March 4, 2021
Western Trail Historical Society Awarded Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Historical Society is proud to announce that the Western Trail Historical Society has been awarded a grant through the Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program.
"The Western Trail Historical Society continues to be a valued organization in our community," said Rep. Gerrid Kendrix, Altus. "I am thrilled that they received funding from the Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program to enable them to continue preserving the unique history of Altus and southwestern Oklahoma."
The Western Trail Historical Society has been awarded $7,657 that will fund the second phase of a two-phase project. The collections of the Museum of the Western Prairie includes 152 oral history interviews conducted primarily in the 1970s and 1980s and recorded on 205 cassette tapes. The topics range from local club histories to the Great Depression to World War II prisoner of war experiences to community histories to the National Guard armory. Soon after the interviews were conducted, several of the tapes labeled "Depression Years" were transcribed and have proven to be true treasure troves of information. Thanks to funding from the Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program last year, all of the interviews were digitized and half of them were transcribed and placed online. This year’s funding will allow the remainder of the collection to be completed.
"We are thrilled that phase two of our ˈOral History Collection: Transcriptions and Databaseˈ project has been funded," said Jennie Buchanan, board member of the Western Trail Historical Society. "We know from phase one of the project that transcribing these recorded interviews allows us to discover unknown or little-known stories of our history and heritage which, in turn, allows us to offer programs brimming with engaging local history and augment those projects with companion exhibits showcasing local artifacts."
A total of just over $460,000 in grant funds will be distributed, with projects ranging from collections care and exhibit development to strategic planning and educational programming. "This is only the second year for this grant program. As organizations wrap up their grant projects from last year and as we see the quality of the applications that came in for this grant cycle, it is clear that there is a strong need for this type of grant program," said Nicole Harvey, OHS grants administrator.
The Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program is a grants-in-aid program offered by the Oklahoma Historical Society with a goal of encouraging the collection, preservation and sharing of Oklahoma history at the grassroots level in all parts of the state. Open to tribal and municipal governments and not-for-profit historical organizations located in Oklahoma and registered with the Oklahoma secretary of state, this grants program offers funding ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 for projects focused on collections, exhibits and programming. Applications for this annual program open in the fall and award announcements are made in January. For more information visit www.okhistory.org/grants.
The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains 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 www.okhistory.org.