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Library Guide for Searching the "Chronicles of Oklahoma"

This tutorial will describe the Chronicles of Oklahoma publication, discuss the contents and use of three primary Chronicles of Oklahoma indexes, and present information on how to locate the full text of the journal both online and in paper.


The Chronicles of Oklahoma, which is published quarterly, is the scholarly, historical journal of the Oklahoma Historical Society. First issued in 1921, the Chronicles of Oklahoma publishes articles on a wide range of subjects related to Oklahoma history. This includes topics such as prehistory, Indians, early settlement and the twentieth century. The Chronicles of Oklahoma also includes scholarly reviews of books pertaining to Oklahoma, Indian and western history.

The NSU Library in Tahlequah owns paper copies of the Chronicles of Oklahoma in three locations, including Special Collections, the second floor periodicals collection, and the first floor reference collection. The NSU Library in Broken Arrow also owns this title. In addition to the paper subscriptions, the NSU Library web site provides a link to the Chronicles of Oklahoma database (see the link below).

The articles and book reviews found in the Chronicles of Oklahoma are indexed by a number of other online and print indexes, including America: History & Life and the Society's print indexes. The NSU Library system owns the following paper indexes:

  • Print indexes for 1921-1999 are available in Special Collections and Reference (Tahlequah)
  • Print indexes for 1921-1959, 1980-1999 are available in the Periodicals Collection (Tahlequah)
  • Print indexes for 1921-1979 are available at the Broken Arrow campus library


Contents and Use of the Indexes

The Chronicles of Oklahoma print indexes include alphabetical name and subject listings of the articles and book reviews found in the publication. Each volume in the print index series covers certain years of the journal, and can be extremely useful for browsing topics. While the paper indexes can be especially useful for browsing, an online index to the Chronicles of Oklahoma can be effectively used to run comprehensive subject and keyword searches.

As stated above, the NSU Library provides access to two online databases which index the Chronicles of Oklahoma (see the link above). This includes America: History & Life and the Society's online index. America: History & Life (see the link below), which is discussed in more detail in a separate tutorial, is an extremely useful tool for finding articles and book reviews published in the Chronicles of Oklahoma since 1963. On the other hand, the Oklahoma Historical Society and the Oklahoma State University Library Electronic Publishing Center offer multiple issues of The Chronicles of Oklahoma online in a full-text, searchable database.  

Volumes 1 to 40 (1921–62) of The Chronicles, many of which are out of print and no longer available in print form, are available online along with the tables of contents for volumes 21–present. This project will benefit the students of Oklahoma history who need access to those early and missing issues. Eventually, the project will include digitizing additional volumes of The Chronicles of Oklahoma.

Searching the Society's Online Database

As previously noted, a separate tutorial provides information on how to search the Chronicles of Oklahoma in America: History & Life. Therefore, this section will focus on how to use the Oklahoma Historical Society's Chronicles of Oklahoma database.

Online Index Search ScreenType the term or phrase into the search box (top right-hand portion of the screen), and press enter. When using the Society's online index (part of the OSU Digital Collections) it is important to keep in mind that the database not only will search for the term or keyword in the article titles of all 80 volumes, it also will search for the word or term in the full text of the first 20 volumes. As a result, when searching a common term, such as the word Oklahoma, it is highly likely that most of the items retrieved will be from the text of the articles appearing in the first 20 volumes. On the other hand, knowing that this index searches the full text of the first 20 volumes can be quite useful when researching unique terms in these early issues, such as personal names. When searching phrases, remember to place quotation marks around the phrase being searched.

Locating Articles Which Are Not Available Online

As described above, the first 20 volumes of the Chronicles of Oklahoma are available in full text on the Society's database. To read articles published from volume 21-present (or 1943-present), it may be necessary to visit a library which owns a paper copy of the item. Below is a partial listing of regional library holdings for this title in paper:

  • NSU Library - Tahlequah Campus (F 691 .C55)
    • Special Collections (second floor), 1921-present
    • Periodicals Collections (second floor), nearly complete set from 1921-present
    • Reference Collection (first floor), nearly complete set from 1921-one year ago
  • NSU Library -Broken Arrow Campus (F 691 .C55)
    • 2001-present
  • Tulsa City-County Library
    • Central Library, 1950-present (Oklahoma Collection, 4th Floor
    • Genealogy Library, 1921-2004 (some on microfilm)
    • Some issues are available at the Hardesty, Martin, Pratt, and Rudisill branches
  • Muskogee Public Library (Grant Foreman Room)
    • 1921-present

Contact the Subject Librarian for the Department of History: SophiaBeverley Threatt (