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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.

Gilcrease Museum is dedicated to digitizing all items in the archive and library collections, and the project is ongoing. If you have information about any collection items that may enrich our records, please contact us.

Archive Collections

  • Manuscripts

        Finding Aid with descriptions of all manuscripts
          Collections Information 

        Guide to Native American Research at the Gilcrease 

        Finding Aids for individual collections
          Benge, George W.
          Brown, John Lowery
          Cherokee Claims Record
          Cherokee Papers
          Cochran, Rufus 
          Declaration of Independence
          Drew, John
          Eastern Band Cherokee Papers
          English, E. H.
          Fields, George W.
          Fox, Luke
          Gardner, Edmond J.
          Gold Rush Diary
          Gordon, Patrick
          Hall-Pennant Manuscript
          Hammond, Marcus C.M.
          Henry, Robert
          Hitchcock, D. D.
          Hoover, Herbert
          Humphrey, P. W.
          Indian Spies' Report
          James, Marquis
          Kiowa Papers
          Ladner, Mildred
          Latrobe, Charles Joseph
          Leigh, William R. 
          New Jersey Organization Manuscript 
          New Mexico Memorial Manuscript
          Orr, James
          Payne, John Howard
          Penobscot Questionnaire
          Powell, John Wesley
          Quesenbury, William M.
          Ross, John
          Ross, Mary Jane
          Saltonstal, Gurdon 
          Sargent, Winthrop
          Spanish Colonial Manuscript Collection (Conway)
          Stone, Willard
          Swain, John W.
          Van Buren, Martin
          Vanderbuilt, Cornelius
          Washington, George
          Watie, Stand
          Wells, C. T.
          Worcester, Samuel Austin 
          World War II Manuscript

Library Collection



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.  Reproduction Policy


This collection is open for use by appointment only at the Helmerich Center for American Research (HCAR). Contact the Library at 918-631-6441 or in advance to inquire if materials exist pertaining to your research interests.