The Western Frontier is the theme of the 2015 University of Oklahoma Teach-In, scheduled for Monday, March 9, in Catlett Music Center and other campus locations.
For information on resources available at OU Libraries relating to the themes of the event, see the online guide Teach-In 2015: The Western Frontier.
View the display entitled The Birth and Founding of the First and Foremost National Park: Yellowstone National Park, on the 4th floor of Bizzell Library, outside of the Government Documents Collection.
OU’s Special Collections and the History of the American West
The University of Oklahoma is the home of the Western History Collections, a special collection with the following mission: “Its purpose is to enhance the University Libraries general collection on the history of the American West; to support the research and teaching programs of the University of Oklahoma; and to provide opportunities for research through the acquisition, preservation, and access of materials relating to the development of the Trans-Mississippi West and Native American cultures.”
Beyond Western History, there are several other special collections on the University of Oklahoma campus that have materials relevant to the study of American history and history of the American West. The rich and substantial holdings of the Western History Collections are supplemented by materials from Bass Business History, Bizzell Bible, History of Science, and the John and Mary Nichols Collection. Books and archival materials within these collections support a wide range of studies in 19th-century culture and American history — science, technology, industry, commerce, religion, history, philosophy, politics, and literature.
History of Science Collections: Science, Technology, the Environment & Medicine in the American West
The History of Science Collections has a variety of primary source materials for the study of science in the 19th century: scientific journals, encyclopedias of the arts and sciences, expedition and travel accounts, treatises in botany, geography, geology, medicine, and natural history. The following images offer a a glimpse into these materials:
John Coulter, Text-book of western botany, consisting of Coulter’s Manual of the botany of the Rocky mountains, to which is prefixed Gray’s lessons in botany. For the use of schools and colleges between the Mississippi river and the Rocky mountains (1865 N.Y.)
James T. Lloyd, Lloyd’s steamboat directory, and disasters on the western waters (1856, Cincinnati)
Jules Marcou, Geology of North America (Zurich, 1858)
Howard Stansbury, An expedition to the valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah: including a description of its geography, natural history and minerals, and an analysis of its waters (1852, Philadelphia)
Othniel Charles Marsh, The dinosaurs of North America (Washington, 1896)
Resources in the History of Science, Technology, Environment, and Medicine
In addition to rare books and primary source materials, the History of Science Collections has significant holdings in non-rare materials: modern scholarly works, critical editions and facsimiles, introductory texts, and reference books.
The following is a select list of works relevant to the study of science, technology, the environment and medicine in the American West:
- Julie K. Brown, Health and Medicine on Display: International Expositions in the United States, 1876-1904 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009)
- Enlightenment Science in the Pacific Northwest: The Lewis and Clark Expedition (Portland: Lewis & Clark College, 1984)
- Kevin Hillstrom. U.S. Environmental Policy and Politics: A Documentary History (Washington: CQ Press, 2010)
- Mark Jaffe, The Gilded Dinosaur: The Fossil War between E.E. Cope and O.C. Marsh and the Rise of American Science (New York: Crown, 2000)
- David N. Livingstone & Charles W. J. Withers, eds. Geographies of Nineteenth-Century Science (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011)
- Barbara R. Stein, On Her Own Terms: Annie Montague Alexander and the Rise of Science in the American West (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001
- Keith Stewart Thomson, A Passion for Nature: Thomas Jefferson and Natural History (Charlottesville: Thomas Jefferson Foundation, 2008)
For more information on books and materials in the history of science, technology and medicine in the collection, see the Guide to Resources in History of Science, Technology and Medicine.
Visiting the History of Science Collections
While tours and class visits are not possible as we undergo renovation on the 5th floor of Bizzell Library in preparation for the Galileo’s World Exhibit (scheduled for the 2015-16 academic year), researchers continue to have individual access to our books and materials. Please contact the staff for assistance (405) 325-2741.
For a glimpse into the books in the 5th floor collections, see these guides to past exhibits: Crossing Cultures, Civil War Teach-In, Constitution Day.
See the Collections blog for more information on resources, activities, and events relating to OU’s 5th floor special collection libraries. Or contact us: