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OU Libraries Western History Collection Finishes First Phase of Preservation Project

An OU student sitting in the Western History Collection.

OU Libraries Western History Collection Finishes First Phase of Preservation Project

April 2, 2024

NORMAN, OKLA. – The University of Oklahoma Libraries Western History Collection successfully completed the first phase of their preservation project, preserving over 6,000 boxes of archives and manuscript materials, photographs, films, audio recordings, maps and posters.

The materials preserved range from the 1700s to present day and document the unique cultures and experiences of living in the American West. 

“Their persistence ensures that OU remains a respected and trustworthy destination for the preservation of the cultural heritage of the state and region,” said Michael Szajewski, University Libraries associate dean for special research collections. “The completion of this phase of the preservation project will help ensure that current and future generations of students, scholars and community members can conduct meaningful research and learning informed by primary sources at OU Libraries.”

The return of these items means the collection is open to the public once again, helping give local researchers more materials and attracting a global audience from people visiting OU. OU Libraries’ Western History Collections is one of the leading special collections of Western Americana in the world, providing access to over 80,000 published volumes and over 2,500 archival collections.

Stack of boxes of preserved materials from the OU Libraries Western History Collection.

About the University of Oklahoma

Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. As the state’s flagship university, OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. OU was named the state’s highest-ranking university in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent Best Colleges list. For more information about the university, visit

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