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Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Collection Development Policy

It is the primary mission of the McFarlin Library’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives to acquire, catalog, and preserve The University of Tulsa’s rare book, manuscript, archival, and artifact collections.

These collections serve to support the research and teaching programs of The University’s students, faculty, and staff, as well as scholars in the local and broader academic communities.

These collections are acquired through purchase and donation.

Traditionally, this department has made acquisitions in a variety of subject foci, some of which overlap. A number of intertwined subject areas can be found in the more than 950 individual collections.

(This policy will be reviewed at least every five years)

General Subject Scope


Relating to the history of The University of Tulsa and Henry Kendall College and its relationship with the external community. This also includes non-active records of a historical value, photographs, scrapbooks, etc.  University memorabilia should be sent to the Heritage Collection.


Performing arts, graphic arts, the book as art, books with fore-edge paintings, etc.


Popular culture, women’s studies, religion, historical foodways, etc.


Specifically relating to 18th through 21st century American history, although individual collections may branch elsewhere.


First editions of the "Western canon," with an emphasis on 19th through 21st century British and American literature.

Native American materials:

Primarily dealing with those tribes and nations in the Oklahoma region.

The West/Oklahomiana/Americana:

History and literature of the American West; history and literature of Oklahoma and the Tulsa region, as well as exploration of the American West.

Specific Subject Areas

These subjects and examples are non-exhaustive.


Cyril Connolly Collection, Edmund Wilson Collection, Walt Whitman, Factory House Library, V.S. Naipaul.

Local Interest:

Arkansas Basin Development Association, Helen Rushmore, Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, Bob McCormack photographic archive and camera collection, Robert and Paula McSpadden Love collection, Woody Guthrie manuscripts, the art of Alexandre Hogue.

Modernist Literature:

James Joyce, Harriet Shaw Weaver, Paul and Lucie Leon, Richard Ellmann, Robert Graves, Siegfried Sassoon, the Sitwells.

Native Americans:

Indians of North America Collection, Vann Family archive, Papers of the Robertson and Worcester families, Nell Stapler Bradshaw, Jesse Bartley (J. B.) Milam, Cherokee and Creek language publications and manuscripts, Euchee archive, William C. Sturtevant Library, John W. Shleppey Collection, Bibles in various Native American languages.

Popular Culture:

R.A. Lafferty, Tage le Cour, K.D. Wentworth, E. Nelson Bridwell, the Powell and Davis libraries of Sherlockiana, dime novels, science fiction writings, historical household manuals and cookbooks.

Petroleum Industry History:

Edgar Fitch Bullard, numerous photographic collections, International Petroleum Exposition, Midwest Refining Company, Frank Galbreath.

Printing and Publication:

History of the book, artist books, publication history items, Andre Deutsch archive, the PEN Archive, the Martin Secker Collection, the Rupert Hart-Davis Collections, incunabula, etc.

Radical Thought:

Peter Howard Proletarian library, Harold Leventhal Proletarian library.


The English Civil War, American Civil War, Great War/First World War, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam Conflict, the Iraq/Afghanistan Wars; the surviving Soper Collection, James Tenney acquisition, Walter Oswald “Toby” Watts photographs, trench maps, trench and prison camp periodicals, Lisle and Grace Billington correspondence, Ben Byrnes collections of World War I materials, Peter Howard collection of Vietnam Literature, Bruce McAllister papers.

Women’s Studies:

19th century women’s literature collection, Stevie Smith, Anna Kavan, E. Nesbit, Jean Rhys, Rebecca West.