The archive is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Appointments are required.
The mission of the university archive is to collect, preserve, and provide access to the documentary, photographic, and artifactual history of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and its predecessor institutions.
The archive supports the research of historians, genealogists, students, faculty, and staff, and the general public.
We are working to make our archives available digitally. We have digitized versions of The Argus, the college's yearbook, and The Trend, the student newspaper. We have the Trend completely digitized from 1919-2003, but we only have 13 years of the Argus done so far. We are seeking sponsors for the additional years; it takes $250 to digitize a complete Argus and make it available online. If you would like to sponsor an Argus, please contact us!
In the Student Archives project, we are creating a database of student records that allows us to see how the college's student body has changed over the years. The full database is available to onsite researchers; aggregate data is available to the public in our interactive Maps & Charts.
Description of the Collections
The archive is informally divided into five sections:
The University Collection includes minutes of the regents meetings, faculty association, presidential files, and other documents related to the governance of the institution.
The OCW Collection includes documents and artifacts related to the students who attended the institution when it was officially known as the Oklahoma Industrial Institute for Girls and Women and as the Oklahoma College for Women.
The OCLA Collection includes documents and artifacts related to the students who attended the institution when it was known as the Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts.
The USAO Collection includes documents and artifacts related to the students who attended the institution when it was known as the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.
The Non-University Collection includes documents and artifacts donated to the archive that have no connection to the university per se. In these instances, it is the donor who has a connection to the university and wishes to give material to enhance the institution’s repository and to provide permanent safekeeping for valuable items.
In toto, the collections include approximately:
- 400 books
- 300 linear feet of manuscripts
- 15 linear feet of photographs
- 10 drawers of oversized photographs
50 scrapbooks, photo albums, and additional items yet to be processed or categorized.
The OCW Collection is the largest collection and contains:
- approximately 115,000 pages (about 4,200 files) of student placement files indicating high school training, college training, degree, marital status, number of children, physical condition, weight, height, church affiliation, preferred employment locality, expected salary, favorite out-of-door exercises, coaching abilities, musical talents, social service work experience, foreign language competencies, forensic and literary experience, travel experience, and other interests. The files also include letters of reference.
- approximately 4,200 OCW alumnae files each with at least a biographical information sheet containing diploma name, current name, residence at time of graduation, current address, parent’s names and address, student employment, degree(s) from other colleges or universities, collegiate honors from all colleges attended, post-graduation clubs, societies, offices held, publications, recognitions, employment, military service, war work other than military service, church affiliation, and section for open-ended remarks. This last section often provides an insight into the alumna’s personality. The majority of files also include newspaper clippings, photographs, letters, curriculum vitae, obituaries, and more concerning the alumna’s post-OCW life.
- forty-six years of the campus newspaper, The Trend. Typical issues were four to six pages in length and included stories about campus and community news as well as advertising.
The OCW Collection also includes special collections related to distinguished alumnae and faculty. They are:
- The Te Ata (Mary Thompson Fisher) Collection – contains letters and manuscripts as well as numerous hats and garments worn by Te Ata or “Bearer of the Morning”. Te Ata graduated from OCW in 1919 and embarked on a seventy year career as a Chickasaw Indian performer. She was a frequent guest at the White House during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration. She also performed at Hyde Park for the Roosevelts and their guests, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Eleanor Roosevelt eventually named a New York lake after Te Ata.
- The Gladys Anderson Emerson Collection contains materials related to the career of the nutritionist and biochemist recognized as the co-isolator of vitamin E from wheat germ oil. Dr. Anderson (OCW Class of 1925) received the 1952 Garvan Medal from the American Chemical Society in recognition of her ”distinguished service to chemistry by women chemists”.
- The Anna Lewis Collection contains approximately 500 documents about the early exploration of Oklahoma and the Southwestern United States. Dr. Anna Lewis taught history at OCW from 1917-1956 and was a collector of rare documents and books. The collection includes primary sources and secondary sources, including student coursework.
- The Frances Dinsmore Davis-Louise Waldorf Collection contains original theater costume drawings, set design drawings, OCW ephemera such as playbills and announcements, correspondence with such theater notables as Margaret Webster, photographs, and more. Davis held many positions throughout her 41 year career at OCW including that of Dean of Fine Arts and was instrumental in encouraging Te Ata to consider public performance. Waldorf was professor of violin and director of the orchestra at OCW for many years. She also performed with several symphonies in the United States. Both women were close friends of Te Ata and her husband, Clyde Fisher, former Curator of the Department of Astronomy of the American Museum of Natural History who served as the Head of the Hayden Planetarium from 1935 to 1941. There are several photographic slides, taken by Waldorf, of Te Ata in costume or during performance. Other photographic subjects include Albert Einstein, Thurlow Lieurance (American composer noted for his use of Indian themes), and John Kieran (New York Times sports columnist and noted polymath).