The University of Central Oklahoma houses many significant art collections from ancient to contemporary, representing many diverse cultures. These collections are a valuable resource serving our mission by providing research and educational opportunities for scholarship and exhibition.
Like many university art collections, the artworks held by UCO were not acquired as part of a clearly focused collecting program, but rather accumulated over the years by various departments and individuals, through purchase or gift.
In 2017, the UCO Archives & Special Collections in the Chambers Library, serving as collections care specialists, became stewards of the University’s most valuable art collections. While these works are cared for in the Library they are a resource to be shared by our academic and cultural communities.
While the Chambers Library engages with issues of representing diverse cultures when curating exhibits, we acknowledge the limitation of our resources and the challenges of displaying cultural objects. We remain vigilant and aware of the current movement in the museum field to understand the problematic nature of long-institutionalized practices of cultural appropriation in museums. The UCO Archives & Special Collections is committed to seeking out best practices to care for these collections and are constantly reevaluating proper display methods.
The UCO Archives & Special Collections has been active in training students in the fields of archives and museum studies, striving to engage with contemporary social issues through material culture. We utilize the collections as a vital visual resource to stimulate open discussions that tackle complex current issues of making our society more inclusive and equal.
The Archives & Special Collections invites faculty, students, staff and the community to explore UCO collections currently on display in the Chambers Library. You can also view artwork, photos and programs from past exhibitions presented in the Library.