Anthology of Articles & Browses: the Archive/Library Collection

Thomas Gilcrease is known as having been a collector of Americana at a time when few others were interested in materials relating to the history of the Western Hemisphere. The archive and library collection — which contains manuscripts, books, photographs, maps, imprints, and broadsides — expanded to include nearly 100,000 items.

Extensive travel to European museums and libraries during the 1920s and 1930s seems to have prompted Gilcrease’s aspiration to create his own collection. Pride in his Native American heritage and interest in the history of the American West provided a focus for collecting activities. But the items chosen for inclusion in the library also demonstrate Gilcrease’s belief that the history of America was not confined within the boundaries of the continental United States.

Gilcrease’s library collection grew rapidly. While building it, he was not assisted by full-time advisors but would seek out single works as well as purchasing large groups of books or documents from dealers and other collectors.

Manuscript Collections List

Oklahoma Native American Photographs Collection

These Oklahoma affiliated photographs document tribal life and customs after removal into Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, and visually illustrate the process of adaptation to European customs juxtaposed with attempts to retain unique cultural identities.

Cataloguing and creation of the finding aid of the Gilcrease Museum's collection of Oklahoma Native American photographs were made possible by the Oklahoma Historical Records Advisory Board, funded by the National Historical Publications & Records Commission, a statutory body affiliated with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

Finding Aid:


Please, contact the Rights and Reproduction Department for information on publishing or reproducing materials included in these records. Permission will be granted by the Gilcrease Museum as the owner of the physical materials, and does not imply permission from the copyright holder. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all necessary permissions from the copyright holder.


This collection is open for use by appointment only at the Helmerich Center for American Research (HCAR). Contact the Library at 918-631-6444 or in advance to inquire if materials exist pertaining to your research interests.