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Tulsa and Oklahoma History in the Research Center: Digital Collections


To search across all of the Library's local history digital collections, use the search box at the top of our digital collection home page.

Beryl Ford Collection

greenwood tulsa

Beryl Ford Collection

Local historian Beryl Ford collected the largest and most significant collection of photographs and artifacts relevant to the history of the City of Tulsa and surrounding area throughout his lifetime. We are fortunate that he shared part of his legacy as Tulsa historian with us in the form of this invaluable collection, now available online.  This collection was made possible by the Rotary Club of Tulsa.

Biography Index

local history books

Biography Index

This collection consists of the the indexes to complied biographies in Local History Collection books and indexes to some articles found in the Local History Collection biography vertical files.
The full text of these items is not available online. To view these items, visit the Research Center at Central Library, contact, or call 918-549-7323.

Charles Page Memorial Library

charles page library exterior



Charles Page Memorial Library Collection

Browse historic images from the dedication of the original Charles Page Library in Sand Springs.

City Directories

1920 city directory

City Directories: Tulsa

City directories contain a wealth of information for genealogists, researchers, and history enthusiasts. In these resources, you will find addresses and occupations of residents, complete business directories, advertisements, and more.

Developing Tulsa: The Austin Hellwig Collection

Developing Tulsa: The Austin Hellwig Collection

Austin Hellwig has produced more than 30 photo journals on the city of Tulsa, particularly on the subject of road construction. This sample of Mr. Hellwig's work features photographs from the 1980s and '90s and documents the city's expansion as demonstrated through roadway improvements. Other Tulsa County communities and historic bridges are also featured.

Finding Aids

Finding Aids Collection

These inventories provide information about items in our physical collections that are housed with the Tulsa and Oklahoma Collection. All of the materials described in the finding aids may be consulted by visiting the Tulsa and Oklahoma Collection in the Research Center of Central Library. Some of the materials described in the finding aids are available online; links to these are included in the finding aid. In other cases, particular records of interest may be scanned and sent to a researcher for a fee. Please contact Research Center staff to make an appointment or to learn more about our collections.

The Levorsen Oil Photography Collection

The Levorsen Oil Photography Collection

A.I. Levorsen was the first dean of the School of Mineral Sciences at Stanford University, but he spent much of his career in Tulsa. Dr. Levorsen donated his extensive collection of texts, maps, and photographs regarding the petroleum industry to the library in 1968. Here, view 300 images from the early days of the Oklahoma petroleum industry.


indian territory map


Digital images include historical Oklahoma and Tulsa maps representing a fraction of the map collection available in the Research Center of Central Library. For more information on the items available, visit our maps subject guide.

Tulsa aerial photographs in this digital collection are described by Township, Range, and section. The Tulsa County Assessor provides online access to Tulsa County maps that will assist with area identification:

The Oil and Gas Journal

oil and gas journal

The Oil and Gas Journal

The Oil and Gas Journal was first published in Beaumont, Texas in 1902 following the oil discovery at Spindletop. It was originally titled Oil Investors' Journal and was a bimonthly publication. By 1910, it was titled The Oil and Gas Journal and was published weekly in Tulsa. Our print collection dates back to 1909. The periodical provides a good deal of information on our community's history and on the oil and gas industry in general.


Oklahoma Postcard Collection



Oklahoma Postcard Collection

Postcards carry their own messages about the pride we take in our state's natural beauty, modern urban areas, and famous personalities. Take a look at some of the images used to promote Oklahoma over the years.

Oral History Interviews


Oral History Collection

This audio collection, conducted by the Junior League of Tulsa in the late 1970s and early 1980s, features discussions with pioneer Tulsans on medicine, lifestyles, architecture, government, business, education, journalism, and many other subjects regarding the early history of Tulsa. We are in the process of transcribing these oral histories and could use your help. If you are interested, please contact me.

Refining in Tulsa: The Cosden Legacy Collection

Refining In Tulsa: The Cosden Legacy Collection

J. S. (Joshua) Cosden was born in Kent County, Maryland in 1882. He came to Bigheart, Oklahoma in 1908 and later relocated to Tulsa. In 1913, Cosden began operating a West Tulsa refinery, two miles upstream from the Texas Co. (later Texaco) refinery. At that time, the refinery had a total capacity of less than 5,000 barrels of crude a day. Two years later, the refinery added 97 miles of pipeline to connect the plant to the famous Cushing oil field. Read more...

Tulsa City-County Library Collection

Tulsa City-County Library

Find images and flim of Tulsa City-County Library over the years.

Tulsa and Oklahoma History Collection

take me back to tulsa

Tulsa and Oklahoma History Collection

The Tulsa and Oklahoma History Collection consists of items from the Tulsa and Oklahoma Collection, including books from the classified section, materials from the Archives and Special Collections, and newspaper clippings and other ephemera from the vertical files.

Tulsa Race Riot of 1921


Tulsa Race Riot of 1921

This online collection contains photographs from the TCCL African-American Resource Center and the Beryl Ford Collection. Vertical file content on the subject can be found in the Tulsa and Oklahoma History Collection.


central high school yearbook photo


A majority of our yearbook collection resides in the Research Center at Central Library, but some can be found at other library locations in our system.

We will add to this digital collection as resources allow, but you can access a full list of our print yearbook collection from the yearbooks tab above.

Oklahoma In Other Digital Collections


mid-continent refinery workers larry clark cheyenne
Workers at the Mid-Continent Refinery
LOC Prints/Photographs Division
Tulsa 1 (David Roper) 1963 
Larry Clark
Smithsonian American Art Museum
circa 1910
USGS Photographic Library

About the Digital Collections

To complement and enhance the broader Library collections and fulfill the Library’s overall mission, the Library provides access to digital collections rich in materials relating to the history, culture, industry, geography, people, government, education, and development of Tulsa and Oklahoma. The collection currently represents resources in a variety of formats including photographs, maps, texts, postcards, and interviews.  These collections function as digital surrogates that aid in the preservation of rare and fragile resources. 

Copyright Guidelines

Materials are made available online for fair use purposes. Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law.

The nature of historical collections is such that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine. The records for individual items clearly state copyright information and restrictions on use when they are known. The Library does not grant or deny permission to others who wish to use or reproduce items found in the digital collections. As a matter of good scholarly practice, we recommend that patrons using Library-provided reproductions cite the Library and/or the appropriate web page.

Some materials may be subject to rights of privacy, publicity, and trademark. Such rights are likely to be controlled by parties other than the Tulsa City-County Library. It is the obligation of the user to determine and satisfy copyright and other restrictions when making use of materials from the Tulsa City-County Library.

The Tulsa City-County Library is always willing to discuss copyright concerns with a rights holder who finds his or her content in our collections. Copyright owners, persons with information about the materials, or individuals interested in reproductions are encouraged to contact

Copyright Decisions

Items are scanned and made publicly available if they conform to any of the following attributes:

  • The item was created before 1923.
  • The donor has signed a release form indicating that he or she is willing to have the content publicly accessible. Note: This release form does not transfer any rights to the Library, now does it mean the donor is releasing the item into the public domain.
  • Items with significant research value that are in copyright. These items are made accessible to users on computers at the Central Library location. This access is given because, although electronic, it is not far from a user visiting the Library and interacting with the print materials. Items of this nature can be found in the Tulsa City-County Library Digital Collections with the term “Restricted Access Files.” 

Book An Exhibition

If you are interested in booking one of our traveling digital collection exhibitions, browse the options below and view the list of exhbition pieces available. Select “Book Now” to contact digital collection staff regarding your request. 


lunch counter in the 20s


Like other American cities, Tulsa enjoyed economic growth and prosperity in the 1920s. Our city was the center of the oil and gas industry, and some of Tulsa’s finest buildings and the nation’s finest art deco buildings were constructed. It was also a period marked by interracial tension, and in 1921, one of the most violent race riots in American history occurred in Tulsa. 



Tulsa: A New Home celebrates early Jewish immigrants to Tulsa and their impact on the broader community.