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Reuel Olson Papers on the Colorado River Compact, Water Resources Collection

Identifier: H-Mss-0584

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The collection consists of Reuel Olson's materials used in the creation of his thesis on the Colorado River Compact and include various items such as newspaper clippings, essays, briefs, articles, letters, and Olson's personal notes. Materials principally focus on the Compact while some materials relate to other compacts formed during the time or to various associations and commissions. Materials present a multi-faceted perspective of the Colorado River Compact as it contains responses to the Compact by states, law-makers, and citizens who were actively involved in the matter or contributed information on the issues surrounding its creation.


  • 1919-1967 and undated


Language of materials

Languages represented in the collection: English


Collection open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to reproduce or to publish must be submitted in writing to Special Collections.

Biography / Administrative History

Reuel Leslie Olson, A. M., J. D., Ph. D., was a law professor at the University of Southern California School of Law. For his doctoral thesis at Harvard University, Olson conducted research on the Colorado River Compact: a 1922 seven state agreement on water rights in the Colorado River basin. Olson began his investigation of this topic to encourage more study of the United States Constitution's clause (Article 1, Section 10) on compacts which prohibits compacts between states without consent of Congress. Olson published his thesis in 1926.


2 Linear Feet (5 document boxes)


Materials in this collection consist of Reuel Olson's notes, letters, newspaper clippings, government-related documents, and other research materials that became his doctoral thesis on the Colorado River Compact: a seven state agreement on the allocation of water resources in the Colorado River basin. Olson, a law professor at University of Southern California School of Law, wrote his thesis to satisfy requirements for his doctorate at Harvard University. These materials provide historical background on the Compact, signed in 1922, and present Olson's personal work in constructing a history of the Compact.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is organized into the following series and subseries:

Series 1: Associations, undated Series 2: Colorado River Compact Colorado River Compact, 1925-1967 and undated Subseries 2.1: Government, 1925 and undated Series 3: Other Compacts/Projects, 1919 and undated Series 4: Reuel Olsen Materials, undated Subseries 4.1: Colorado River Compact thesis-related materials, undated Series 5: Miscellaneous Materials, undated

Physical Location

Please consult repository.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Acquisition information unknown.


No additions to the collection are anticipated.

Related Materials

Reuel Olson's thesis "The Colorado River Compact" is held in Special Collections, The Claremont Colleges Library and can be found through the Library's catalog: Special Collections holds two copies with the following Library of Congress call numbers:


Processing Information

Arranged and processed by Special Collections staff in 1975. Collection rearranged and re-catalogued by Jamella Gow in 2012.

Reuel Olson Papers on the Colorado River Compact, Water Resources Collection
Russell Michalak (2008); Revised by Jamella Gow (2012)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the 01 - Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library Repository

800 North Dartmouth Ave
Claremont CA 91711 United States