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Arn Henderson papers

Identifier: WHC-M-1064

Scope and Contents

Architect. The papers (1935-2014) of Arnold G. “Arn” Henderson document his career as an architect and professor of architecture at the University of Oklahoma, and his efforts to preserve buildings in Oklahoma and across the American southwest. The collection features drawings and floor plans for numerous buildings that Henderson helped renovate. The papers include photographic and manuscript materials for Henderson’s biography of Bruce Goff, as well as photographic prints and slides of Henderson’s own architectural projects and various projects by students. The collection also contains Native American housing surveys and environmental studies, with an emphasis on the Cheyenne and Arapaho.


  • 1935 - 2014


Language of Material


Restrictions on Access

Open for public research. This collection is located at the Library Service Center. Request via Sooner Xpress to view at the Western History Collections.

Biographical / Historical

Arnold G. “Arn” Henderson was born November 10, 1934, in Oklahoma. He earned degrees in architecture and architectural engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1961 and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University in 1964. He served as Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Illinois from 1964 to 1968; and as Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Oklahoma from 1968 to 2002. He retired as Professor Emeritus of the University of Oklahoma Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture.

Throughout his career, Henderson was committed to the University of Oklahoma’s architecture program, and the teachings of Bruce Goff and the American School legacy. He was an advocate of historical preservation in Oklahoma and the nation. He was a member of the Society of Architectural Historians and worked closely with the Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Office to preserve historical and unusual buildings.

Henderson was a poet and author of several books, including Bruce Goff: Architecture of Discipline in Freedom; Architecture in Oklahoma: Landmark & Vernacular; and co-authored The Physical Legacy: Buildings of Oklahoma County, 1889 to 1931 with Bob L. Blackburn and Melvena Thurman. At the time of his death, he was working on Buildings of Oklahoma, intended to be part of the series, Buildings of the United States, published by the Society of Architectural Historians. It was not completed.

Henderson designed and built his home in Norman, Oklahoma in 1976. It was recognized by the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Institute of Architecture (AIA) for its unique design. In 1996, he was elevated to the AIA College of Fellows for his exceptional work and contribution to the industry and his community. In 2013 he received the Oklahoma Humanities Council’s highest honor, the Oklahoma Humanities Award, for his study of architecture as it relates to Oklahoma. Arn Henderson passed away on June 27, 2019.


89.5 Cubic Feet

Related Materials

See also the Arn Henderson photographs collection: WHC P2410

Barbara McClurkin
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Western History Collections Repository

630 Parrington Oval
Room 300
Norman Oklahoma 73019 United States