The Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) announces its annual matching grants to state, local, and tribal governments and nonprofit organizations for the preparation of National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) nominations. The SHPO has reserved $10,000 of its FY 2016 Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) allocation from the U.S. Department of the Interior for the program. The funds will be equally divided for award in two grant rounds with any funds remaining from Round 1 carried over for Round 2. Applications and detailed instructions are available from the SHPO. The deadline for Round 1 applications is 5:00pm, April 1, and the deadline for Round 2 applications is 5:00pm, June 3. Each grant is limited to $1,000.00, and the applicant must provide a nonfederal, cash match of at least $700.00. Grant recipients will use the grant funds and nonfederal match to retain an appropriately qualified professional to prepare a complete individual property nomination package for the NRHP. Applicants must be aware that $1,700.00 (federal grant + nonfederal match) is only an estimate of the cost for such projects and that more than the minimum $700 nonfederal match may be necessary to cover the consultant fee. Consultants must consider the nature of the property proposed for nomination and many other factors as they develop their fee proposals.

The NRHP is the catalogue of our nation's significant buildings, structures, sites, districts, objects, and landscapes important in our past. While listing is not a guarantee of preservation or of financial assistance, the NRHP status of a property is often critical to the strategy for its preservation. The NRHP provides increased public awareness of these irreplaceable resources, provides limited protection for them, qualifies property owners for federal and state tax credits under certain circumstances, and may qualify the property owner for grant assistance when such programs are funded.

To obtain an application you may contact the SHPO at 405/521-6249 or click the button below.

View Application

Oklahoma History Center to Host Screening of Documentary Film, "Rosenwald"

On Tuesday, February 23, the Oklahoma History Center will host a screening of the documentary film "Rosenwald: The Remarkable Story of a Jewish Partnership with African American Communities." The acclaimed director, Aviva Kempner, also directed "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg" and "Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg." The documentary is presented by the National Center for Jewish Film. The doors will open at 6pm and the film screening begins at 7pm. Attendees are invited to view the African American exhibit in the History Center's Kerr-McGee gallery from 6-7pm. This film screening is free, but seating is limited so an early arrival is recommended.

Aviva Kempner's "Rosenwald" is the incredible story of Julius Rosenwald, the son of an immigrant peddler who never finished high school, but rose to become the President of Sears. Influenced by the writings of the educator Booker T. Washington, this Jewish philanthropist joined forces with African American communities during the Jim Crow South to build over 5,300 schools during the early part of the 20th century.

"Rosenwald" sheds light on this silent partner of the pre-Civil Rights Movement. Rosenwald awarded fellowship grants to a who's who of African American intellectuals and artists of his day so that they could pursue their scholarship and art. This included Marian Anderson, James Baldwin, Ralph Bunche, W. E. B. DuBois, Katherine Dunham, Ralph Ellison, John Hope Franklin, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Gordon Parks, Jacob Lawrence and Augusta Savage along with Woody Guthrie.

Inspired by the Jewish ideals of tzedakah (charity) and tikkun olam (repairing the world) and a deep concern over racial inequality in America, Julius Rosenwald used his wealth to become one of America's most effective philanthropists. Rosenwald also built YMCAs and housing for African Americans to address the pressing needs of the Great Migration. Because of his modesty, Rosenwald's philanthropy and social activism are not well known today. He gave away $62 million in his lifetime.

The Jewish Film Festival will also be presenting the film on February 24, 2016, at 7pm in the Pitman Recital Hall of the Catlett Music Center, 500 West Boyd, Norman.

The Oklahoma History Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and is an accredited member of the American Association of Museums. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains 31 museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit


Save the dates, June 1-3, 2016, for Preservation is Golden: Oklahoma's 28th Annual Statewide Preservation Conference. In 2016, the United States will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) through Preservation50. Government agencies, private organizations, and individual citizens will engage in programs and activities to highlight historic preservation successes over the last half century, evaluate the NHPA's role in these achievements, and consider goals for the national preservation program for the next fifty years. Oklahoma's 28th Annual Statewide Preservation Conference is just one of the ways the state's preservation partners will join the celebration.

Preservation is Golden features two plenary sessions, with Erik M. Hein, Executive Director, National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, Washington, D.C.; and Norma Ramirez de Miess, Senior Program Officer and Director of Leadership Development, National Main Street Center, Chicago, as featured speakers.

Additionally, three concurrent tracks of sessions will include:
TRACK A: Preservation50, focusing on the NHPA's impacts on historic preservation in Oklahoma;
TRACK B: Gold Medal Preservation Performances, featuring case studies on the identification, evaluation, restoration, rehabilitation, stabilization, and reconstruction of historic properties;
and TRACK C: Golden Opportunities, highlighting the economic and social benefits of historic preservation, the need for a new generation of preservation leaders, and effective preservation organizations.

Special events include the opening reception; local tours; Preservation Oklahoma, Inc.'s annual meeting and luncheon; and the State Historic Preservation Office's annual awards banquet.

Conference cosponsors include Oklahoma Historical Society, State Historic Preservation Office; Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Oklahoma Main Street Center; Preservation Oklahoma, Inc.; and Main Street Enid, Inc.

Full conference program and registration information will be available in late April. Follow conference developments at;;; and


The Oklahoma Historical Society, State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is pleased to announce the availability of scholarships for Oklahoma college and university students to attend Preservation is Goldenn: Oklahoma’s 28th Annual Statewide Preservation Conference. It will be held June 1-3, 2016, in downtown Enid (full registration and program details available in late April).

Twenty (20) scholarships are available on a first-come basis to those who qualify. The scholarship covers the conference registration fee, and the application deadline is 5:00pm, Friday, May 6. For details and an application form contact Melvena Heisch, Deputy SHPO, at 405/522-4484 or, or visit the SHPO’s website at


As of July 1, 2013, 1,227 Oklahoma buildings, structures, districts, sites, objects, and landscapes are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and the listings are distributed across all of the state's seventy-seven counties (see the list at The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), Oklahoma Historical Society, identifies and nominates properties for this special designation, which contributes to their preservation. To ensure that the heritage of all of the state's people is represented in the National Register and to increase public awareness of historic properties in general, the SHPO set a goal to achieve listing for at least five properties in each county.

We are very close to meeting our goal and need only ten more listings spread among six counties as follows:

Cotton County (2 listings needed)

Dewey County (1 listing needed)

Harmon County (1 listing needed)

McClain County (2 listings needed)

Major County (3 listings needed)

To help in the final push to meet the goal, you can complete the SHPO's "Historic Preservation Resource Identification Form" located at (then select Form Required for Preliminary Opinion) and submit to the SHPO. Or, you may contact Lynda Ozan, National Register Coordinator, at 405/522-4478 or with your questions or to request a hard copy of the form.

We will appreciate your help to ensure that the heritage of the entire state is represented in Oklahoma's National Register listings. The SHPO nominates properties to the National Register on a quarterly basis, and several nominations are in process at any one time. Whether a property you think qualifies for the designation is located in an underrepresented county or not, the SHPO wants to hear from you.