Oklahoma Hub Collections Now Discoverable in DPLA

By DPLA, December 5, 2017.

Welcome, Oklahoma! Over 100,000 records from our newest partner, OK Hub, are now discoverable in DPLA. The Oklahoma Hub represents a collaboration between lead partners The University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University, with extensive resources from Oklahoma Historical Society and Oklahoma Department of Libraries. Together, these collections offer unique new resources, particularly in the areas of Native American history and culture, environmental and agricultural science, and the lives and experiences of generations of Oklahomans.

Students and scholars of the settlement of the Oklahoma frontier will find thousands of photographs from the collections of Oklahoma Historical Society, including photos from the Oklahoma Publishing Company, which started operating as such in 1903 in Oklahoma City and continues today.  Images in these collections capture everyday life for the diverse residents of turn-of-the-century Oklahoma, including members of diverse Native American groups including Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole, Chickasaw, Seminole, and Kiowa. Together with The University of Oklahoma’s Indian Pioneer Oral Histories conducted in the 1930s and the Duke Collection of American Indian Oral Histories (1967-1972), these rich new materials on testify to the tension between cultural perseverance and assimilation as well as a decades-long process of negotiating the allotment of one of America’s most treasured resources: land.

Kiowa-Apache Lame Bear studio portrait, 1891, courtesy of Oklahoma Historical Society.

I was born in slavery in the state of Georgia, my parents having belonged to a Cherokee Indian of the name of George Sanders…I do not know the exact date of my birth, although my mother told me I was about five years old when President Andrew Jackson ordered General Scott to proceed to the Cherokee country in Georgia, with two thousand troops and remove the Cherokees by force to the Indian Territory.

Eliza Whitmire, a formerly enslaved woman, began her 1936 interview by recalling her journey from Georgia to Indian Territory on the Trail of Tears, part of the Indian Pioneer Oral Histories, courtesy of The University of Oklahoma.

In addition to extensive new collections on the history of the Oklahoma frontier and Native American communities, Oklahoma’s collections offer great content on topics that will serve learners of all types, including students, scholars, and family researchers. Oklahoma State University’s Oklahoma A&M College World War I collection consists of responses to a 1919 survey of the men and women of Oklahoma A&M who served in World War I and joins an already rich body of material in DPLA on the personal dimensions of World War I. Oklahoma State has also shared its centenarian oral history collection, offering a view of Oklahoma’s customs and history through the personal lens of men and women who have lived there for (at least) one hundred years. The postcard collection from Oklahoma Department of Libraries documents significant scenes, buildings, and landscapes in early Oklahoma, such as this view of Purcell, Oklahoma’s “New-star-state-hood day” in 1907.  

Family historians will find more than 7,000 pension applications for Confederate veterans or their widows. Documents in this collection from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries include formal applications, often handwritten, as well as other related documents, including correspondence and affidavits submitted as proof of service.

William E. Murray’s pension application for service with the Confederate Army during the Civil War, 1915, courtesy of Oklahoma Department of Libraries.

Finally, our newest contributors offer several great resources on the art and science of agriculture. OSU’s Oklahoma Mesonet Oral History Project documents the founding and impact of the Oklahoma Mesonet, an expansive system that continually measures environmental conditions across the state and serves farmers, meteorologists, emergency responders and more. The Centennial Farm Families project captures the experiences of individuals and families who have been involved in farming or ranching in Oklahoma for over a century.

The 1891 Homestead on Blakley Farm in Oologah, OK, owned and operated by the Blakley family for over one hundred years, courtesy of Oklahoma State University.

Ready to dive into our newest materials? That’s OK by us!