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O. Joe Olson Papers

Identifier: MS-0114

Scope and Contents

These papers of an avid carnival glass collector were culled from six boxes of periodicals and auction catalogs donated to The Corning Museum of Glass. The remaining papers, many of which consist of research materials for articles on carnival glass, were in poor order and fragmentary. They have been arranged by subject and document type for research access.

Olson's research files include correspondence with dealers and collectors, drafts of articles, and photocopied primary and secondary literature. Researchers will find that the correspondence sheds light on the state of the carnival glass market and collectors' opinions of each other and their hobby. Of particular interest are the files associated with the Greentown [Indiana Tumbler and Goblet Co.] Glass Revival, which document various parties' attempts to secure Ruth Herrick's Greentown glass collection and rights to her publications.

Other materials in the collection include scattered records of glass collectors' associations, as well as notes and pricelists from auctions and public sales


  • Creation: 1944-1978
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1964-1978


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for public research. Researchers must make an appointment to view this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The Copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The user agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rakow Research Library against all claims, demands, costs and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of Library materials.

Biographical / Historical

O. Joe (Olaf J.) Olson was born in Jamestown, New York in 1910. He worked a journalist and a pastor, serving secular press outlets and the Church of the Nazarene throughout his long and varied career.

Olson was an avid carnival glass collector, and he was active in several glass collectors' organizations, particularly after his retirement from the _Kansas City Star_ in 1968. He was the founder (in 1964) and first secretary of the Society of Carnival Glass, and a founder of the Greentown Glass Collectors (in 1972), and active in the American Carnival Glass Association and the American Custard Glass Collectors. He edited several newsletters, including the Carnival Glass Collectors News / Carnival Glass Collectors News & Views (1964–1970), Carnival Glass Tumbler News (1974-?), Carnival Glass Tumbler and Mug News (1979), Custard Glass Partyline (?-1975), and Greentown Glass Dolphin News (1974–1976). He helped organize the first convention of carnival glass collectors in the US in 1972.

Olson authored at least four books on custard and carnival glass: The Custard Glass Price Guide (Kansas City, MO: O. Joe Olson 1967); Carnival Glass in the Climactic 1970's, 2nd rev. ed. (Kansas City, MO : O. Joe Olson 1975); God and Home, Carnival Glass Superstar (Kansas City, MO: O. Joe Olson 1976); and The Book on 37 Rare Pitcher Patterns (Kansas City, MO: Carnival Glass News and Views 1978).

Olson died in Kansas City, Mo. in 1984 at the age of 73.


1.0 Linear Feet (2 half records cartons)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from O. Joe Olson in 1979.

Processing Information

Processed by Suzanne Abrams Rebillard and Colleen McFarland Rademaker in 2018 and 2019.

O. Joe Olson Papers, 1944-1978
A Guide to the Collection
Suzanne Abrams Rebillard and Colleen McFarland Rademaker
February 20, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Rakow Research Library Manuscript Collection Repository

The Rakow Research Library
The Corning Museum of Glass
Five Museum Way
Corning NY 14830 USA