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OCU Receives Grant to Help Preserve Historic Collections
The Oklahoma Department of Libraries, in partnership with the Oklahoma Historical Records Advisory Board, announced that the Dulaney-Browne Library Archives and Special Collections at Oklahoma City University was awarded a “Threats to Your Collection” grant of $1,505 to purchase housing for oversized materials and equipment needed to implement an environmental monitoring program. The Special Collections comprise the university archives, the Oklahoma United Methodist archives, and other collections including the Shirk Oklahoma History Center and the records of various civic groups with ties to OCU. The Oklahoma United Methodist archives include materials for the Oklahoma Conference, the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference and predecessor conferences dating to 1844. The mission of the archives is to identify, collect, preserve, make available, provide reference assistance and promote the use of the rare and unique research materials. In addition, the archives support Oklahoma United Methodist Churches by providing training and information for the formation of local archives within individual churches and for the celebration of United Methodist heritage. OCU Archivist Christina Wolf said one of the items that will be preserved is the Methodist Orphanage ledger book. The register dates to 1919 and documents the children helped by the orphanage. The orphanage opened in 1919 in Britton near Oklahoma City and operates today as the Children’s Home in Tahlequah. “In presenting this grant to the Dulaney-Browne Library Archives and Special Collections, it is our intention to help further its commitment to providing the best possible care of the historic materials in its collections,” said Susan McVey, director of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries. “We hope that these grants will facilitate increased local support for the care of historic collections held by organizations such as Oklahoma City University.” According to McVey, the “Threats to Your Collection” grant opportunity was an outcome of a statewide survey that assessed the condition of collections held by Oklahoma’s 800 museums and libraries. The study found that almost all organizations have lost historic materials through theft, environmental damage and other causes. “It is our goal to stem the loss of Oklahoma’s heritage by providing funding for secure storage, environmental controls, archival storage supplies, fire detection and other projects that address threats to collections,” McVey said. Support for the grant program was provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the funding arm for the National Archives and Records Administration. Grants totaling $50,000 were awarded to 27 Oklahoma institutions. For more information on the Dulaney-Browne Library Archives at OCU, contact Christina Wolf, archivist, at (405) 208-5919.