Last Updated: May 23, 2017
Bookshelf: General Histories of Oklahoma and Tulsa
Downtown Tulsa: 1927
The Library owns hundreds of books on the history of Oklahoma. You will find a selected list of titles below.
- The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture (2009)
From the Oklahoma Historical Society, "entries were prepared for the Encyclopedia by project staff, by OHS Pubications Division staff, and by more than five hundred university-based scholars and independent historians and scholars."
- Historical Atlas of Oklahoma (2006)
A Centennial atlas of Oklahoma, featuring more than 170 full-color maps and essays on 199 topics in Oklahoma history. There are several editions of this title available in the local history collection. Content can vary between the editions.
- A History of Oklahoma (1942) by Grant Foreman
Covers the Antebellum period, the Civil War in Indian Territory, the Reconstruction era, statehood and the early legislative history.
- History of Oklahoma (1957) by Gaston Litton
Volumes I and II contain a general illustrated history. Volumes III and IV contain images and biographies of influential Oklahomans.
- Oklahoma Almanac
The Almanac includes information on Oklahoma's state agencies, and the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government. It also includes election results, county statistics, a tourism section, a wildlife and nature section, Oklahoma history, federal government contacts, lists of Oklahoma museums and statewide associations, and more. Oklahoma Almanacs have had a variety of titles:
1909-1951: Oklahoma Red Book; Oklahoma State Manual; Directory, State of Oklahoma; Oklahoma State Capitol Directory; Directory of the State of Oklahoma
1953-1975: Directory of the State of Oklahoma; Directory and Manual of the State of Oklahoma; Directory of Oklahoma
1977-1986: Directory of Oklahoma
1987-1996: Directory of Oklahoma ; Oklahoma Almanac
1997-1998: Oklahoma Almanac
- Oklahoma: A History of Five Centuries (1981) by Arrell Morgan Gibson
From the prehistoric residency of Clovis man and Folsom man and the Spanish and French explorations in the early historic period through the removal of many diverse Indian tribes to the federally-designated Indian Territory and into the modern period of Oklahoma politics and economic advancement.
- Oklahoma: A History of the State and Its People (1929) by Joseph Thoburn and Muriel Wright
Volumes I and II contain a general illustrated history. Volumes III and IV contain images and biographical sketches of influential Oklahomans.
- Oklahoma: The Story of Its Past and Present (1975)
A text book that includes study questions, reading references, and additional activities.
- A Standard History of Oklahoma (1916) by Joseph B. Thoburn
This is a five volume set. The subtitle reads: "an authentic narrative of its development from the date of the first European exploration down to the present time, including accounts of the Indian tribes, both civilized and wild..." Volumes I and II contain a general illustrated history of the state. Volumes III-V contain images and biographical sketches of influential Oklahomans.
- The Beginnings of Tulsa (1933) by James Monroe Hall
A history of Tulsa is told by a pioneer in many early Tulsa organizations.
- City in the Osage Hills: Tulsa, Oklahoma (1984) by Courtney Ann and Glen Vaughn-Roberson
A more recent overview of Tulsa history.
- The History of Tulsa, Oklahoma (1921) by Clarence B. Douglas
Another excellent resource from that time period with images of local buildings, people, and events. The subtitle reads: "a glimpse down the corridors of the past into Old Indian Territory, The Five Civilized Tribes, The Creek Nation, Tulsa Recording District, and Tulsa County."
- Tulsa 75: A History of Tulsa (1974) by William Butler
Text is accompanied by images and maps.
- Tulsa: A Guide to the Oil Capital (1938)
This is an early guide to the city compiled by the workers of the Federal writers' project of the Works Progress Administration in the state of Oklahoma.
- Tulsa! Biography of the American City (1997) by Danney Goble
Organized chronologically, this resource includes images and an extensive bibliography.
- Tulsa: From Creek Town to Oil Capital (1943) by Angie Debo
Chapters include: The Ancient Tulsa, Tulsey Town In The West, The Civil War Sweeps Over Tulsa, The Resettlement Of Tulsa, The Railroad Comes To Tulsa, Tulsa As A Cow Town, Tulsa Is Admitted To The Union, Transition, The Oil Capital, and Tulsa Meets Its Problems.
- Tulsa's Magic Roots (1979) by Nina Lane Dunn
A more recent overview of Tulsa history.
Camp of migrant workers near Prague, Oklahoma. Lincoln County 1939
from the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection
- Chronicles of Oklahoma
Full-text access to volumes 1-40 (1921-1962). The table of contents are available for volumes 41-80 (1963-2002). The complete collection is available in the Research Center at Central Library.
- Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture
January 2, 2015, the Oklahoma Historical Society launched an updated version of the popular Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Nearly 1,000 of 2,466 original encyclopedia articles have been updated, and several hundred more will be prepared and added in the future.
- Oklahoma Almanac
Several editions are available online.
- Google Books
Google has digitized many public domain books related to the history of Oklahoma. To access full text, look for results with the "full view" link. If the full text is not available, use the title to find the resource in the library's catalog.
Just like Google Books, the Hathi Trust can be used to find books in the public domain or to discover the content inside a book.
- Internet Archive
Find over 1 million full-text, downloadable books here.
Sheri Perkins, MLIS
History and Digital Collections Librarian
Research Center, Central Library
400 Civic Center
Tulsa, OK 74103-3830
These links will take you directly to some of the free local history books available online.