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OU History

Need Help?

Jackie Reese, Western History Collections Librarian.

Lina Ortega, Western History Collections Associate Curator.

Laurie Scrivener, Bizzell Memorial Library, History and Area Studies Librarian.

Digital Collections

See the Sooner Heritage page for digital collections, including:

Other digital collections:

University Archives

The University Archives contain the history of the University. Many types of resources may be found in the University Archives, including:

  • Presidential Papers (includes correspondence and administrative papers from each university president)
  • Departmental Papers (history of a department, program changes)
  • Publications (newspapers, magazines, newsletters, programs)
  • College Archives (records at the college level)
  • Administrative Units Archives (various academic units and administrative unit records

Search Discover Local for University Archives resources:

  • type "University of Oklahoma Archives" in the first box
  • select "Books" from the "Material Type" drop-down menu.
  • Use the facets to the left of your results to narrow the "Collection" to "Western History Collections" to further narrow to collections within the University Archives.

Three additional resources can prove valuable guides for specific aspects of university history. These are:



Visual records, or photographs, serve as valuable primary resources. Photographs provide an added element to historical accounts, putting faces and places to written accounts.

There are three main ways to find University of Oklahoma photographs. They are:

Each photograph is labeled with a collection name and number beneath the image. Use this to see the original image. All original images are held at the Western History Collections, including collections found in Discover Local.

Newspapers & Publications

University newspapers and other publications may be found in Bizzell Memorial Library and the University Archives.  

Many additional departmental and other university-related publications may be found by searching the University Archives. Visit the Western History Collections (Monnet Hall room 300) to search the Archives.

Books, Theses, and Dissertations

Books, theses and dissertations serve as valuable secondary resources relating to University history. Check the footnotes and bibliographies of these resources to locate primary resources that were used in the author's research.

For a list of books, theses, and dissertations related to OU history, see the Bibliography page in the Sooner Heritage Digital Collections. Most books will be in Bizzell Memorial Library or the Western History Collections, though some will be found in branch libraries.

Another recently published resource is George Henderson's Race & the University (link to ebook; call number: LD 4326.2 .H46 2010, Bizzell Textbook Reserves, Western History Collections, and Bizzell 3rd floor.)  


Manuscripts are typically primary resources. Manuscript collections can include:

  • diaries
  • journals
  • business records
  • personal or business correspondence
  • unpublished manuscripts (books, articles, etc.)
  • family records
  • tribal records

There are three main ways to locate manuscript collections related to OU history. they are:

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