Robert F. Simonsen, a life long resident of Kansas, donated his extensive collection of autographed photographs to the University Archives at Kansas State University in June 1993.
The photographs are contained in 10 document boxes and span the years 1955-1993. They are divided into 4 series: 1) United States-Political, 1955-1990; 2) United States Military, 1956-1993; 3) United States Protectorates, 1959-1990; 4) International Leaders: Political & Military, 1968-1991.
The collection is split fairly evenly between the United States and International photographs, with the majority of the United States photographs residing in the Political series.
The collection is identified as University Archives accession number P 1993.10. The processing of the collection was completed by Mary Sier, student intern, in 1995.
Born in 1945, Robert Simonsen is a life long resident of Kansas. He received an undergraduate degree in history/political science from Washburn University in 1976.
Simonsen joined the U.S. Army in 1966 and achieved the rank of Seargent-Major in the medical field. He retired after 31 years of combined active and reserve service.
Since elementary school, collecting photographs autographed by political leaders in the United States has been an avocation of Simonsen's. While serving in Vietnam in 1969-70, he began collecting in earnest and expanded his focus to include political and military figures from the United States and countries throughout the world. The collection contains over 7,500 portrait photographs signed by political and military leaders from approximately 75 countries, including the United States.