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Archives & Special Collections

Photograph Collections

The Photograph Collections include over 20,000 images of the University, Edmond and Oklahoma, represented in the images are Oklahoma and Native American People, buildings, scenes of Oklahoma settlement and other events. Described below are some of the major series in the Photograph Collection.

Other donor collections include 120 private collections containing images of UCO and Oklahoma. Our various post card collections include images of Oklahoma, Europe, and WWI.

Jim ArgoJim Argo Collection
The collection currently contains just over 2400 photos. The images in the collection represent present day Oklahoma with such themes as landmarks, skylines, festivals, museums, recreation, rodeos and cowboys. The photos date from the 1960s through the 2000s.
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Jim Argo was Kansas born and Texas reared. His photojournalism career began in 1960 while a student at Texas Tech University. He worked for two Texas newspapers before coming to the The Daily Oklahoman and Oklahoma City Times in 1963. He developed a passion for photographing his adopted state, winning numerous awards for photography and writing.

Argo co-authored two books on Oklahoma for the Oklahoma Historical Society and was a major photographic contributor to 12 others. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame in 1997.

Argo retired as The Oklahoman photo editor in 2003. He has done three books on Oklahoma since retirement, Images of History, Oklahoma Impressions, and Oklahoma City Impressions.

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Sidney BraySidney Bray Collection
This collection represents the efforts put forth by the people of Oklahoma to support WWII and documents every phase of the War Bond sales.
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This collection is comprised of the School Drive Scrapbooks, prepared from 1942-1943 by 253 individual Oklahoma schools both private and parochial. Images in the scrapbooks include school buildings, students, towns, and cities where schools are located.

Schools at War Scrapbooks
World War II on the Home Front lesson plans

                Frances Bryan            The Frances Bryan Collection
Contains over 500 images that focus mainly on architecture from 1966 to the present. Most of the images document Edmond, Oklahoma but also included are town photos of Guthrie, El Reno, Yukon, OKC, Locust Grove and Chandler.
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After graduation from Southeast High School in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1953, Bryan received a one-year scholarship to study at the Kansas City Art Institute, courtesy of the Kansas City Advertising Club.

At the end of that first year, her father's untimely death prompted her to leave academia and go to work. Bryan joined a crew of window decorators at the Palace Clothing Company in downtown Kansas City. They were responsible for three stores: downtown, North Kansas City and Prairie Village. Bryan enjoyed creating window displays, but after several years went scouting for better pay.

Bryan was working for IBM Corporation and transferred to their Oklahoma City office in 1961. After marrying Don Bryan, she was officially an Edmondite and took advantage of the close proximity to UCO to attend art and creative writing classes.

Bryan has designed greeting cards, teaching aids, business logos and the Official Seal of Edmond. Designed and produced with art partner, Pat Darcey, the MY-TOWN-TOO project which is small wood replicas of Old North Tower, the old police station, Wide-A-Wake Café and Rodkey Mill. This project was one of the official mementos of Oklahoma City's Centennial Celebration.

But, chiefly, Bryan is a watercolor artist, inspired by my collection of photographic images of "old town" Edmond and its environs. When Edmond's pre-statehood homes and farms began to make way for tract homes, strip malls, and parking lots, her photographic intent took a serious turn to document the area's architectural history that she loved so much.

Essay: Frances Bryan on photography and the growth of Edmond.

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Jack Drummond            Jack Drummond Collection
Jack Drummond, a cattle rancher and landman, acquired land in Osage county and Madill Oklahoma. Born in the Osage Nation when it was a part of Indian Territory, he grew up in Hominy where his father was a trader for the Osage Nation.
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Drummond began as a cattle rancher but eventually amassed huge land holdings and widened his business interests to include oil and gas exploration and production.


Five panoramic paintings on the north wall in Archives & Special Collections show Drummond's cattle ranch in Madill, Oklahoma. Drummond commissioned artist Richard Goetz for these paintings. Goetz's work is examined in this PBS program: Paint What You See, Part 1 | Paint What You See, Part 2.

Rubye McCan            Rubye McCan Collection
The Rubye McCan Collection consists of over 600 images, mostly from the 1960s through the 1980s. Oklahoma subjects in the photos include parks, lakes and rivers, train depots, grain elevators, barns, scenic landscapes, sunsets, mountains, boats and Oklahomans in recreational pursuits.
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Rubye McCan taught in the Oklahoma City public school system for 27 years. She contributed photographs to Oklahoma Today magazine for more than 15 years and had more than 40 full page published photos. She was the only female photographer for the publication at that time. She also had photographs published in Orbit Magazine and the Daily Oklahoman.

As a founding member of the Oklahoma Watercolor Society she exhibited her one person show developed to take art and Oklahoma history to small towns across the state. Her works have also been shown several times at the Oklahoma State Capitol and around Oklahoma City.

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Oklahoma Education Association sign            Oklahoma Education Association Centennial Collection
This collection tells the story of education development in Oklahoma. The storybook images reflect early day schools and transportation beginning in territorial days. The collection comes from 229 contributors and members of OEA.

Edward Pugh            Ed Pugh Collection
The Edward Pugh Collection contains 514 images documenting Oklahoma's natural resources and historic black communities in Oklahoma City from the 1960s through the 1970s.
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Dr. Ed Pugh was a professor in the History & Geography department at the University of Central Oklahoma from 1997 until 2006. His photographic subjects reflect his professional interests in human and topographical geography. Many of the photos feature geological concepts such as the effects of erosion on watersheds, sociological concepts such as suburbs and public housing, and aerial views that illustrate geographical concepts.


Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Edward Jackson Pugh was a geographer, resource conservationist, faculty member and a prolific researcher and writer. Ed Pugh spent three years in the U.S. Army serving in Europe and South Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star and Purple Heart before his discharge in 1969. He would go on to earn a B.A. in Geography from Central State College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma.

In 1979 he joined Governor George Nigh's staff serving as Senior Executive Assistant for Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Affairs advising on the management and protection of Oklahoma's natural resources. Dr. Pugh would also serve President George Nigh as Executive Assistant at the University of Central Oklahoma where he would later become a full time Assistant Professor in the History and Geography Department.

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Lloyd Rader            Lloyd Rader Collection
This unique collection contains historic photographs of a life dedicated to government service. The Rader collection includes photographs, documentary film footage, and slides representing his tenure as Director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services from 1951-1982.

B&W image of woman and man            UCO Archives Photograph Collection
The UCO Archives Photograph Collection is comprised of more than 35,000 images (3,000 currently online) dating between 1854-2006 that cover a wide variety of subjects: university life, early Edmond, scenes of Oklahoma settlement, Native American people, businesses, transportation, festivities, recreational pursuits and much more.

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B&W image of women at table            UCO Glass Plate Collection
This collection reflects University life beginning in 1893 to the present time. The photography class of Central State Normal School (as Central was called at that time) documented the time between 1908 to 1919.
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The photography class was founded by Professor John Davis and offered for credit in the Department of Physics and Chemistry, since photographs were as much a work of chemistry as they were works of art.

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B&W image of man in uniform            UCO Men and Women in Service Collection
Included in this series are 380 images of students who served in the military during WWII. Files and documents accompany the images.