Below is an ongoing research project seeking to find the best resources for understanding what role petroleum history should play in understanding the modern energy industry.
Featured here are links to U.S. Department of Energy education programs, national laboratories, and other federal agencies. Many of these sources include sections for researchers.
An extensive collection of energy education contacts, including leading state programs (especially those designed for grades kindergarten through 12th grade) with emphasis on oil and natural gas exploration and production.
This section also includes links to professional organizations, industry sources and trade associations. Further, each state listing of resources includes a brief history of that state’s exploration and production history.
Photography links – Where you will find the resources below – and many more:
The Earth Science World Image Bank is a service provided by the American Geological Institute designed to provide geoscience images to the public, educators, and the geoscience community.
The Library of Congress collection, America at Work, America at Leisure – Motion Pictures from 1894 to 1915 is a collection of digitized early motion pictures featuring U.S. work, school, and leisure activities. The American Memory collection provides prints, maps, sheet music, sound recordings, still and moving images.
The Detroit Publishing Company Collection includes more than 25,000 glass negatives and transparencies. The University of Northern Iowa library provides an extraordinary summary page of website links.
The National Archives Library Information Center provides many links to information and images covering American history and government. The New York Public Library Digital Gallery provides access to 600,000 images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the collection of the library.
Among oil patch artists, painter JoAnn Cowans of Fullerton, California, is among this historical society’s earliest volunteers. She has donated selections from her award-winning art to many community petroleum museums.
Books & Artists links to JoAnn’s oil patch artwork. Other links include:
Texas Oil and Gas – Postcards of Texas Petroleum History
Artist seeks Home for her Epic “Oil and Guts” Oilfield Mural
Canadian Author Joyce Hunt tells the History of Alberta’s Massive Energy Resource: Tar Sands
Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund 1976-2011
Myth, Legend, Reality – Edwin Laurentine Drake and the Early Oil Industry
Petroleum History Video links a collection of audio-visual resources.
You will find – among many others – the Internet Archive, which is building a digital library with free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public.
Also linked is the Prelinger Archives, which allows access to films of historic significance produced by and for hundreds of U.S. corporations, nonprofit organizations, trade associations, community and interest groups, and educational institutions.
The Prelinger collection includes downloadable files in a variety of formats, for example, the 13-minute “Destination Earth,” an entertaining 1956 cartoon by the American Petroleum Institute where a Martian learns that oil and competition are two things that help make America great.
The 16-page newsletter’s articles and museum news features, many of them now posted on this website, offer little-known stories about more than 150 years of U.S. exploration and production.
The society maintains a Google website as a newsletter archive. Click here to view and download complete issues of the original Petroleum Age from when it was a quarterly newsletter.
The historical society has published two special American Oil & Gas Families publications — featuring regional petroleum histories of Ohio, West Virginia and Texas. These energy education booklets include exploration and production facts, local interviews with producers — and an inside look at petroleum museum exhibits.
Have you come across an old petroleum company stock certificate but are unwilling to spend a lot of money for professional research? You are invited to post questions…or help others with theirs.
Please support the American Oil & Gas Historical Society with a donation.