Dr. Clara Sue Kidwell stands in the area that houses Bacone College’s Native American library collection, a locked room in the basement of Samuel Richard Hall. The school is renovating the library and will move the collection upstairs for more accessibility for students and outside scholars.

Bacone College Makes Native American Library More Accessible


As part of an expansion project, Bacone College plans on making more room for its Native American library, which is currently in the basement of Samuel Richard Hall.

The Musckogee, Oklahoma tribal college is moving its current library from Samuel Richard Hall to the Northpointe Shopping Center. This will open up the first floor for the Native American collection.

“In terms of history, most of this stuff pertains to the field of history, but we also have our American Indian studies program, which relies strongly on historical, and what we called ethnographic or anthropological, sources,” Clara Sue Kidwell, associate dean for program development, told the Cherokee Phoenix. “But that is going to be the core of a research library, which will be open to outside scholars. And we do have occasional scholars coming in, to people that are interested in the history, specifically the history of Bacone, and then more to specific tribal history.”

The school expects the library project to be complete by the end of spring semester and the off-campus library is expected to be open to students by the end of the month and the public by the end of the spring semester.

According to the Cherokee Phoenix, more than 48,000 items were moved from Samuel Richard Hall to make room for the Native American library.

That number will grow as part of the expansion. “Much of what we have on the shelves now, the newer books were from back in the 1980s,” Kidwell, who is of White Earth Chippewa and Choctaw descent, told the Cherokee Phoenix. “We also need to update our library system to include, much more directly, things that support the curriculum here.”

To read more about the expansions and changes at Bacone College, visit MuskogeePhoenix.com.

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zelbe1's picture
Submitted by zelbe1 on
As a former Bacone student from the 1980s, I recently saw no Native student body compared to when I was going there. As a matter of fact, I saw more African Americans and whites today overshadowing natives. How do colleges call it Native American Studies program when the only tribes that are represented are confined to three tribes? What about the rest of Oklahoma's western, southern and northern tribes? What about Indian nations across the US? Are they included in Bacones "Native American Studies" programs? When I went to school there you saw Navajos, full blooded Cherokees, Apaches, Sioux, etc., what happened to Bacone as an Indian college? Its gone.