled half-size pages (2 folders)
Box 3 3. Filed
Box 4 about Olson
Box 4 Fragments, notes, lists by Olson
Box 4 Music
Box 4 Prayers
Box 4 1. Typescripts and carbons (2 folders)
Box 4 2. Unfiled half-size pages (2 folders)
3. Filed
Box 5 A-Cha
Box 6 Chr-D
Box 7 E-G
Box 8 H-J
Box 9 K-M
Box 10 N-R
Box 11 S-V
Box 12 W-Y
Printed matter
Box 13 A-Co
Box 14 Co-Pr
Box 15 Pr-Z
Orders of Worship - Epworth-Euclid Methodist Church Cleveland, Ohio
Box 16 1936-1948
Box 17 1949-1959
The Epworth-Euclid Outlook
Bound volumes 1934-1959 (20 volumes)

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