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Find the History of Your House   Tags: house history, local history  

Last Updated: Apr 28, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Digital Collections

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Beryl Ford Collection

The Beryl Ford Collection contains thousands of historic photographs including street scenes and images of residential buildings. Search the collection by street name or neighborhood. 

City Directory Collection

The library is in the process of digitizing city directories from the collection that are in the public domain (before 1923). 


    Resources on Local Architecture and Homes

    • City Directories
      Polk's Reverse Telephone Directory allows you to search by address rather than by a homeowner's name. These directories list the head of the household as well as the owner's occupation. Once you've determined who the early owners of your house were, you can search for their names in old newspapers or genealogy resources. You might be able to track down the previous occupants of the home who will be a wealth of information and may have photographs.
    • Historic Neighborhood Architectural Surveys
      Find a general history of the neighborhood, its boundaries, and a list of neighborhood homes.
    • Newspapers on Microfilm
      Though they may be hard to find, since old newspapers are not searchable, there may be newspaper articles about the previous occupants of the house or the house itself.
    • Tulsa's Historic Neighborhood Series
      From the Urban Development Department and Tulsa Preservation Commision, these booklets provide a brief history of the neighborhood and information on individual homes.
    • Vertical Files of Tulsa Historic Neighborhoods – TCCL Research Center, Central Library
      A vertical file is a collection of materials such as pamphlets, newspaper clippings, brochures, or pictures that are filed in drawers or cabinets for easy reference.

      Ask about these vertical files:
      Architecture – Homes [vertical file].
      Homes - architect awards [vertical file].
      Architects [vertical file].
      Neighborhoods [vertical file].


    • Land Records: TCCL Research Center, Central Library
      The deed will show you the progression of ownership of the house so you can trace previous owners. Find deed information at any TCCL Location using the Tulsa Land Records Databases. You may also visit the Tulsa County Court Clerk, 2nd floor Tulsa County Courthouse, 500 S. Denver. The Tulsa County Land Records Department has records back to statehood (1907); though, there are some filings back as far as 1903.

    Maps and Atlases

    Books and Magazines on American Architecture and Homes

    Organizations & Centers

    • National Register of Historic Places
      The National Park Service website can be searched or browsed. Search options allow users to narrow to a particular state, county, or city.
    • State Historic Preservation Office
      Offers numerous sources of information including architectural surveys, archeological surveys, details about the National Register of Historic Places, the Oklahoma Landmarks Inventory and more.
    • Tulsa Historical Society
      The Tulsa Historical Society collection contains materials that date to the 19th century and to the present. The Society’s mission is to collect, preserve and present the material to the public.
      The museum’s collection is wide ranging and includes over 15,000 photographs, approximately one thousand books that relate to Tulsa or Oklahoma, historical films and videos, manuscripts, periodicals, maps, vertical files covering approximately six thousand subjects, clothes, architectural elements, fine and decorative arts, furniture, military uniforms, military medals and a myriad of other objects that pertain to Tulsa or Oklahoma history.
    • Tulsa Foundation for Architecture
      The Tulsa Foundation for Architecture objectives are to: be a credible voice that identifies valuable architectural structures, spaces, sites and architectural works of merit; educate the public about the built environment; promote and encourage preservation and/or rehabilitation of significant architecture; and be a repository for historical architectural drawings and material.
    • Tulsa Preservation Commission
      Information about Tulsa's historic neighborhoods, individual buildings, National Register listings, and art deco heritage.

    Genealogical Resources

    • Ancestry Library Edition
      Genealogy research tool has access to more than one billion names in primary-source document images, detailed color maps and other genealogical research resources. Access from any TCCL Library.
    • TCCL Genealogy Center
      The Genealogy Center of the Tulsa City-County Library System is one of the largest genealogy collections in Oklahoma. This collection focuses not only on Tulsa and Oklahoma but also contains sources covering many other areas. A large number of materials cover Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. The collection consists of books, microfilm, microfiche, CD ROMs and maps.

    Tulsa Abstract and Title Companies

    An abstract is a compilation of all instruments of record in the County Clerk's and Court Clerk's offices, which materially affect a specific tract of land - basically it's all the legal records about the tract of land. An abstract is a rich source of information about the history of a property. 

    Unidentified Homes on Flickr

    unidentified residence

    Are you a genealogist, preservationist, or local history buff?

    The Tulsa City-County Library would like your help indentifying the unknown people and places in our digital collections. Visit the library's special collections on Flickr and look for the unknown sets.


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