The Helmerich Center for American Research

The Helmerich Center for American Research at Gilcrease Museum

Through innovative research, institutional collaborations, publications, educational programming, digital services, visiting scholars programs, and research fellowships, the Helmerich Center for American Research is dedicated to enhance our understanding of human society and culture.

The Helmerich Center for American Research at Gilcrease Museum houses the Gilcrease Library and Archive containing more than 100,000 rare books, documents, maps and unpublished works. The collection includes a vast archive of printed documents, dating back to the time of Columbus, that detail the Spanish arrival in the Americas, as well as the New England colonies, Westward expansion and the experiences of America’s native peoples.

As an institute for collections-based research, the center supports and creates opportunities for research and scholarship in the humanities. Visiting faculty, students, and scholars from around the world visit the 25,000 square-foot-facility to conduct research on the museum’s archival material.

The Helmerich Center for American Research is supported by the generosity of individual donors, grants from public and private institutes, and corporate philanthropy.

Using the Library

The Helmerich Center for American Research welcomes all researchers. Some of our collection is available digitally, but we invite you to experience our Reading Room first-hand.

We encourage visitors to become familiar with our policies regarding use of the collection. Please do not hesitate to contact the librarian should questions arise.

Resources for Researchers

Collections Online

Finding Aids

Collection Level Descriptions

Manuscript Collections

The Bob Dylan Archive

Visiting Scholars Program

The Helmerich Center for American Research in conjunction with Gilcrease Museum and the University of Tulsa offer a Visiting Scholar Program, funded through a generous grant from the Helmerich Foundation and supported by the University of Tulsa. The program is designed to encourage research and writing based on the collections of the Gilcrease Museum and the Special Collections of the McFarlin Library at the University of Tulsa. The Visiting Scholar Program provides academic researchers in relevant fields from throughout the world with the opportunity to use the museum and library collections on-site. Scholars who receive awards will be asked to present at least one public lecture based on their research and submit a paper based on their research for a future publication.

For more information contact Natalie Panther, Ph.D., Assistant Director of the Helmerich Center,


Twice a year, the Helmerich Center hosts symposia on topics relevant to the Gilcrease collections. The inaugural symposium held in March 2015 titled The Gilcrease Archives: Unlocking the History of the Americas, marked the academic opening of the Helmerich Center. Most notably from that symposium, Dr. Fenella France, chief of Preservation Research and Testing Division, Library of Congress, disclosed in her findings that Silas Deane penned Gilcrease Museum’s handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence.

Past and future symposia: