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Oklahoma State University

OSU Library Receives Grant to Digitize Flying Farmers Footage

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Four "flying farmers" examine a small plane

The National Film Preservation Foundation awarded the Oklahoma State University Library a $20,000 grant to digitize and preserve 1940s footage of the second annual convention of the National Flying Farmers as well as Farm and Home Week conferences held on OAMC’s campus. The collection, which includes newsreel-style footage, is now available online at library.okstate.edu/flying-farmers

The original films were in a nitrate format, which is highly unstable. The OSU Library converted the material to a digital format for both preservation and safety purposes. Patrice-Andre “Max” Prud’homme, OSU Director of Digital Curation, oversees the project.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to make these historic nitrate films available to the public and to celebrate a time capsule of sorts,” Prud’homme said. “These films represent a significant time in the history of the United States, where pioneering ideas and aviation led to a huge transformation in the agricultural industry.”

In 1944, with strong support from President Henry G. Bennett, the Oklahoma Flying Farmers organization was born on the OAMC campus as an association for farmers, both men and women, who owned and operated aircraft as part of their farming operations. The National Flying Farmers Association grew out of the Oklahoma Flying Farmers.

The Oklahoma Flying Farmers held its first convention at OAMC in 1945, with more than 2,000 farmers attending. The first National Flying Farmers Association convention was held on the campus the following year. Also depicted in the collection’s films are the Farm and Home Week events, which were held at OAMC in 1947 and 1949.

A federally supported preservation grant program, the NFPF is the nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress to help save America's film heritage. They support activities nationwide that preserve American films and improve film access for study, education and exhibition. For a complete list of projects supported by the NFPF, visit the NFPF website: www.filmpreservation.org.

MEDIA CONTACTBonnie Cain-Wood | OSU Library | 405-744-7331 | lib-pub@okstate.edu

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