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Press Release

March 17, 2022

Contact: Nicole Harvey
Director of Strategic Initiatives, Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 405-522-5202

Oklahoma Christian University Beam Library Special Collections Awarded Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS) is proud to announce that the Oklahoma Christian University Beam Library Special Collections has been awarded a grant through the Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program.

The Oklahoma Christian University Beam Library Special Collections has been awarded $5,000 for a project titled “Reel to Reel Collection Digitization,” which will fund a digitization project of reel-to-reel recordings from Oklahoma Christian University's Learning Center, an innovative educational design in the 1970s that allowed students to dial up lectures on demand. A vendor will provide the digitization services and do preservation work on the reels. Once completed, the digitized files will be made available on the portion of the library website reserved for the special collections, specifically the Digital Collections page.

“As an OC alum, I'm particularly excited about the announcement of this grant to digitize the Reel to Reel Collection,” said Rep. Mike Osburn, Edmond. “This project ensures future generations will have access to some of our best lectures as primary source material, which is incredibly important to understanding history.”

“The generosity of the Oklahoma Historical Society will allow Oklahoma Christian University to digitize reel-to-reel recordings that in 1966 were heralded by Time magazine as the cutting edge of educational technology,” said Dr. Lee Anne Paris, dean of library and instructional support. “Even more importantly, these recordings provide valuable evidence of the curriculum, the faculty members and the teaching styles of that particular time period on the OC campus.”

The total amount of funds that will be distributed this year is just over $558,000, with projects ranging from collections care and strategic planning to exhibit development and educational programming. “Entering our third year of the Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program, the OHS is thrilled with the program’s success,” said Nicole Harvey, director of strategic initiatives and grants administrator for the OHS. “To date, the program has funded over 120 projects that are aiding with collecting, preserving and sharing Oklahoma history for local communities across the state.”

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.


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