Special Facilities and Resources
The University of Oklahoma is home to a variety of special facilities and resources that contribute to the OU difference and enhance the opportunities available to OU students to achieve academic excellence.
University of Oklahoma Libraries
401 W. Brooks St. Norman, OK 73019
Phone: (405) 325-3341
The University of Oklahoma Libraries in Norman, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa are a major resource for students and faculty at the university. The research library facilities on the Norman campus include Bizzell Memorial Library and separate branch libraries for architecture, fine arts, engineering, geology, and physics-astronomy. The OU Law Center also has a separate library, the Donald E. Pray Law Library, in its facility. The Robert M. Bird Health Sciences Library at the OU Health Sciences Center supports teaching and research in medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy and health-related disciplines. The Schusterman Library at OU-Tulsa supports students enrolled in Tulsa-based programs.
BIZZELL MEMORIAL LIBRARY
Bizzell Memorial Library, the main library on the Norman campus, consists of an original building constructed in 1929 and a large addition completed in 1958. The 1929 building was recently declared a National Historic Landmark and contains the Peggy V. Helmerich Great Reading Room, an elegant room beloved by students and alumni. The Doris W. Neustadt Wing was built in 1982 and added 150,000 square feet to the library facility. The library includes numerous study areas and comfortable reading lounges, as well as the popular Bookmark Coffee Shop, and the Oklahoma Canyon Garden, which offers an outdoor area for reflection and study.
The collections in the libraries total more than 6 million volumes, 1.3 million eBooks, 3.6 million microform materials and 116,000 serials subscriptions. The libraries also maintain over 17,000 linear feet of manuscripts and archives, 1.6 million photographs, and more than 1.5 million maps. It also holds more than 70 incunabula (books printed before 1501), the oldest one of which was published in 1467.
In addition to the general collections, there are notable special collections.
The Boorstin Collection is used for quiet study and reading books from the collection. The facilities for the Daniel J. and Ruth F. Boorstin Collection were made possible by a generous gift from ConocoPhillips Inc.
Chinese Literature Translation Archive
The OU Libraries Chinese Literature Translation Archive provides students and scholars with a wide range of rare books, reference materials, translation drafts, correspondence, notes, ephemera, and other historical materials that provide context for Western readers to gain a deeper understanding of Chinese literature. The archive currently houses nearly 10,000 volumes and thousands of documents from some of the greatest translators of modern Chinese literature in the West including Howard Goldblatt, Wolfgang Kubin, Wai-lim Yip and the "William Bikales and Margaret Eliot Grady Collection" of Arthur Waley.
The mission of the archive is to improve the material conditions for translation students and for comparative and world literature by providing the materials necessary for historically informed research supported by the richly textured intellectual environments within which translation takes place.
Bass Business History Collections
The Harry W. Bass Business History Collection began in 1955 with the purpose of collecting and preserving materials relating to the history of business and industry. The collection contains books, microforms, videos and journals on a number of topics including the histories of business leaders and firms and the economic, social and political forces that influence the role of business in society.
History of Science Collections
The History of Science Collections, located on the 5th floor of Bizzell Memorial Library, is a premier research collection in its field. Holdings of nearly 100,000 volumes from every field and subject area of science, technology and medicine range chronologically from Hrabanus Maurus, Opus de universo (1467) to current publications in the history of science. The Darwin collection consists of all of Darwin’s works in their first editions and several autographed letters, as well as hundreds of subsequent editions and translations. To learn about the history of the Collections, please view The First 50 Years of the History of Science Collections.
The John and Mary Nichols Rare Books and Special Collections
The John and Mary Nichols Rare Books and Special Collections are comprised of rare books and special materials in English, European, and American literatures dating from the 15th century to the present. A collection of general rare books, including several incunables, and a Bible collection complement the focal literature collections. These collections offer opportunities for interdisciplinary research in such fields as literary studies, the history of printing, and religion.
Western History Collections
The Western History Collections is a special collection within the University of Oklahoma Libraries system. Its purpose is to enhance the University Libraries general collection on the history of the American West; to support the research and teaching programs of the University of Oklahoma; and to provide opportunities for research through the acquisition, preservation, and access of materials relating to the development of the Trans-Mississippi West and Native American cultures.
William Bennett Bizzell Bible Collections
in addition to more common European languages such as Greek, Latin, German, French and Spanish, President Bizzell collected many Bibles in numerous other languages such as Cherokee, Muskogee, Hindi, Swahili, Javanese, Mongolian, Tartan, Mooltan, and Turkish. Additional related works include commentaries, textual studies, illustrations, geographies and histories of the holy land, works on the life of Christ, prayer books and hymnals. The collection contains 665 Bibles, including several incunabula (books published in the infancy of printing, before 1500). The oldest book is a hand-painted manuscript prayer book written on vellum in the fifteenth century.
The University Libraries include six branch libraries:
- Architecture Library (105 Gould Hall), (405) 325-5521
- Engineering Library (222 Felgar Hall), (405) 325-2941
- Fine Arts Library (20 Catlett Music Center), (405) 325-4243
- Youngblood Energy (Geology) Library, 220 Sarkeys Energy Center, (405) 325-6451
Library Website and Catalog
The University of Oklahoma Libraries offer a wealth of electronic, print and non-print resources. Students may access many library resources through the Libraries’ website, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The library catalog and website provide access to databases, books, e-journals, high-quality websites, government documents, and e-reference materials.
Circulation and Interlibrary Loan
Most library materials are available for loan to students and faculty. Loan policies are available on the library website. Materials not held by the libraries may be obtained through interlibrary loan services on all three campuses. Delivery on-campus is available via Sooner Xpress.
Ask Us Reference Services
Reference and information service is available in all library facilities, in person, by telephone, by e-mail, and through instant message. Individuals may visit the reference desk at their convenience for assistance with questions, assignments or specific databases. They may also arrange an appointment with a librarian to discuss library resources and research questions. Questions may be sent via email a librarian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The libraries provide instructional services to teach students and faculty how to access, evaluate, and use a variety of information sources. These services range from general orientation activities to classroom instruction designed to meet specific research needs.
Online tutorials are available at to help students learn how to evaluate and understand scholarly information, search electronic databases, search the catalog and request books and other materials through interlibrary loan.
State, federal and foreign government publications are collected and made available through the Government Documents unit. Reference services and instructional sessions specific to government documents are available upon request.
Digital Scholarship Laboratory
The Digital Scholarship Lab supports collaborative, cross-disciplinary research using emerging technologies. Through workshops, consultation, and training, our Digital Scholarship Specialists help faculty and graduate students identify innovative digital tools and resources that build on traditional research and teaching methods.
Helmerich Collaborative Learning Center
The Helmerich Collaborative Learning Center is a technology enabled, collaborative space where students can work together in groups. In this space, students can learn to create information, to explore it visually, and to synthesize it in new and different ways. Visit the Bookmark Café to grab a cup of coffee, and talk with a professor, colleague, or with friends.
Innovation @ the Edge
Innovation @ the Edge is a flexible experimentation and innovation space that provides access to the latest tools used in research, instruction and knowledge creation, including 3D printing tools, custom virtual reality workstations, software and data skill development and microelectronics kits. Any member of the OU community, from any field, is free to prototype concepts or fly-through 3D data sets in this centrally located makerspace in the Bizzell Memorial Library in room 126.
The Learning Lab on Lower Level 1 is where you can get research assistance from library student personnel as well as other services that support student success such as the Writing Center and UC Action.
Loveridge Computer Lab
The Loveridge Computer Lab is located on the main floor of Bizzell Memorial Library, next to the West entrance and across from the main Circulation Desk. A number of computers are available for OU students, staff, and faculty; additionally, customers not affiliated with OU can request a guest log-in from the computer lab staff. A variety of software is available for all users. Multiple scanners and printers are also available in this lab.
Zarrow Family Faculty and Graduate Student Center
Located on Lower Level 2 of Bizzell Memorial Library, the Zarrow Family Faculty & Graduate Student Center is a space dedicated to supporting the research and teaching needs of OU faculty and graduate students in a central campus location. The center enables members of the academic community to access the wide variety of information resources available through OU Libraries creatively, analytically, and critically in pursuit of academic goals.