February 28, 2023
Federal Grant Helps OHS Identify and Digitize African American Collections
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS) used a $93,000 grant to identify and digitize some African American collections in the OHS archives.
The funding was used to hire a project coordinator and an imaging specialist for one year and to purchase a 25-inch flatbed scanner.
More than 20 collections were identified. Seven of them were processed and digitized, with priority given to the most historically significant materials. Collections include those from Zella Patterson with material from the town of Langston and Langston University; the Tulsa Race Riot Commission, which consists of the research, materials and minutes from the 1998 commission; F.D. Moon, a Black educator, principal and administrator; the Oklahoma African American Educators Hall of Fame; Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, a civil rights activist who challenged Oklahoma’s segregation laws; James L. and Lois L. Mosley, director of the Langston University Extension Service; and African American school records. Some digitized items are currently available on The Gateway to Oklahoma History. The rest will continue to be uploaded throughout the year.
The money was awarded to the OHS by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The grant was funded by the NEH Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP), a program to preserve humanities jobs and support the reopening and rebuilding of humanities programs.
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.