by Chad Williams, Deputy Director of the Research Division
The collections of the Oklahoma Historical Society contain well over seven million photographic images. Over the past year the Research Division has begun a project to reproduce many of these historic Oklahoma images and make them available to be purchased. The initial fifty images chosen include iconic photographs of the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention, Oklahoma Land Runs, the Oklahoma oil industry, a Buffalo hunt, dust bowl depictions, historic street scenes from
Oklahoma towns, and a number of images of Oklahoma farms, businesses, and territorial dwellings. In addition, individuals with historic ties to Oklahoma are represented.
These include Apache Indian Chief Geronimo, Comanche Indian Chief Quanah Parker, Wiley Post, Future President Theodore Roosevelt, President John F. Kennedy, Native American Jim Thorpe, U. S. Marshal Chris Madsen, Buffalo Bill Cody, Zack Miller (101 Ranch), Will Rogers, and Oklahoma Governor Charles Haskell. My personal favorite is a photograph taken of The U.S.S. Oklahoma and the U.S.S. Arizona at the Pedro Miguel Locks, Panama Canal on February 23, 1921, twenty years before they were both lost at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. This image has a wonderful grittiness and of course is special because the Oklahoma and Arizona are the only two battleships which did not return to fight in World War II after being sunk at Pearl Harbor.
The majority of the reproductions have been produced in a 11” X 14” format, although ten of the reproductions vary from that size. Prices range from $2 for a 4” X 6” bird’s-eye view of Oklahoma City’s Bricktown in 1910 all the way to $15 for a 10.5” X 37” panorama image of the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention in Guthrie. All 11” X 14” images are $10. Unless the reproductions are picked up at the Oklahoma History Center there will be a $6 shipping and handling fee added. In the future we hope to reproduce more photographs with themes that include Native Americans, African Americans, Dust Bowl, Oil Industry, OKC Fire Department, Weather, Land Openings, Military, Buildings, Law Enforcement, Sports, and Wild West Shows. View the 50 historic photo reproductions available for sale.
The OHS online catalog includes thousands of additional scanned images that are available for purchase. Visit www.okhistory.org/research to find out more.
So long for now from the mother ship of Oklahoma History, the Oklahoma History Center, Home of the Oklahoma Historical Society.