Concerned that the history of the migration of 350,000 "Okies" to California would be lost, Gerald Haslam, Professor of English, established the Okie Studies Project. Included are examples of the work of Charles L. Todd, a librarian in the U.S. National Archives, who collected camp songs to add to the folk music collection of the National Archives. The name of the collection was changed to the Dust Bowl Migration Archive in January, 2008. A subset of the collection was added in 2016 with the donation of the David Kinkead materials, donated by Kinkead’s daughter, B.J. Blanchard. These materials include correspondence, newspaper clippings, government documents, and a personal journal.
Correspondence, camp diaries, stories, music scores, newsletters, newspaper clippings, pamphlets and photographs document the history and experiences of the "Okies" who migrated to California in the 1930s.
The research material in the collection is available to view by appointment.