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H.O. (Harry Orville) Davis papers

Identifier: Coll 532

Scope and Contents

The H.O. (Harry Orville) Davis papers documents his various careers in film studio management, special events production, and print media publishing. This collection contains correspondence, reports, agreements, architectural plans, clippings, photographs, scrapbooks, film advertisements, and ephemera.


  • 1900-1964


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

H.O. (Harry Orville) Davis (1877 July 15 - 1964 August 28) was a film studio executive, exhibition director, newspaper editor, and businessman in California. Davis was born in Cadiz, Ohio, and attended school in Chicago, Illinois. He moved to California in the early 1900s to pursue ranching. He married Laura Pearl Davies on July 3, 1902, and they had 4 children (Elizabeth, John George, Ruth Eleanor and Richard Orville). Davis passed away on August 28 1964 in Palm Springs, California.

His expertise in events management was highlighted by two major accomplishments. Firstly, as director general of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition held in San Diego, Davis assumed management of a major exhibition that lasted two years. Secondly, Davis directed the construction and planning of the Olympic Village of the Tenth Olympiad (1932) held in Los Angeles. This was the first iteration of the Olympic Village built specifically to host competing athletes.

Davis also held executive positions in the early decades of the film industry in Hollywood. He was vice president of the Universal Film Manufacturing Company (1915-1917), and vice president of the Triangle Film Corporation (1917-1918). After the dissolution of Triangle Film Corporation, he produced "Servant in the House," and "The Silent Call," with distribution managed by Associated First National Pictures.

Concurrently, Davis pursued a career in mass media. He served as Pacific Regional Director of Hearst Newspapers in the 1920s, was editor of Ladies' Home Journal (1919-1920), publisher of the Venture Free Press (1930-1935), and publisher of Pacific Saturday Night (1937).


20 linear feet (14 containers; 1 folder) : 2 record storage boxes, 3 manuscript boxes, 9 flat boxes, 1 oversize folder


H.O. (Harry Orville) Davis (1877-1964) was a film studio executive, exhibition director, newspaper editor, and businessman in California. The collection contains correspondence, reports, clippings, photographs, scrapbooks, ledgers, and film advertisements.


Collection is organized into the following series:

Series I: Personal

Series II: Film Industry

Series III: Special Events Management A: Exhibitions Suberies B: Olympics Subseries

Series IV: Mass Media

Series V: Consulting and Innovations

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Laura Davis, 1965

Guide to H.O (Harry Orville) Davis Papers
Complete Description
Lauren Goss
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA