Searching The Gateway to Oklahoma History

The Gateway to Oklahoma History, an Oklahoma Historical Society project, is the largest repository of Oklahoma newspapers online. The database covers hundreds of thousands of newspaper pages dating from the 1840s to the 1920s.

Basic Search

The below image shows the Basic Search screen. Basic search options are limited to searching the full text, metadata, title, subject or creator of a page:

Advanced Search

Advanced searching can be performed by clicking on the Advanced Search tab:

Below is an Advanced Search example looking for articles on Oklahoma in the Pauls Valley Democrat:

Below are the first three newspaper issues of the search results. Notice that the search results are for the Pauls Valley Sentinel, even though the search was for articles in the Pauls Valley Democrat. As can happen in the history of a newspaper, the Pauls Valley Sentinel, which ran from 1904-1906, was replaced by the Pauls Valley Democrat in September 1906:

Below is the initial display of the first page of the top article from Pauls Valley Sentinel, June 21, 1906:

The "Zooom" feature can be used to enlarge the newspaper page. Search terms are highlighted in yellow:

General Tips for Using The Gateway to Oklahoma

1. A link to the page containing a Glossary of terms and descriptions of the Navigational icons can be found by clicking on the Help link in the upper right corner of the page, or by clicking on the following link: Glossary.

2. Upper case letters are ignored. For example: Oklahoma versus oklahoma are treated the same.

3. Searched terms may not necessarily appear in yellow highlight on the first search results page. You may need to scroll through several pages of the newspaper issue before seeing a highlighted search term.

4. Use historically pertinent terms and phrases rather than modern words used today. For example, consider using Great War instead of World War I or World War One for articles dealing with the First World War prior to 1939, or you might want to use the word suffrage instead of voting rights for articles dealing with voting rights in the early 20th century. Familiarizing yourself with the terminology of the period that you are researching can be very helpful. The John Vaughan Library reference collection contains a number of useful publications for this purpose. Below are some examples of dictionaries that can help identify period and regional terminology:

Dictionary of American Regional English / 6 vols. (Ref. PE 2843 .D52)
Dictionary of the American West (Ref. PE 2970 .W4B5)
Happy Trails: A Dictionary of Western Expressions (Ref. PE 2970 .W4H46)
The Language of the Mormon Pioneers (Ref. PE 2970 .W4G58)
Western Words: A Dictionary of the American West ((Ref. PE 2970 .W4A3)
Whistlin' Dixie: A Dictionary of Southern Expressions (Ref. PE 2926 .H46)

Video Tutorial

The following video tutorial provides detailed infomration on how to use the advanced search features, including searching by location and tips on viewing the search results: The Gateway to Oklahoma History video tutorial.

Page maintained by: Sophia
Last Updated: 05/25/2017