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Search the Local Catalog for books about or by the person you are researching. The catalog l lists all materials owned or subscribed to by the OU library.

If the OU library doesn't have anything, try searching Worldcat. Worldcat is an international catalog of books and other materials owned by thousands of libraries. You may borrow (interlibrary loan) materials through the Worldcat database.


Search newspapers for articles about the person you are researching. You may find obituaries in newspapers. See a more complete list of digital newspapers here.

Journal Articles

Search databases for articles about or by the person you're researching.

Western History Collections

If you are interested in individuals from the American West, you may want to try researching at the Western History Collections (WHC). The WHC contains materials relating to the development of the Trans-Mississippi West and Native American cultures. It is located in Monnet Hall on the north oval.

WHC has three main divisions:

  • Manuscripts - materials such as diaries, journals, personal and office correspondence, literary manuscripts, business records, and scrapbooks. View the WHC manuscript collection finding aids in ArchivesSpace.
  • Library - more than 80,000 volumes, including books, scholarly journals, Reports and Bulletins of the Bureau of American Ethnology, and a collection of contemporary Native American newspapers.
  • Photographic Archives - approximately 2 million images representing a wide variety of photographic processes and subject. See the online gallery for a selection of images.

Digital Collections from the WHC that might be of interest include:

Family History Resources

Family history resources can come in many forms. Some will be available through the university and others available through outside organizations.
  • The Western History Collections Manuscript Collections feature many family collections, so check the box above for more information. Also see the finding aids database
  • FamilySearch: This is a bit like the free version of (In Norman, is only available in-house at the Norman Public Library branch of Pioneer Library System, unless you have your own personal subscription.) Although it is free, you must create an account first.
    • Use the "search records" function to search resources such as the United States Census.
  • Fold3: A Metropolitan Library (OKC public) database. Sign up for a library card if you don't have one. Provides access to historic U.S. military records, including the stories, photos and personal documents of the men and women who served. You can also search archives for African Americans, Native Americans and the U.S. Bureau of Investigation case files, historical newspapers, historical documents, U.S. Census records, U.S. naturalization records, and city directories.
  • Genealogy Resources through the Metropolitan (OKC Public) Library System: Many resources are available online through Metropolitan. Sign up for a library card if you don't have one. Even if you don't live in OKC, those who live, work, or attend school in Cleveland, McClain, or Pottawatomie counties may apply for a Metro reciprocal account, which offers access to their collection and most services. 
  • Genealogy Resources through Pioneer Library System (PLS): Many resources are available online through PLS as long as you have a library card, which you are eligible for if you attend OU. Sign up for a library card if you don't already have one. must be used onsite, but many other resources are available offsite. Norman Public Library is just up the street from campus, at the corner of Webster and Gray.
  • U.S. Census Resources at the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS): The OHS Research Center features several online research aids. These include 1933 Unemployment Relief records index, the 1890 Oklahoma Territory Census records index, and American Indian Censuses on Microfilm index. and other resources available onsite.