Tulsa history collection endangered


I was disturbed to see this letter in Sunday's Whirled:

I enjoyed reading about Beryl Ford's memorabilia collection in a recent edition.

This is a tremendous asset for Tulsa. Whenever you read any of the books or watch videos about the history of Tulsa, many of the featured photos will say "from the Beryl Ford collection."

I recently learned that Mr. Ford needs to retire and sell all or part of his collection for his living expenses. And now the crusher: so far there is no buyer from Tulsa. Not the city, not a university and not the Tulsa Historical Society.

It looks like the collection might go to the Oklahoma Historical Society in Oklahoma City.

Cannot someone or some group step up and stop this tragedy?

Richard Ryan, Tulsa

Unbelievable. And given the Whirled's tendency to run letters as much as a month after they are submitted, by now Mr. Ford's collection could be in a container ship en route to Buenos Aires, for all we know.

The Beryl Ford collection is impressive, and Tulsans ought to step forward to keep it in Tulsa and make its contents more accessible to the public, perhaps using digital archiving and the Internet. The Tulsa Historical Society seems like a natural match for this task. How about it?

I'd love to buy it, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't afford it, much less the cost of caring for it. But if enough of us go together, maybe we can make it happen.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 21, 2004 12:15 AM.

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