Skip to Main Content

About the Collection

The Oklahoma Townsite Collection is the only repository of court records of ownership disputes following the Land Run. This collection provides valuable primary source material on the early development of Oklahoma towns. Following the historic land openings in Oklahoma, beginning in 1889, many of the lands claimed by settlers were involved in ownership disputes. The settlement of these cases utimately fell on land offices and the federal court system.

The original documents used as evidence in the courts were deposited in the National Archives and include original townsite maps, hearing transcripts, deeds, land office records, photographs, receipts, city council meeting minutes, letters, ledgers, and depositions, in all more than 10,000 records. The National Archives microfilmed these records and sold the negatives and positives to the Archives & Special Collections. This is the only repository where these records can be found.

When this online, fully searchable collection is completed, it will include digital reproductions of over 100,000 records.

Search the Townsite Case Files