Oklahoma Certified Corner Monuments
Since 1978, the State Archives has been home to corner monument records filed by surveyors from across Oklahoma. Currently, over 230,000 corner records are on file.
The corner monument records do not include personal property surveys. Land ownership is a county record. See the County Clerk’s office for more information.
Original survey plats and field notes are available online through the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management’s Federal Land Records Site.
Filing New Corner Records
Registered surveyors are required to file methods and reference measurements used in establishing section corners throughout the state. For more information, visit the Oklahoma State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors’ website to find:
- Certified Corner Record Instruction Manual
- Certified Corner Record Form (PDF)
- Certified Corner Record Form (CAD)
- Corner Perpetuation and Filing Act
- Minimum Standards for Land Surveying
To file a new corner record, mail a completed Oklahoma Certified Corner Form to:
Archivist, Archives & Records Division
Oklahoma Department of Libraries
200 Northeast 18th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Corner records will not be accepted if they do not conform to the following rules:
- Typed or written in black ink (photocopies are not acceptable)
- Include original signature and seal
- Printed on legal-size paper (8 ½” x 14”)
- Paper cannot be folded (and with no creases from previous folding)
- Include payment of $5.00 per record for the filing fee
For additional information, please contact the Corner Monuments Records Office.
Requesting Copies of Corner Records
Please use the Corner Monument Order Form to request copies of previously filed corner monument records.
The State Archives can fax or mail copies of corner records.
To request copies in person, visit the State Archives on the third floor of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries building:
Allen Wright Memorial Library
200 Northeast 18th Street
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
Copies of corner records are $0.25 per page. An additional $1 fee will be charged for each request that is faxed.
Service hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Digital copies are available through HubTack, an online subscription-based service that provides access to all of the corner records housed at the State Archives.
Surveyors' Field Notes
In 1871, the internal format of Oklahoma, then the Indian Territory, began to take shape. Based on Thomas Jefferson's standard United States public land survey system of townships, ranges, sections and quarter sections, an Initial Point was selected and a grid work of north-south and east-west lines was established.
From this "bearing point," situated one mile south of Fort Arbuckle and eight miles west of present day Davis, the entire Indian Territory was surveyed.
The field notes kept by these surveyors are on deposit in the state's Archives and consist of 235 volumes and nearly 8,000 microfiche.
These field notes offer detailed descriptions of vegetation, bodies of water, soil types, and markers established during survey operations. From these notes, cartographers were able to construct a plat for each township surveyed. There are approximately 2,000 plats on file.
These visual reproductions of surveying data show government lots, topographical details, railroad routes, trails, Indian and military reservations and some existing buildings.
Plats and field notes are also available online through the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
Land Records Service
Unlike most surveyed states, Oklahoma did not have a Surveyor General appointed by the federal government. Therefore no central depository was established for its original land survey records.
Rather, the Commissioner of the General Land Office in Washington, D. C. directly administered original surveys and awarded contracts to deputy surveyors who performed actual surveying operations.
By 1907, most surveying was completed and the original records transferred to Washington. Copies of many of the field notes and township plats were subsequently deposited with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and with the State Library. Thus, Oklahoma was left without a complete set of survey records in a central location.
After years of effort by public officials and land surveyors in the state, United States Senators Henry Bellmon and Dewey Bartlett succeeded in adding a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Interior’s 1977-1978 budget to provide Oklahoma with copies of all original survey records. Governor David L. Boren designated the State Archives as the official repository for these survey materials.
At a meeting between Bureau of Land Management officials, the Governor’s staff, Department of Libraries' personnel and members of the Oklahoma Society of Land Surveyors, decisions were made for reproduction and transfer of the records, which was accomplished in August, 1978.