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American Indian Archives and Other Records

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. The staff and volunteers of the Manuscript Archive 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 information and links below. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. If you have any questions please contact the Manuscript Archive 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.

Five Tribes Records on Microfilm
Many documents in the Indian Archives Collection have been microfilmed. Use the links below to find out what records are available on microfilm in the OHS Research Center.
Cherokee National Records Microfilm Guide
Chickasaw National Records Microfilm Guide
Choctaw National Records Microfilm Guide
Creek National Records Microfilm Guide
Seminole National Records Microfilm Guide
National Archives Records Microfilm Guide (includes multiple tribes)

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
Hastain's Township Plats of the Creek Nation
Moore's Seminole Roll and Land Guide
Index to the 1896 Applications for Enrollment

Dawes Commission Resources
Of special note are 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 Microfilm Guide
"Dawes Commission" in The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture
Teacher's Reports, Dawes Commission Records

Indian Agency Records

The American Indian Archives Collection includes federal records of the various Indian agencies established to administer activities among the tribes relocated to the territory during the nineteenth century. These records span the 1860s to 1933.

Indian Agency Records on Microfilm

Many documents in the Indian Archives Collection have been microfilmed. Use the microfilm guides linked below to find out what records are available on microfilm in the OHS Research Center. The guides also include records microfilmed by the National Archives.

Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency Records Microfilm Guide

Kiowa Agency Records Microfilm Guide
Includes Apache, Caddo, Comanche, Delaware, Kichai, Kiowa, Tawakoni, Waco, and Wichita tribes

Osage Agency Records Microfilm Guide
Includes Osage and some Kaw records

Pawnee Agency Records Microfilm Guide
Includes Eastern Shawnee, Confederated Peoria, Nez Perce, Ottawa, Pawnee, Ponca, Quapaw, Seneca, and Wyandotte tribes

Quapaw Agency Records Microfilm Guide
Includes Cayuga, Chippewa, Citizen Potawatomi, Delaware, Kaskaskia, Kaw, Miami, Munsee, Nez Perce, Oneida, Ottawa, Peoria, Piankashaw, Ponca, Quapaw, Seneca of Sandusky, Seneca of Lewiston, Shawnee, Wea, and Wyandotte tribes

Sac and Fox–Shawnee Agency Records Microfilm Guide
Includes Absentee Shawnee, Citizen Band Potawatomi, Ioway, Mexican Kickapoo, and Sac and Fox tribes

National Archives Records Microfilm Guide
Includes records for multiple tribes

Individual Indian Files

These files vary in content from agency to agency, but in most cases the files pertain to grazing or mineral leases.
Search Individual Indian File index

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.

Chilocco Indian School
This federal boarding school operated from 1884 to 1980 in Kay County. Select records pertaining to the school have been microfilmed.
Chilocco School Microfilm Guide