Oklahoma Conservation Historical Society

The Oklahoma Conservation Historical Society (OCHS) was organized and became a functioning organization in 2018. Partnerships were formalized with the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts (OACD), the Oklahoma Historical Society, the Oklahoma State University Oral History Research Program and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

The mission of the Society shall be to collect, preserve, and share Oklahoma’s rich conservation history with Oklahomans.

OCHS partnered with the Oklahoma History Society to collect and digitize historic black and white photos related to Oklahoma’s conservation programs. The first group of approximately 12,000 photos were collected from the NRCS State Office in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The photos were taken from 1930 to 1975. Most of the photos were well documented with the following metadata on the back of each photo:

  • Date, time, and weather at the time photograph was taken
  • Location of photograph
  • Photographer’s name
  • Identification of people in the photograph
  • Description of what is in the photograph
  • Unique identification number of the photograph

The photos document Oklahoma’s rich conservation history, not only for Oklahoma, but for the nation. Many “conservation first” occurred in Oklahoma. The photos capture impacts of the dust bowl, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), devastating flooding, and the emergence of conservation programs initiated by local conservation districts and USDA Soil Conservation Service (SCS), now named the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). There are many photos of conservation practices and flood control dams that were being built in the 1950’s and 60’s. Many leaders of the conservation efforts are shown in many of the photos.

Additional photographs are being collected from conservation districts in Oklahoma. In 2020, an additional 15,000 photographs are planned to be collected, digitized, and entered onto the Gateway website.


Ben Pollard


At a Glance

Cite This Partner

Here is our suggested citation. Consult an appropriate style guide for conformance to specific guidelines.

Oklahoma Conservation Historical Society, partner contributing to The Gateway to Oklahoma History. University of North Texas Libraries. https://gateway.okhistory.org/explore/partners/OKCHS/ accessed April 8, 2020.

Explore Holdings

Start browsing this partner's items in one of the following ways: