FAQ’s: Archives and Records

Questions Frequently Asked About State Archives

Where can I find. . .

Birth and Death records?

Ok2Explore is a free searchable index of births and deaths that occurred in the state of Oklahoma. Included is limited information on births occurring more than 20 years ago and deaths occurring more than 5 years ago.

Birth Certificates and Death Certificates can be found at the Vital Records Office of the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Marriage records?

Marriage records are maintained by the County Clerk’s Office in the respective county where the marriage was performed.

Census records?

We recommend that you contact the Oklahoma Historical Society for an extensive collection of federal census records on microfilm.

Genealogy Research Records?

The State Archives houses the permanent records of state government. The Research Division of the Oklahoma Historical Society maintains many records, not created by state government, that are useful for genealogical research.

Homestead records?

The State Archives (at the Allen Wright Memorial Library, 200 NE 18th) hold the U.S. District Land Office Homestead Registers, 1889-1908, for Oklahoma Territory.  They include a legal description of tract sold, number of acres, fees paid, name of purchaser, date of purchase, residence, receipt numbers, and patent number (final certificate) and date of issue. (Information needed: legal description—section, township and range—or county location).

Plats and field notes are also available online through the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Land records?

The State Archives contain various types of surveyors’ land records including corner remonumentation records, surveyors’ field notes and plats, and aerial photographs.

Land ownership is a county record. See the County Clerk's office for more information. The original land patents can be obtained from the Bureau of Land Management.

Military records?

For military records contact the National Archives and Records Administration (Military Personnel Records).  You can also search the Oklahoma Historical Society Military Records.

The State Archives hold the Commissioner of Confederate Pensions Applications, 1915-1933.  Go to Digital Prairie to search Oklahoma Confederate Pension Records and Pension Index Cards.

Native American records?

We recommend that you contact the Oklahoma Historical Society for an extensive collection of records related to the Five Civilized Tribes, Dawes Commission and other tribal entities.

Records of State Agencies?

The Oklahoma State Archives contain administrative and historical records of Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of state government, and state agencies.  For more information see Archives Collection Highlights.

Records of Governors?

The State Archives contain official papers of the Governor of Oklahoma from Charles N. Haskell (1907-1911) to Brad Henry (2003-2011 ).  We also house some records from the territorial governors.  For more information see Papers of Oklahoma’s Governors.

State Supreme Court records?

The State Archives (at the Allen Wright Memorial Library) contain records from the Territorial Supreme Court, United States Supreme Court of Appeals for Indian Territory, State Supreme Court Civil and Criminal, and State Court of Criminal Appeals.  (Information needed:  case number from the Supreme Court).

Voting & election records?

Located at the State Archives are State Election Board records, including election returns, minutes, correspondence, candidate filings, poll books, legislative and congressional district maps, expense affidavits, and contested election files.

State constitutional records?

The State Archives house the records of the Oklahoma state constitutional convention, including biographical material, proceedings and debates, and committee reports.

For further questions, location or office hours you may Contact Us.

Questions Frequently Asked About Records Management

 What is a public record?

Public records include documents, books, papers, photographs, computer tapes or disks, electronic mail, video or audio recordings. Public records may include:

  • A document received or created by an agency in connection with the transaction of public business;
  • Information that contains value as evidence of an agency’s functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, mission, programs, projects or activities;
  • Information fulfilling regulatory record keeping requirements; and
  • A document that contains a business action such as: what happened, what was decided, what advice was given, who was involved, when it happened, the order of events and decisions.

Public Records are defined by Oklahoma Statutes at 67 O.S. Sec. 203.

What are the benefits of a records management program?

  • Maintain economy and efficiency;
  • Document action and decisions;
  • Free up office space for other purposes;
  • Allow for quicker retrieval of documents;
  • Save money on time, space, equipment, staff time; and
  • Comply with state and federal laws and regulations.

For further questions, contact Jan Davis.