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Leon Holland Papers, 1877-1963

Scope & content

The Leon Holland Papers, including 440 civil engineering drawings and surveys, were removed in 1981 from the attic of what presumably had been the Holland family home in South Kingstown by University of Rhode Island Archivist David C. Maslyn. The new owners of the home, upon discovering the material in the attic, had contacted the Special Collections Department to determine its interest in the papers. Beyond that, the provenance of the papers is unknown and they were in no particular order when they were obtained by the Special Collections Department.

Holland's career as a civil engineer and land surveyor in Washington (South) County, Rhode Island spanned over half a century, during which time he surveyed much of the land area of South Kingstown, Narragansett, and Charlestown. The records in this group represent at best a small fragment of the personal and professional papers compiled by Holland during his long career. Included are about 500 surveys, engineering drawings, and architectural renderings, land evidence records, copies of deeds, plat sketches, copies of wills, ledgers, correspondence, postcards, photographs, period greeting cards, and a wide assortment of family memorabilia.

The Leon Holland Papers have been divided into six series as follows:

Series I, Civil Engineering Drawings and Surveys, represent the finished product and the heart of Leon Holland's professional career. Included are some 500 drawings, maps, and sketches which were organized into the following six sub-series: Land Surveys, Town Surveys, Coastal Surveys, Architectural Drawings, Tube Boring and Grade Profiles, and Miscellaneous. Subsequently a database was created for ease of access. Search database.

Series II, Business Records, contains the research tools Holland used in his surveying business and the financial records to document it. Included are land evidence records, copies of deeds and wills, survey notes, ledgers, income tax returns, and correspondence. The records found in this series reveal the depth and breadth of Holland's clientele, as well as the financial condition of his business over a number of years.

Series III Family Correspondence, consists of correspondence between members of the Holland family, as well as letters to family members from friends and acquaintances. The bulk of the series contains the correspondence of the Hollands' daughter Marion, though all members of the immediate family are represented.

Series IV, Family Memorabilia, can be found all of the odds and ends of everyday life that a family might collect over the years. Represented in the series are such items as college notes and examinations of one of the children, postcards, period greeting cards, calling cards, wedding invitations, the Hollands' wedding guest book, performance programs, and the "baby booties" of a son who died in infancy.

Series V, European Trips: Marion Holland, contains some of the souvenirs and memorabilia collected by daughter Marion Holland during her trips to Europe in the 1930's. Included are postcards from a host of European cities, guidebooks, dinner menus and passenger lists from cruise ships and copies of her itineraries.

Series VI, Photographs, consists of approximately 200 photographs of people and places which presumably relate in some way to the Holland family. None, however, are identified, which make any informed use of them difficult.