Lead Institutions

Research Route 66 was founded by ten institutions and the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program. The lead partnering institutions are listed below with links to additional information about their institutions and Route 66 holdings.

Autry Museum of the American West

The Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles is home to the Braun Research Library and the Autry Library, where patrons access one of the nation’s most comprehensive book, archival, and artifact collections on Native American cultures and the history of the American West. Route 66 resources include primary and secondary publications and museum artifacts as well as the historic Casa de Adobe, a reproduction Spanish style home built in 1918 partly to attract tourists traveling Route 66.

Baxter Springs Heritage Center

The Baxter Springs Heritage Center is a museum with archives and exhibits focused on Kansas and the tri-state area. They have significant collections on mining, historic sites, photographs, early settlement, and Route 66. The Center works with students , educators, community groups, tourism authorities, and others to document the vital history of the southeastern Kansas.

Illinois State Museum

The Illinois State Museum inspires discovery and caring about Illinois’ cultural and natural resources and heritage. The Museum’s collections and research provide the foundation for exhibitions and public programs telling the story of the land, life, people, and art of Illinois.

Missouri State University, Special Collections

Missouri State University holds a growing collection of Route 66-related publications, as well as archival holdings on businesses, individuals and communities along Route 66.

The State Historical Society of Missouri Research Center – Springfield

The State Historical Society of Missouri’s research center brings together critical documents and collections on central and eastern Missouri. Highlights of the Route 66 collection include a complete run of the publications of the Missouri Route 66 Association; photographs; maps; historical documents from the region; and oral histories featuring local and Route 66 history.

Northern Arizona University – Cline Library, Special Collections and Archives

The Cline Library at Northern Arizona University maintains a Route 66 collection including photographic collections, monographic titles, documents, vertical files, and maps. The library promotes and makes these collections available through traditional and Web-based reference services, exhibitions and presentations, and through outreach to introduce new users to the excitement of conducting research with original materials.

Oklahoma Historical Society

The John & Eleanor Kirkpatrick Research Center is located on the first floor of the Oklahoma History Center. The research library is a rich source of information on all topics regarding Oklahoma history and genealogy, including Route 66. Archive Collections include American Indian records, over six million photographs, more than 6,000 oral histories, extensive manuscript collections, film archives and maps. The Research Center is the largest repository of Oklahoma newspapers in the state.

Oklahoma State University – Tulsa

The Oklahoma State University – Tulsa Library contributes to the body of Route 66 knowledge by actively collecting books and other resources on Route 66. The library is open to anyone who wishes to visit. Reference services are through the Reference desk, by phone, email or online library chat page.

Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum

The Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum collection includes various artifacts directly associated with Route 66 as well as the culture of which the highway was a part. The museum’s Research Center includes such sources as published and unpublished histories and reminiscences, maps, and photographs of communities and other places along the highway’s route through the Texas Panhandle.

University of New Mexico, Center for Southwest Research

The University of New Mexico’s Center for Southwest Research and the University Libraries provide a wealth of library and archival resources for Route 66 researchers and aficionados. These resources include local, state, and regional materials at the Center for Southwest Research, as well as over 3 million items of local, state, and national interest in the library system as a whole, including government documents and maps.