Top Ten Artifacts Campaign

In 2014, organizations from across the state nominated artifacts for recognition in the Top Ten Artifacts program. From the submitted nominations, a committee selected the artifacts to be included in the 2014 campaign. Organizations with artifacts accepted into the program were recognized on May 1 at the Oklahoma State Capitol during a May Day event. During the event, each organization was presented with a "Cultural Heritage Stewardship Award" and will 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.

2014 Top Ten Artifacts: Saving Oklahoma's Heritage

• Stone Fireplace from Ataloa Lodge Museum at Bacone College, Muskogee
• Frank Griggs Cellulose Nitrate and Acetate Negatives, circa 1938-1950 from Bartlesville Area History Museum, Bartlesville
• Photograph of Ned Christie and Jim Christie, circa 1885 from Cherokee National Historical Society, Tahlequah
• The Dr. Orange Starr Collection, circa 1915 from Drumright Historical Society Museum, Drumright
• Votaw Military Uniform Collection from Hughes County Historical Society and Museum, Holdenville
• 16mm Film Reel of Senator Robert S. Kerr, circa 1954 from Julian P. Kanter Political Commercial Archive, Norman
• Oklahoma Colored Agricultural & Normal University Teaching Certificates Book, circa early-1900s from Melvin B. Tolson Black Heritage Center, Langston
• Porter Steam Engine #7466, circa 1942 from Oklahoma Railway Museum, Oklahoma City
• Spiro Pottery Illustration, circa 1940 from Sam Noble Museum, Norman
• Woodring Wall of Honor, circa 2000 from Woodring Wall of Honor, Enid


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.

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.

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 and we are more than happy to help with your questions.