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Press Release

March 28, 2023

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

Plains Indians & Pioneers Historical Foundation Awarded Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS) is proud to announce that the Plains Indians & Pioneers Historical Foundation has been awarded a grant through the Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program.

“I am thrilled to learn that the Plains Indians & Pioneers Historical Foundation will be receiving grant funds to continue its efforts to digitize this important photograph collection,” said Sen. Casey Murdock, Felt.

“The history of our area of the state is one that has fascinated people for generations,” said Rep. Carl Newton, Cherokee. “It’s important that we be able to continue to tell the story of the Native Americans, the pioneers and the many others who came and settled here and whose ancestors still call Oklahoma home. I’m grateful for this grant funding that will help us preserve more of our history to be enjoyed by us and our future generations.”

Plains Indians & Pioneers Historical Foundation received $10,980 for a project titled “McDonald Collection Digitization 2023,” which will catalog, digitize and move online a vast collection of photographic negatives, slides and prints donated by the McDonald Studios, which operated throughout most of the 20th century in Woodward, Oklahoma. The studio served an area that covered four counties in Oklahoma, plus southern Kansas and the Texas Panhandle. When the business closed in the early 1990s, approximately 45,000 images were donated. This is phase four of the project and will digitize 4,500 images.

“We’re very grateful that the Oklahoma Historical Society awarded us this grant,” said Mikel Robinson, executive director. “It’s a tremendous help in our continued efforts toward our goal of completing the scanning and uploading of all 45,000 images contained in the McDonald Collection. The McDonald Collection is a major piece of the local history of northwest Oklahoma throughout the 20th century.”

The OHS will distribute over $575,000 in grant funds, with projects ranging from collections care and strategic planning to exhibit development and educational programming.

“These grant funds continue to empower local communities to collect, preserve and share their history for future generations of Oklahomans with over 150 projects funded to date,” said Nicole Harvey, director of strategic initiatives and grants administrator for the OHS.

The Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program is a grants-in-aid program offered by the Oklahoma Historical Society to encourage 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 okhistory.org


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