Film & Video Collections
OHS Film & Video Archives in the News
The film archives were recently featured in The Oklahoman.
Read the article online.
Oklahoma's film and broadcast history has been much like the state - a pioneering effort. In 1904, Thomas Edison's film crew came to the famous 101 Ranch to make the first motion picture in the territory entitled A Brush Between Cowboys and Indians.
A photographer from Chandler, Oklahoma, named James "Bennie" Kent began filming on that same 101 Ranch during those early years. He worked for major film studios on the ranch, eventually shooting for himself when he later acquired a camera of his own.
In 1930 a young oilman's son, Arthur Ramsey, brought sound motion pictures to Oklahoma just a couple of years after Hollywood acquired it. His film company located on West Main Street in Oklahoma City had just about everything they had in Hollywood!
Currently, the Oklahoma Historical Society collection of film consists of footage from Arthur Ramsey's motion picture company; footage from Haskell Pruett of Stillwater; and Universal Newsreel footage of Oklahoma events.
Search Film Collections
More information can be found in the Archives section of the online catalog. Type "film and video" into the search field.
Orders & Fees
View Historic Films Online
Selected films from the OHS Research Center's film & video collection are now online. Explore Oklahoma's past through historic footage featuring American Indians, family films, community activities, sports, political events, iconic figures, and more.
Accessing Film & Video Collections
Saturday access to film & video must be requested by 4:00pm on Friday.
The Daughter of Dawn
Historic Silent Film Restored by OHS
Daughter of Dawn was filmed in the summer of 1920 in the Wichita Mountains of southwest Oklahoma, and featured an all-Indian cast of more than 300.
The film was believed lost for many years until a copy recently resurfaced. OHS has worked to preserve and restore this historic silent film.
Notable Film Collections
- The Ramsey Collection Arthur Ramsey was a newsreel cameraman in Oklahoma City, during the 1930s. His footage includes scenes of the events and people of that critical decade in Oklahoma history, a lot of it with sound!
- The Haskell Pruett Collection Haskell Pruett worked at Oklahoma A&M for many years. His hobby of 16mm motion photography encompassed many of the agricultural interests of the college. The years included in his collection extends from the mid-1920s until the latter half of the 20th Century.
- The Colcord Family Collection The Colcord family was one of Oklahoma's wealthier families. This 16mm footage includes their family life as well as scenes and events of the 1920s and 1930s.
- The Forestry Services Films George Phillips, the first state forester in Oklahoma, filmed many natural scenes in the 1920s and 1930s. Included in this collection are scenes from Charles Lindbergh's tour of the country after his trans-Atlantic flight in 1927.
- The National Archives Collection Included are several Oklahoma related film items that are available from the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland. These tapes are copies from the viewing tapes in the Archives. Included are newsreels, the Ford company's stock footage, and miscellaneous films in their collection.
- The Oklahoma City Bond films In 1950, a bond campaign was started in Oklahoma City. Two films tell the story of why bonds are needed, and how the bond money was later used. Also in this collection is a 1948 film entitled Farm in a Day.
- Ida "B" Collection Ida "B", an early television personality in Oklahoma City, preserved her interview films with stars and celebrities.
- Early Oklahoma Films From the Library of Congress, this collection shows early film activity in Oklahoma. Footage from the 101 Ranch and from the Lawton area are highlighted with this group of films