The Angie Debo Collection, housed in the Archives of the Oklahoma State University Library, consists of research material, including manuscripts of publications and presentations by Debo and related legal papers, correspondence, notes, etc. Unpublished manuscripts include some by Debo as well as Grant Foreman's The American Indian and the Law and World War II correspondence. It also contains personal and business correspondence, and memorabilia, diaries, articles, newspaper clippings, awards, books, maps and photographs dealing with Debo's writings and personal life. In addition there is some furniture from her home.

There are two ways to access the finding aid for the collection. For a browsable version, click here. For a word-searchable version, click here.

The Angie Debo Papers were microfilmed for preservation purposes, and the microfilm was later digitized. Funds for the original filming were provided by a generous gift from an Oklahoma donor who wishes to remain anonymous. Filming was done in 1996 by Preservation Resources in Bethlehem, PA. If you are interested in accessing the Debo papers, please contact


Dr. Debo working in the Oklahoma State University Library Map Room, 1950

Processing Notes


While packing, Archives staff made a special effort to maintain Debo's papers in the order in which she had kept them. During subsequent reviews, staff determined that Debo had placed some folders and papers where they were in the files rather than elsewhere because of lack of space or for convenience. While some reorganization was necessary to improve researchers' access to the material, staff made an effort to maintain Debo's file folder headings, adding clarifying notes as needed, as well as the order in which she placed material in the folders.

Debo kept distinct files of material related to each book she wrote or edited. Library staff separated these and files concerning her other publications and public presentations as sub-units. The remaining files were in more than one alphabet and there were several groups of material, since not all had been in file drawers. Staff then sorted out those files which were "Personal" and contained information about Debo's family or herself, including correspondence which she had kept separate from that to which she had assigned headings and placed in the filing cabinets. After this step was completed, the remaining files dealt with subjects and were basically in two alphabets; one contained more general topics and the other more material related to Native Americans. The decision was made to separate out as much of the material on Native Americans as possible and make it a subseries separate from the general subjects.

Correspondence is throughout the files. Most general personal correspondence is in the "Personal" files, while that which is more topical is in the subject files or those related to her publications.


Personnel involved in processing the collection include: Heather Lloyd, department head and director; David Moore, graduate assistant and processor; Eric Leuschner, staff assistant and database manager; Susan Walker, assistant librarian and photographs processor; and Milan Vajda, graduate assistant and microfilm monitor. Several students also assisted in the project.


Preservation Measures

Newspaper articles have been replaced with photocopies that are on acid-free paper. Entire issues or pages of newspapers have, for the most part, been retained in the original newsprint.

Oversized maps in the files have been relocated, with references to and from the original location.

Folded sheets of acid-free paper are used to replace the paper clips and staples with which Debo kept related material together.

Photographs among Debo's papers have been replaced with a photocopy on acid-free paper and the originals have been relocated to the "Photographs" series which is in boxes 63-65 and is described on p. xvi. Each photocopy and original has a note of the original location (beginning with a 'b') and an indication of the final location (beginning with a 'B'). The letters 'b' and 'B' indicate the box, and 'f' the folder.

Oversized items and realia have been separated from the other material. Notes of the presence of such items are incorporated into the inventory with other file folders in the same series. Separation sheets indicate the final location of oversized pieces that Debo kept in folders with related material.

Many of Debo's research notes for her books are on newsprint that is very brittle. These and most of her other papers have been microfilmed in order to preserve them as well as to make the information on the fragile paper available to researchers. The original files on embrittled newsprint are not available for research except when researchers need to clarify points that might arise during their use of the preservation microfilm.

Preservation Microfilming and Later Digitization

Funds to microfilm of the Angie Debo Papers for preservation purposes were provided by a generous gift from Mrs. Edith Gaylord Harper. Filming was done in 1996 by Preservation Resources in Bethlehem, PA.

Some items in the collection are not on the microfilm. Material not filmed is indicated on the finding aid and the folder targets or in a descriptive note in the folder itself. After filming, all material from the folders that was not filmed was returned to its original location in the collection. The decision not to film was based on several factors, including the availability of the material in paper or on microfilm as well as the potential use items might have for researchers studying Angie Debo and the topics which occupied her attention.

In 2017, more than 20 years after the microfilming project was completed, the films were used as the basis for digitizing the material in an additional preservation format that could also provide greater accessibility. The Crowley Company performed the work for that project, and it was ultimately that digitization of the collection that made the larger diary and research note transcription project possible during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. (See Life: Diaries for more details.)


Copyright Notice

Researchers are responsible for obtaining all permissions regarding copyright and intellectual property rights related to any material they might copy or might prepare for publication or other dissemination, regardless of format.

Angie Debo bequeathed all of her intellectual property rights to Oklahoma State University. Written permission from Oklahoma State University is required for publication or other reproduction or adaptation of her material.

For all material not created by Debo, the rights are held by the creators of the material, regardless of format (e.g. photographs, publications, manuscripts, maps, correspondence).