The Oliver Collection consists of approximately 2700 glass plate negatives and photographic prints taken mainly by amateur
photographer William Letts Oliver and his son, Roland L. Oliver. Subjects include maritime and yachting scenes, views of California
and San Francisco Bay area, University of California at Berkeley, mining, logging, the Bohemian Grove, and the
According to a written statement by his son Roland L. Oliver, William Letts Oliver "was born in Valparaiso, Chile, August
6, 1844. [He] was educated in Edinburgh, Scotland, graduated from Edinburgh University as a mining engineer, and then went
back to Chile. [In 1861, he went] to Peru, then to San Francisco in 1868 in time for the big earthquake of that year." His
experience with nitrates led him to establish the California Cap Company, an explosives business in the East Bay (of the San
Francisco Bay Area). In addition, he also owned a company that manufactured the Doak stationary engine used to power pumps
on horse-drawn fire engines. He resided Oakland until his death in 1918.
circa 2700 glass plate negatives and photographs
2047 digital objects
Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction
of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions,
privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond
that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be
commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Collection is open for research.