In October, the Online Education Database listed 250+ Killer Digital Libraries and Archives. The resources are listed alphabetically by state and are mainly open access. There are two listings for Oklahoma: Electronic Publishing Center and Sooner Stories which is now Oklahoma Crossroads. The Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL) Sooner Stories Archive contains online exhibits titled “Rationing in World War II,” “Farm Security and Administration,” “Construction of the Oklahoma Governor’s Mansion,” and the “Oklahoma State Capitol.” My favorite items in this collection, though, are creepy Oklahoma stories and pictures in “Skeletons in our closet” and the great multimedia presentation of “Bonnie & Clyde in Oklahoma.” Among other rich resources, ODL’s newer service, Oklahoma Crossroads, links to the above exhibits as well as to collections including Tulsa Race Riot documents and images and a database of Oklahoma author profiles.

OSU’s Electronic Publishing Center digital collections include items like: the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, the first fifty years of our state’s magazine, Oklahoma Today, From Warrior to Saint: The Journey of David Pendleton Oakerhater, Indian Claims Commission Decisions, and the Oklahoma Historical Society’s Chronicles of Oklahoma. Dating back to 1923, the Chronicles of Oklahoma contains colorful stories, excerpts from letters and diaries, and resident profiles. In Volume 2(1), the origins of county names in Oklahoma are explained. A born and raised Okie, I’m ashamed to admit that I wasn’t aware that Oklahoma is a combination of two Choctaw words, “Okla” meaning people and “Humma” meaning red. Another article‘s description of early Oklahoma folklore was particularly poignant. The author ends with, “I deem it one of my greatest privileges to teach my students that we must not let the first stories of our earliest people pass into oblivion; that we have one of the richest heritages on earth, the record of which is a combination composed of ballads and legends in which the heart beats of Indian warrior, man and maid, the roving cow man, the sturdy pioneer—all beat in steady succession to the music of life itself. The result of it all is the finished symphony—the symphony of Oklahoma itself.”

This 1917 photo, from ODL’s “Skeletons in our closet,” was taken of the newly finished rotunda in the Oklahoma Capitol building. phantom2_02.jpg