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Press Release

April 1, 2024

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 the Plains Indians & Pioneers Historical Foundation is receiving a grant to preserve and digitize vital historical records,” said Sen. Casey Murdock, Felt. “This project is pivotal in keeping our history accessible and alive for all.”

“I’m honored to see the Plains Indians & Pioneers Historical Foundation being recognized with this grant,” said Rep. Carl Newton, Cherokee. “It is further proof of their hard work and the importance of this site to the history and State of Oklahoma.”

Plains Indians & Pioneers Historical Foundation received $11,193 for a project that will support digitizing and moving online a collection of photographic negatives, slides, and prints donated by McDonald Studios. This collection, spanning four counties in Oklahoma, southern Kansas, and the Texas panhandle, offers valuable insights into early northwest Oklahoma life. Previous grants enabled the digitization of 13,000 images, which have proven popular with researchers and individuals.

“The Oklahoma Historical Society Heritage Preservation Grant program has played a critical role in expanding the footprint and public outreach of The Plains Indians & Pioneers Museum’s McDonald Collection,” said Dr. Deena Fisher, president of The Plains Indians & Pioneers Museum board. “With more than 40,000 photographic images in the Museum’s collection that span most of the 20th century from the McDonald Studios of Woodward, funding from the grant has enabled Museum staff to digitize and provide free access to the public of several thousand of these images. The Museum and the people of northwest Oklahoma are very grateful to OHS for their support in ensuring access to these historical images.”

The OHS will distribute over $520,000 in grant funds, with projects ranging from collections care and strategic planning to exhibit development and educational programming.

“Through the Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program, we’re not just funding projects; we’re investing in the preservation of Oklahoma’s rich and dynamic history,” said Nicole Harvey, director of strategic initiatives for the Oklahoma Historical Society. “These grants empower communities across the state to uphold their heritage for future generations, ensuring that the stories of Oklahoma continue to inspire and educate for years to come.”

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 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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