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Manuscripts from the OU Western History Collections

The OU Libraries' Western History Collections (WHC) Manuscripts Division holds over 2,000 collections of primary textual materials on Oklahoma and the West. These include diaries and journals, personal and official correspondence, literary manuscripts, business records, and scrapbooks. These materials are in paper at the WHC. For information on onsite research see this page. Also see this FAQ.


There are several ways to locate manuscript collections related to Oklahoma history:

  • Finding aids for the manuscript collections are in an ArchivesSpace database. It is possible to search for specific collections, or to enter a keyword in the search box. To search:
    • Enter keyword in the search box
    • The list of results will include names of collections as well as subject terms;
      • It will be most useful to limit the results by collection. Under "Additional Filters," select "Collection" under "Type."
    • Click on a collection title to see the scope and inventory of the collection.
    • Click on "Print" to generate an easily-readable PDF finding aid.
    • Once you determine which collection materials you need, you will need to provide a collection name and box number.
  • Search the Local Catalog.
    • Enter the search term in the first box.
    • Enter "Collection" in the second search box.
    • Select "Archives" from the Material Type drop down menu
    • Click the Search button.
    • Under "Tweak my results" use the "Limit to" facet to choose "Physical copies available in the Library."
    • To Narrow the results to Western History, scroll down to the "Collection" facet and choose "Western History Collections."
    • Click on the title to view a summary of the collections' content. 
  • Most manuscript collections are described in the Guide to Manuscripts in the Western History Collections of the University of Oklahoma (PDF).
  • Visit the Western History Collections (Monnet Hall room 300) and use printed guides.

When you find a collection that fits your topic visit the Western History Collections to see the documents.