June 9-14, 2013
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Lecturer: Course 9
Debra Osborne Spindle is the librarian in the Research Division of the Oklahoma Historical
Society. She has been a professional genealogist 5 years and an avid genealogist for over 30.
She was manager of the Downtown Library in the Metropolitan Library System for Oklahoma
County for 10 years prior to her work at the Historical Society. At that agency, she oversaw
the move into a new facility and the rejuvenation of the system's genealogy and local history
collection. She has served as an administrator for the University of Oklahoma's School of
Library and Information Studies as well as adjunct professor. Her prior teaching experience
includes working with adults returning to university to finish a degree, teaching communication
at the university level for 16 years, and surviving teaching 7th grade for two years.
Debra's current position utilizes her knowledge of American Indian resources, assisting persons
seeking to document Indian ancestry as well as locating people in early Oklahoma and Indian
Territories. As an affiliate of the National Archives, the Oklahoma Historical Society Research
Division holds original records for the Five Civilized Tribes. Debra has extensive knowledge
of these holding, and used them researching for the television show Who Do You Think You Are?
Her article "Claiming Native Heritage: Iron Eyes Cody and Chief Thundercloud" is included in
the Society's upcoming publication "Oklahoma @ the Movies." She provided genealogical research
for the "Governors of Oklahoma" opening exhibit and located relatives of the inductees into
the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame. "Researching the History of Your Home," "Researching
Your Civil War Ancestor" "County Histories" and "Finding Your American Indian Ancestor"
are among the research guides Debra has published for the Library.
Debra has attended multiple IGHR courses including Advanced Methodology, Military Records,
African American Research, Writing and Publishing, and Southern Research. She is a graduate
of ProGenealogy Group 6 and attended the RIGSA Workshop in Fort Worth. In addition, she has
completed graduate courses in government documents, Indian resources in Washington, DC and
archives management. She has researched in depositories across the United States, including
national and state archives as well as public libraries and courthouses. She has taught
genealogy courses for community education, including OLLI (Oklahoma Lifelong Learning
Institute), and is a regular lecturer on a wide range of topics such as finding females,
use of internet resources, internet search techniques, beginning genealogy, blogging,
vital records and their substitutes, African American and American Indian research.
She holds membership in multiple genealogy societies and has served on the board of the
Oklahoma Genealogical Society.