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Oklahoma Geological Survey Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: WHC-M-454

Scope and Contents


Records of the Oklahoma Geological Survey, including correspondence (1908-1982), area geological reports (1915-1948), and field notes (1908-); reports of the governing board (1974-1979); and book manuscripts and galley proofs (n.d.) regarding Oklahoma geology. Also included is correspondence from the University of Oklahoma Department of Geology and Geography. Oklahoma Geological Survey Photograph Collection also in repository.

The Oklahoma Geological Survey was established by Senate Bill No. 75 in 1908 with Charles N. Gould serving as its first Director. The Geological Survey exists for the purpose of seeking information on the geology, mineral and underground water resources of the state; for the purpose of determining chemical properties and possible commercial applications of the state’s minerals and rocks; to assist mineral producers and processors in finding new sources and applications of raw materials; and to call to the attention of the public, the resources of the state through a regular series of publications. While not technically a part of the University of Oklahoma, the Survey has been closely aligned with that institution. The administration and appropriations of the Survey have been under the control of the University Regents and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education since 1924. In addition, the offices of the Survey are located in Charles N. Gould Hall on the University of Oklahoma Campus at Norman.

Seven men have headed the Oklahoma Geological Survey since its establishment in 1908. Twice in its history, the Survey was closed due to lack of appropriations. The first closing occurred on June 30, 1923 and lasted one year; the second on June 20, 1931, lasting four years. Both times a custodian was appointed.

Approximately 44 cubic feet, the Oklahoma Geological Survey Collection consists of correspondence, financial reports, geological notes and reports, manuscripts, survey and field records and miscellaneous materials from the period 1908-1982. Included in the collection are the correspondence and miscellaneous materials of the Department of Geology and Geography, 1924-1939 and correspondence of the Bureau of Geology, 1923-1925. The materials of these two organizations constitute slightly over 4 feet of the Collections’ total.

Of the Oklahoma Geological Survey materials, correspondence accounts for over one third of the total. In order to preserve the philosophy and direction of each administration, the correspondence has been arranged by directorship. The bulk of the material falls under the administration of Charles N. Gould, who served two terms as Director, 1908-1911 and 1924-1931, and Robert H. Dott, 1935-1952. Within these groups, correspondence is divided into general or subject categories and arranged alphabetically or chronologically depending on the type of correspondence.

A section of Special Correspondence follows the correspondence of the Directors. Special Correspondence constitutes that which relates to the Oklahoma Geological Survey indirectly through the activities of its staff such as membership and participation in professional associations, conferences, W.P.A., special projects, etc. In many instances, supporting materials are included with the Special Correspondence.

Following the correspondence are the organizational papers which consist of financial, legislative, publicity and historical materials pertaining specifically to the Oklahoma Geological Survey. Also included in this section are manuscripts, bibliographies, pamphlets, brochures, geological reports and notes, and miscellaneous items. Speeches and radio talks are filed with both publicity materials and manuscripts.

Actual survey records and field notes compose the third typed of material found in the Collection. These materials consist of descriptions, elevations, and various computations compiled during the mid 1930’s. These records enable users to obtain an in depth view of the geology and structure of the land in different areas of the state.

A large number of maps, photographs and publications are also a part of the Oklahoma Geological Survey Collection. These materials have been removed from the Collection and are houses in appropriate divisions of the Western History Collections. Researchers making use of the collections should check the “Additions to the Oklahoma Geological Survey Collection” and the Outsized Materials sections at the end of the inventory for materials pertinent to their topics.


  • Creation: 1908-1982


Restrictions on Access

On June 26, 2023, the Western History Collections began a preservation project that has made many of its collections unavailable for a period of time. This collection is among the materials temporarily unavailable. Please contact Western History Collections if you wish to be added to a contact list to be notified when this collection becomes available.

Available for public access.


44 Cubic Feet (44 ft.)

Language of Materials


Ownership and Custodial History

Gift of the Oklahoma Geological Survey.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Records: Source of acquisition--Oklahoma Geological Survey. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1954.

Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Western History Collections Repository

630 Parrington Oval
Room 300
Norman Oklahoma 73019 United States