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Many archives and libraries have resources such as maps, gazetteers, and other place-finding aids to help you locate information about Oklahoma. They may have collections of previous research, such as family and local histories and biographies. Many have record-finding aids such as guides to their own collections or inventories of records housed elsewhere in the state.
The following archives, libraries, and societies have collections or services helpful to Oklahoma genealogical researchers.
National Archives Southwest Region (Ft. Worth)
501 West Felix Street, Building 1
Fort Worth, TX 76115-3405
National Archives—Central Plains Region (Kansas City)
400 West Pershing Road
Kansas City, MO 64108
State Archives, Libraries and Societies
Oklahoma Department of Libraries
200 N.E. 18th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73105-3298
Telephone: 405-521-2502, 800-522-8116
The Oklahoma Department of Libraries includes two areas of particular interest to genealogists: the Oklahoma Room and the State Archives Division. The Oklahoma Room houses printed materials, while the State Archives Division maintains Oklahoma government records and other historical documents.
Oklahoma Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 12986
Oklahoma City, OK 73157
Oklahoma Historical Society
800 Nazih Zudhi Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
A guide to family histories at the society is:
Huffman, Mary, comp. Family History: A Bibliography of the Collection in the Oklahoma Historical Society. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: The Society, 1992. (Family History Library book 976.6 A3hm.)
University of Oklahoma
Western History Collection
630 Parrington Oval, Room 452
Norman, OK 73019
The following lists manuscripts in their collection:
Southwell, Kristine L., comp. Guide to Manuscripts in the Western History
Collections of the University of Oklahoma. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 2002. (Family History Library book 976.6 J53s.)
An important part of the Western History Collection is titled The Indian-Pioneer Papers which is a collection of interviews done during the Depression. Biographical information is given for Indians as well as persons of all ethnic groups. Those interviewed may have been residents of either the Oklahoma Territory or the Indian Territory. There are about 80,000 entries in 112 volumes in the collection with free online access to both an index and the digitized transcripts of the interviews. Read the biographies and other topics found in the Indian-Pioneer Papers.
Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art
1400 North Gilcrease Museum Road
Tulsa, OK 74127-2100
Museum of the Great Plains
Lawton, OK 73507
A useful guide to Oklahoma records is:
Koplowitz, Bradford. Guide to the Historical Records of Oklahoma. Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, 1997. (Family History Library book 976.6 A3kb 1997.) It contains a survey of records kept in counties and cities through 1920.
To learn more about the history and record-keeping systems of Oklahoma counties, use the eleven inventories of county archives published by the
Historical Records Survey around 1940. The Family History Library has inventories for: Atoka, Beckham, Cherokee, Cimarron, Haskell, Lincoln, McIntosh, Mayes, Muskogee, Pittsburg, and Pushmataha counties.
Family History Library Catalog
To learn more about the history and record-keeping systems of Oklahoma counties, use the inventories of the county archives published around 1940 by the Historical Records Survey. The Family History Library has copies of most of these. These inventories can be found in the Family History Library Catalog by using a Place Search under:
- OKLAHOMA, [COUNTY] - ARCHIVES AND LIBRARIES - INVENTORIES, REGISTERS, CATALOGS
Oklahoma Online Records
You can find computerized research tips and information about ancestors from Oklahoma in a variety of sources at local, state, national, and international levels. Much of the information is available at little or no cost. Addresses on the Internet change frequently. The following sites are important gateways to additional sites:
FamilySearch™ Internet Genealogy Service. [Salt Lake City, Utah]: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 22 March 1999 [cited 7 October 1999]. Available at FamilySearch.org. At this site you can access the Family History Library Catalog, Ancestral File, International Genealogical Index, Source Guide, lists of Family History Centers, web sites related to family history, and lists of researchers interested in similar genealogical topics. You can also learn about and order Family History Library publications.
Howells, Cyndi. "U.S.- Oklahoma-OK." In Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet. Puyallup, Washington: Cyndi Howells, 6 October 1999 [cited 7 October 1999]. Available at Cyndislist.com. This list has more links to other Oklahoma genealogical sites and describes more resources than any other site on the Internet.
Oklahoma USGenWeb In The USGenWeb Project [Internet site]. N.p., 1999 [accesssed 18 May 2011]. This is a cooperative effort by many volunteers to list genealogical databases, libraries, bulletin boards, and other resources available on the Internet, for each county, state, and country.
Most Family History Centers have computers with FamilySearch™. Many centers have access to online services, networks, or bulletin boards. You may also use these services at mostpublic libraries, college libraries, and private locations.
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