About the Early Oklahoma Serials Project
In the Spring of 2009, we (Helen Clements and Robin Leech, Oklahoma State University Library) received one of the Amigos Fellowship Grants for 2009-2010. In our work with Oklahoma history and digital services, we have become aware of the many resources available, but not easily accessible, to our patrons. We had a special interest in serial publications, specifically magazines published in the state during the territorial and early statehood periods, from around 1890-1910. Although some of them have been microfilmed, they are held by only a few libraries and are therefore relatively unknown, especially to the general public. With the growth of Internet access, especially by young students, the expectation has grown that quality research materials will be readily available. This is not always true with microfilm, especially in smaller communities.
It was our hope, over this past year, to create an online presence for these publications in order to promote research at all levels on Oklahoma’s history, highlighting the rich and diverse collections all over our state. We planned to digitize at least one of the magazines, making it available to as many researchers and interested citizens as possible. We also aimed to increase the exchange of information among academic and public libraries about research resources.
We have digitized one of the major magazines and have publicized our project using e-mail, face-to-face meetings, professional publications, and presentations at professional meetings. We expect this project to continue, with information sharing with museums and archives in Oklahoma and elsewhere, as well as with librarians and interested researchers.