Special Collections

Special Collections in the University of Oklahoma Libraries form a set of unique and distinctive resources including manuscripts, printed and visual material, and media that support teaching, learning, and advanced study. They contribute to heritage and community development and are nationally and internationally recognized for their excellence. These collections distinguish OU as a place where stewardship and discovery create possibilities for interpretation, scholarship, and innovation.


Privately-funded fellowships support visiting scholars and OU graduate student residencies. Grants from federal and state sources have funded digital projects and exhibitions, drawn from the collections, serve public, and scholarly audiences.


Please consider investing in OU Libraries special collections, or make a gift toward these specific endeavors:



Preservation of Glass Plate Negatives ($3,000)

The Frank Phillips Collection forms the early core of the Western History Collections at OU. This collection is comprised of many formats including documents, books and photographs. Many of the photographs are on glass plate negatives and are some of the oldest materials in the Western History Collections. The images in the negatives document Oklahoma life from the early 20th century. Since the Phillips glass plate negatives, along with those in other photograph collections, were acquired more than 75 years ago, they need to be rehoused in new containers according to current standards for their preservation. Funds are needed to purchase archival-quality boxes and interleaving materials. (The attached image is of a print produced from a glass plate negative of a photograph taken by Annette Ross Hume of a Kiowa teenager named Lillie, taken in 1901 at the Kiowa, Comanche, and Wichita Agency in Oklahoma).



Digitize OU Daily newspaper from the microfilm ($10,000)

The University Archives include copies of OU’s student newspaper, The Oklahoma Daily, which documents student life, as well as student reactions to world affairs. The most complete set of issues is on microfilm. Researchers frequently request material from The Oklahoma Daily and it would be a service to the OU community to digitize it and make it searchable online. The University Archives in the Western History Collections holds paper copies of the newspaper; however, but there are gaps in coverage, and the issues are bound in such a way that pages cannot be easily scanned. Funds are needed to scan the microfilm and create high resolution digital files for public access in the OU Libraries digital collections repository. (The attached image is from the May 1, 1970 issue covering the first election of an African-American student as UOSA president, as well as reactions to the Vietnam War.)


Support OU Libraries Special Collections Greatest Need

Funds will support initiatives related to collections stewardship, acquisition and access.

Examples include:

  • media preservation for at-risk materials

  • research fellowships

  • community engagement programming to connect collections materials with tribal and heritage communities.

  • purchase of important conservation tools like light and humidity gauges







Rank State Gifts
1 OK 3
2 AA 0
2 AE 0
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