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NEH Awards OSU Library nearly $70,000

Thursday, September 17, 2020

The Oklahoma State University Library was recently awarded $69,820 by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The grant was part of $40.3 million in new CARES Act economic stabilization grants to support essential operations at more than 300 cultural institutions across the country.

NEH received more than 2,300 eligible applications from cultural organizations; approximately 14% were funded. This grant supports the continued employment of Kurt Anderson, a faculty member working on the OSU Library’s Angie Debo Collection, a humanities research project for the public. Dr. Debo was a highly regarded scholar of Native American history who bequeathed her papers, books and literary rights to OSU in 1988.

Mary Larson, Associate Dean of Special Collections, is director of the project, titled “Supporting Diversity and Inclusivity Through Library Humanities Initiatives.”

“We have so much content on Debo,” Larson said. “It’s a rich collection that will resonate with a wide variety of people: researchers, the Sovereign Nations of Oklahoma, and individuals with connections to Angie or her hometown of Marshall.”

The Angie Debo Collection consists of manuscripts of publications and presentations by Debo and related legal papers, images, memorabilia, correspondence, notes and diaries. While all of Debo’s papers and photographs have been digitized, a large portion are handwritten so are not easily searchable.

When COVID-19 forced Library employees to work from home, dozens of part-time and full-time staff transcribed Debo’s diaries as well as research notes for her most well-known book, “And Still the Waters Run.” This work created a word searchable accompaniment to original handwritten documents.

“The transcripts are a valuable addition to the collection, but the grant will allow us to take this project much further,” Larson said. “With this funding we are building a website that will bring together the varied material in the collection. There are a number of primary sources as well as contextualizing secondary content.”

For more information on the Debo Collection or to make an appointment to view material in person, contact the OSU Library Archives at 405-744-6311 or Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this web resource do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities: Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at

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RELEASE CONTACT:  Bonnie Ann Cain-Wood | OSU Library | 405-744-7331 |

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