I love doing research – executing internet searches, combing through articles, sifting through books at the library. On rare occasions, I’ve even had the opportunity to leaf through vertical files. (For those of you who don’t know, in the days before Wikipedia, some libraries kept files of clippings, photos and other documents of interest arranged by subject. Sadly, vertical files seem to be on the endangered species list these days.)
Forward thinking libraries are beginning to digitize vertical files and periodical collections, making them accessible not only to their local patrons, but everyone with internet access. One of these amazing projects is happening at the Oklahoma State University library.
In the course of doing research for a non-fiction project I’m working on for the day job, I came across this lovely gem: Oklahoma Today magazine from the summer of 1960.
The feature article ending on page 12 had the historic profile I needed. When I scrolled to the next page, the fascinating images made me wonder if a steampunk universe had collided with the Oklahoma of half a century ago.
Even more exciting than the elaborate metalwork was the description of what was being stored inside the decorative vault at the University of Oklahoma library: works by Copernicus, Galileo and Euclid.
So, that was 1960 – what about today? I was thrilled to discover that OU has, in fact, digitized much of the collection. They even have a blog highlighting the cool stuff in the collection and a Pinterest board with lots of cool images.
This video even made me wish I could go be an undergrad at OU.