Skip to Main Content

Digital Collections

See the Sooner Heritage page for digital collections, including:

Other digital collections:

University Archives

The University Archives (held in the Western History Collections) 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 the Local Catalog for University Archives resources:

  • type "University of Oklahoma Archives" in the first box
  • select "Archives" from the "Material Type" drop-down menu, then press the search button.
  • Use the facets under "Tweak my results" to narrow the "Collection" to "Western History Collections" to further narrow to collections within the University Archives.

Search ArchivesSpace or browse this list of all University Archives records in ArchivesSpace.

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 several ways to find University of Oklahoma photographs

  • Search ArchivesSpace
    • 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."
  • Search the Local Catalog:
    • Enter search terms in the first search box.
    • Enter "Collection" in the second search box.
    • Select "Photographs" from the Material Type drop-down menu.
    • Click the Search button.
  • Search the OU Photo Archives in the Sooner Heritage Digital Collections.
    • 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 the Local Catalog.
  • Visit the Western History Collections (Monnet Hall room 300) and use the physical guides

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 or see this box for more information.

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. Also see this Local Catalog link for resources produced about the University of Oklahoma's history in the last 15 years. Most books will be in Bizzell Memorial Library or the Western History Collections, though some will be found in branch libraries.

See David Levy's two volumes on the history of the University, The University of Oklahoma: A History (Volume 1, 1890-1917; link to ebook) & The University of Oklahoma: A History (Volume 2, 1917-1950; link to ebook). Call numbers for both volumes: LD 4323 .L48 2005 in Bizzell Reserves, Bizzell Reference, Bizzell 3rd floor, and the Western History Collections.

Another recently published resource is David Levy's Breaking Down Barriers: George McLaurin and the Struggle to End Segregated Education located at call number KF 228 .M3925 L48 2020 in Bizzell Library, OU Press Display, and in the Western History Collections. See also George Henderson's Race & the University located at call number LD 4326.2 .H46 2010 in Bizzell Textbook Reserves, the Western History Collections, and Bizzell 3rd floor; link to ebook.


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 several ways to locate manuscript collections related to OU history:

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