Oklahoma Endangered Artifacts Campaign

Nomination Period Now Closed for 2014. Deadline to submit was April 1, 2014.
2014 Endangered Artifacts will be announced on May 1 at the Oklahoma State Capitol, Blue Room, at 10:00am

Organizations with items accepted into the program are expected to have a representative present on May 1 to accept the Good Stewardship Award. More information and schedule

Organizations with artifacts accepted into the Endangered Artifacts program receive over $1,000 in benefits, including complimentary registration to eight full-day workshops, registration to the Oklahoma Museums Association conference in Idabel, OK, two nights lodging in Idabel, and marketing materials. Organizations also are recognized at the Oklahoma State Capitol on May Day.


In 2013, organizations from across the state nominated their most endangered works, from which 25 finalists were selected by a team of historians and collections care experts. The 25 nominees were announced on May 1 at a May Day Call to Action event at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Organizations were presented with "Good Stewardship Awards" by Governor Mary Fallin and their Representatives. Public voting then commenced to determine which artifact would receive the "People's Choice" designation. At the conclusion of the voting period, the artifact with the most votes was celebrated as one of Oklahoma's Top Ten Most Endangered Artifacts along with nine others that were selected by a panel of historians, conservators and experts.

In 2014, public voting will not take place. From the submitted nominations, a committee of historians and collection care expert will select the artifacts to be included in the 2014 campaign..

Oklahoma's Top Ten Most Endangered Artifacts for 2013 were:

• Möller Master Organ Player Rolls, Circa 1920 from the American Organ Institute Archives and Library at University of Oklahoma
• George W. Long Glass Plate and Nitrate Negatives, Circa 1910-1940 from the Museum of the Western Prairie
• Oklahoma Land Run Registers, Circa 1889-1895 from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries and Archives
• Pawnee Bill’s Calliope, Circa 1910 from the Pawnee Bill Ranch and Museum
• Cheyenne War Bonnet, Circa 1872 from the Philbrook Museum of Art
• Oklahoma State Flag, Circa 1925 from the Pioneer Woman Museum
• Spiro Lace, Circa 1400 AD from the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History
• Payne County, Oklahoma Territory Agricultural Census Volumes, Circa 1898-1906 from the Stillwater Public Library
• Will Rogers Polo Suit, Circa 1933-1935 from the Will Rogers Memorial Museum
• U.S. Army Pigeon Basket, Circa 1944 from The American Pigeon Museum and Library, which was the People’s Choice winner

The top 25 finalists include the Cherokee National Historical Society, Cherokee Strip Museum Association, Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center, Drumright Historical Society Museum, Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, Newkirk Community Historical Society, Oklahoma Christian University Special Collections, Oklahoma City Zoo ZooZeum, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma Railway Museum, Oklahoma Territorial Museum, Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium, Washington Irving Trail Museum and the Western Plains Weatherford Genealogical Society & Western Oklahoma Historical Center Inc.

About the Top Ten Most Endangered Artifact Program...

Oklahoma-based libraries, museums, and collecting institutions could nominate one item from their collection that they consider to be "at risk" and that they believe would engage the public’s attention. Twenty five organizations were accepted into the program. Public voting for the "People's Choice" winner ended on June 1. Votes are being tallied and the one item receiving the most votes will receive the “People’s Choice Award.” The other nine items will be selected by a panel of historians, conservators, and other experts who will take into consideration the importance of the item to Oklahoma. This method is used to ensure a level playing field for smaller, rural organizations.

The Top Ten Artifacts, as determined by the public and the experts, received the designation of a “Most Endangered Artifact” and efforts will be made to provide for their care.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who was eligible to submit a nomination?
Oklahoma collecting organizations are eligible to submit nominations. Items with particular significance to the State of Oklahoma will be given preference.

How was the term artifact defined?
An artifact is defined as an artistic or historic item (or related group of items) and may include a wide variety of items, including documents, photographs, recordings, artwork, and 3 dimensional items. Buildings and structures are not included.

If we have questions who will we contact?
Please contact us at SavingOklahomaTreasures@gmail.com and we are more than happy to help with your questions.