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About the Indian Archives Collection

The Indian Archives Collection at the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS) houses documents and records pertaining to American Indian Tribes that resided in present-day Oklahoma. The collection is divided into twelve series relating to tribes and tribal agencies.

The Five Tribes’ National Records are in series 1–5. These records were created by each tribe‚Äôs government. Therefore, the organization and the manner in which the records were created differs between each tribe in these series (see nation maps for an illustration of district and county boundaries).

Within each series, the records are organized into bound volumes, categories, and subcategories. The collection includes different kinds of records and is generally organized chronologically within each category.

The PDFs below are guides to records that are available on microfilm.

About this Database

Although the records in the Indian Archives Collection are administered by the federal government, the Oklahoma Historical Society received special permission (granted by an Act of Congress H. R. 5631 Public No. 133) to house the collection in 1934. Once the collection was placed in the care of the OHS, organization and cataloging efforts were begun by Rella Looney, an archivist who served the Oklahoma Historical Society from 1929 to 1974. Looney created a card catalog to serve as an index referencing names of individuals and topics mentioned in documents within the collection. Since the Indian Archives Card Catalog index predates the microfilm collection, some of the records listed in the index are not available on microfilm.

To date, the Indian Archives database on the OHS website contains more than 41,000 entries and from cards A–D. However, the database is not limited to entries beginning with letters A, B, C, and D. Additional entries have been made to ensure that the data is as complete as possible. For example, if Jane Doe married John Smith, both names are included in the database. The database also includes names from select Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency Records, which are not limited to letters A–D.

Access these Records

At this time the Indian Archives Collection is being reprocessed. The staff and volunteers of the Manuscript Archives are replacing folders and boxes for preservation, updating the online catalog, and working to make the collection more available for research. As a result of this process, we ask that you use the microfilm in the Research Center. The original documents that have not been microfilmed will be unavailable for all tribes except the Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Creek. A listing of this microfilm can be found in the links above. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. If you have any questions please contact the Manuscript Archives at 405-522-0876 or mcovington@okhistory.org.