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American Indian Archives Collection

The archives include federal Indian records placed in the society's custody in 1934 by an act of Congress. Containing more than 3.5 million documents and 6,000 volumes, the collection represents sixty-six tribes. These tribes either were relocated by removal or are native to the area. These records include a variety of official documents and information relating to tribes in Indian and Oklahoma Territory.

Access to the Indian Archives Collection
At this time the Indian Archives Collection is being reprocessed. During this process folders and boxes will be replaced for preservation, the catalog is being updated, and the staff and volunteers of the manuscripts department are working to make the collection more easily available for research. As a result of this process, we ask that you use the microfilm that is available 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 information and links below. 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.

Records of the Five Tribes

The records of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole date from 1856 to 1906. The national records of these tribes contain primary documentation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches as well as district and county records. Included are census records, accounts of legislative sessions, court dockets, correspondence, election records, treasurer's records, materials relating to land allotment and leases, and school records. Extensive information about agriculture, citizenship, education, Indian-white relations, law enforcement, and a variety of aspects of life in Indian Territory can be found in these documents.

The Foreman Transcripts
View thirty volumes of transcriptions of records from the Office of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, the Office of the Superintendent for the Five Civilized Tribes, and London Public Record Office. Explore the Foreman Transcripts.

The Litton Papers
View eight volumes of transcriptions from newspaper and library materials pertaining to the Five Tribes.
Explore the Litton Papers.

Five Tribes Genealogical Resources
Index to the Dawes Final Rolls
Removal of Restriction, Five Tribes New!
Hastain's Township Plats of the Creek Nation
Moore's Seminole Roll and Land Guide
Index to the 1896 Applications for Enrollment

Five Tribes Records on Microfilm
Cherokee Microfilm Guide
Chickasaw Microfilm Guide
Choctaw Microfilm Guide
Creek Microfilm Guide
Seminole Microfilm Guide

Agency Records

A significant portion of the archives includes federal records of the various Indian agencies established to administer reservation activities among the tribes relocated to the territory during the nineteenth century. These records span the 1860s to 1933.

Agencies and tribes included in this group are:
Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency
Kiowa Agency (Apache, Comanche, Kiowa, Wichita, Waco, Tawakoni, Caddo, Kichai, and Delaware)
Pawnee Agency (Pawnee, Ponca, Nez Perce, Ottawa, Confederated Peoria, Quapaw, Seneca, Eastern Shawnee and Wyandot)
Sac and Fox-Shawnee Agency (Ioway, Mexican Kickapoo, Citizen Band Potawatomi, Sac, Fox, and Absentee Shawnee)

Individual Indian Files
Search Individual Indian File index

Agency Records on Microfilm
Cheyenne Arapaho Microfilm Guide
Kiowa Agency Microfilm Guide
Pawnee Agency Microfilm Guide
Quapaw Agency Microfilm Guide
Sac and Fox - Shawnee Agency Microfilm Guide

Additional Holdings

Dawes Commission Records

Of special note will be the records of the Dawes Commission, whose primary function was to administer the enrollment of the citizens and Freedmen of the Five Tribes in preparation for allotment of land. Much of the primary records of the Five Tribes is used by individuals researching ancestors who may have been enrolled by the Dawes Commission. Since the mid-1970s new importance has been placed upon the records of the Five Tribes. These records provide the only source for determining tribal membership today.

Dawes Commission Records on Microfilm
Dawes Commission Records Microfilm Guide

Dawes Commission Resources
History of the Dawes Commission
Teacher's Reports, Dawes Commission Records
Index to the Dawes Final Rolls
Removal of Restriction Applications, Five Tribes, Dawes Commission Records New!

The Foreman Transcripts

This set of thirty volumes includes transcriptions of records from the Office of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, the Office of the Superintendent for the Five Civilized Tribes, and London Public Record Office. Explore the Foreman Transcripts.

School Records

Also included are records of the Indian schools established in Indian Territory such as Chilocco and Mekusukey Academy. These valuable collections of agency files provide important data as to the day to day operation of agency affairs. Files will include Indian culture, census and annuity, per capita, leases especially cattle grazing and pasture, field matrons, farmers, ceremonies, allotments and customs just to name a few.