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About the AIRC



TCCL's American Indian Resource Center (AIRC) has provided 20 years of service to the Tulsa and wider area community through cultural, educational, and informational services and activities that highlight American Indian cultures.

As one of the only centers of its kind in the nation, the AIRC was born in 2003 from what had been TCCL's American Indian Collection. The expansion of the collection into the AIRC brought with it display areas and programming space to highlight the center's collections and programs, such as the Festival of Words Writer Award program. In 2012, the AIRC moved to its current home at Zarrow Regional Library, where the community has access to more than 4,000 collection items by and about American Indians, including historical and rare materials, new releases, films, and music. 

In addition to its special collection, the AIRC offers cultural and educational programming such as language classes, maker programs, and events highlighting contributions from American Indians nationwide. The American Indian Circle of Honor Award recognizes American Indians who have dedicated their lives to the betterment of Indian Country, while the American Indian Festival of Words Writers Award brings nationally known American Indian authors to Tulsa. The Festival of Words is a series of monthlong programming throughout Tulsa County celebrating the American Indian.

Contact Information


Visit the American Indian Resource Center 


Zarrow Regional Library
2224 W. 51st St.
Tulsa, OK 74107
Driving Directions


Monday: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm

Tuesday: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm

Wednesday: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm

Thursday: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm

Friday: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

Saturday: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Sunday: 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm


Phone: (918) 549-7472

AIRC E-Newsletter

In an effort to inform the public about services, programs and resources available through the AIRC, an e-newsletter is released each month. Please feel free to forward the newsletters to others who might be interested or benefit from the information.

Subscribe to E-Newsletter


"Place of the Turtles" Screen

"Place of the Turtles" screen

James L. Henkle, associate professor of the school of art at the University of Oklahoma designed the screen on commission from the Tulsa Historical Society.  In the center of the screen is a stylized turtle, made of oxidized copper.  Surrounding it, in braised brass, polished brass and copper, are flame forms representing the sacred fire of the Creek Indians, Tulsa’s first citizens.  The screen weighs more than 500 pounds...

The bronze plaque mounted on the oak leaves of the screen was originally placed on the Council Oak Tree (18 Street and South Cheyenne Avenue) by the Tulsa D.A.R. chapter in 1923.  In 1965 the plaque was given to the Tulsa Historical Society for fear of it being vandalized.    On July 1, 1965, the plaque and “Place of the Turtles” screen was dedicated on the 3rd floor of the Central Library to identify the then location of the Tulsa County Historical Society headquarters and archives.

Source: Tulsa World, May 1, 1965; p. 1; Tulsa County Historical Society Dedicatory Program, July 1, 1965.

In May 2013, the American Indian Resource Center moved from Central Library to Zarrow Regional Library (2224 W. 54th ST, Tulsa). Central Library closed in August 2013 for a two-year major renovation. In March 2014 the ‘Place of the Turtles’ screen was erected at Zarrow Regional Library. The American Indian Resource Center and its Turtle screen will remain at Zarrow Regional Library

Programs & Activities

American Indian Festival of Words


This free festival celebrates the history, culture, arts and achievements of American Indians through a series of enlightening family programs at your local libraries. 

Go to American Indian Festival of Words

American Indian Circle of Honor


The Circle of Honor Award Presentation honors an American Indian for their lifetime achievements and contributions that have enriched the lives of others. 

Go to American Indian Circle of Honor

American Indian Writers Award


The American Indian Festival of Words Writers Award recognizes written contributions of outstanding American Indian authors, poets, journalists, film and stage scriptwriters. 

Go to American Indian Writers Award


Summer Reading Program



The American Indian Resource Center participates in TCCL's Summer Reading Program in all age groups.

Go to Summer Reading Program