*By Nicole Harvey Director of Strategic Initiatives, Oklahoma Historical SocietyDirector of Strategic Initiatives, Oklahoma Historical Society 3/17/2022

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS) is proud to announce that Delaware Nation has been awarded a grant though the Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program.

“Congratulations to Delaware Nation on receiving grant funds to digitize a portion of its historic documents,” said Sen. Darcy Jech, Kingfisher. “Preserving these records through digitization ensures that important history is saved and eventually shared with the public to gain a better understanding of our past.”

Delaware Nation has been awarded $20,000 for a project titled “Delaware Nation’s Collections Digitization Project,” which will allow Delaware Nation to obtain and use the tools necessary to digitize the documents that comprise a large portion of its collection. These documents range in size from a few square inches up to very large maps. Many are quite old and in urgent need of digitization to ensure their survival. Once digitized, the maps in the collection will serve as the basis for a GIS-enhanced project to map the history and movements of the Lenape people throughout their history.

“Delaware Nation’s physical archive collection includes hundreds of documents and objects/artifacts, as well as thousands of recordings that need to be digitally archived,” said Erin Paden, director of historic preservation for Delaware Nation. “This collection is available to view by appointment only due to COVID-19 restrictions at our tribal headquarters complex in Anadarko. Without a digitized collection, access is only possible in person through the Delaware Nation Library. The Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant will allow Delaware Nation to continue making efforts toward the availability of these digital archives so that in-person access is not the only option.”

The total amount of funds that will be distributed this year is just over $558,000, with projects ranging from collections care and strategic planning to exhibit development and educational programming. “Entering our third year of the Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program, the OHS is thrilled with the program’s success,” said Nicole Harvey, director of strategic initiatives and grants administrator for the OHS. “To date, the program has funded over 120 projects that are aiding with collecting, preserving and sharing Oklahoma history for local communities across the state.”

The Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program is a grants-in-aid program offered by the Oklahoma Historical Society with a goal of encouraging the collection, preservation and sharing of Oklahoma history at the grassroots level in all parts of the state. Open to tribal and municipal governments and not-for-profit historical organizations located in Oklahoma and registered with the Oklahoma secretary of state, this grants program offers funding ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 for projects focused on collections, exhibits and programming. Applications for this annual program open in the fall and award announcements are made in January. For more information visit www.okhistory.org/grants.

The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.