Over the past five years, Stillwater Public Library has been creating an official archives with books and documents about the history of Stillwater and Payne County. With multiple grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Oklahoma Historical Records Advisory Board, we have been able to make a Special Collections room holding the collection which is now stored in protective boxes and files. I would never have been able to get to this point without my amazing volunteers Terry Berry, a retired archivist, and Glee Kincannon.
The next step of this project is to get our material digitized and posted online so that people across the globe can access the materials. Kitty Pittman, a retired librarian from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, has been leading our digitization efforts, and we are so excited to see her work now appearing online.
ODL has a project called “Images of Oklahoma” which allows libraries and other entities to post Oklahoma related materials on their website. Unfortunately, making items accessible online is not as easy as it seems. The programs needed to host and search hundreds and hundreds of digitized pages are incredibly expensive and not something our library can do at this point. We are incredibly fortunate to have the ability to make our material accessible through the ODL site.
Currently, 22 of the Stillwater High School annuals from 1916-1970 are posted on the project. These include full page copies of the yearbooks with all of the images and index to peruse.
In addition, my beloved copy of the 1910 city directory is now online, which is the earliest city directory we own. It shows the usual information available in a phone book, but also lists other invaluable details like the name of spouses and places of employment. We hope to have more of the early directories online soon.