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Mission Statement
Purpose and Development
Previous Accomplishments

Nicole Willard, Director of Archives and Special Collections Development, University of Central Oklahoma
Shikoh Shiriawa, Archives and Special Collections, University of Central Oklahoma
Amena Butler, Art Resource

Mission Statement
To educate the general public of the overwhelming importance of art and its impact upon our lives. To accomplish this goal, the library offers resources for art programs/studies, resource materials for art studies, reproductions and original paintings to study and/or copy, as well as publications of bios and general art information.

Purpose and Development
Of the many goals the Library maintains, the primary goal is to educate the public on the overwhelming importance of art, and especially its impact upon our lives. Whether it be a student, professor, dealer, collector, museum curator, writer or simply an interested individual; the Library is designed to access information easily on over 100,000 different artists. In fact, inquiries by either phone, email or snail mail are made from across the country.

Beginning with a few biographies, monographs, raisonnés, resource tomes and sales catalogues, the Library has grown to over 3,000 such materials. In addition, the Library houses individual articles, reproductions, sales records, and catalogues.

  • The Melton Art Reference Library, not only welcomes, but encourages visitors, tours, and receptions. Among the many activities at the Library, we have hosted prospective students from Randolph-Macon Woman's College (now Randolph College), and a meeting site of the American Museum Association for the State of Oklahoma.
  • The Library has hosted receptions and tours for numerous art organizations. The Library has also been a contributor to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, and continues to be a believer in the spirit of contributing to the surrounding community.
  • The Melton Art Reference Library offers an annual $1,500 scholarship through the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.
  • Please visit our website www.marl-okc.org or www.occf.org for more information.
  • We are always in need of interns and volunteers to help with our future projects, and the maintenance of our Library resources.

  • Previous Accomplishments
  • In 1993, the Melton Library compiled and published an invaluable resource for all persons interested in the world of art. This book is compiled in two volumes: Volume I: 28,000 Artists & Their Museums and Volume II: 1,100 Museums & Their Artists. This book currently enjoys worldwide sales while furthering the Library's substantial reputation as an established entity in the art community. A twenty-year effort came to fruition, during the Oklahoma Centennial, with the publication of the Directory of Oklahoma Artists. Now that this book is in the hands of many artists, museums and history enthusiasts, there have been inquires for additions to the book. The Library is in a continual process of receiving and data-basing these new additions.
  • Along with these two books, the Library has published A Century of Art Renaissance Club; a catalogue accompanying an exhibit: Progress on the Land: Industry and the American Landscape Tradition 1830-1930; and the catalogue which encompasses The Melton Legacy Collection of European and American Art, collection that was donated to the University of Central Oklahoma, by the Library, and which can be seen on the UCO campus in the Melton Gallery.

  • Antecedent
    Howard and Merle Melton, as a means to educate themselves in building a private collection, began the Melton Art Reference Library. As their collection grew they soon realized the need in the community for such a resource.

    The thrust of their interest, concerning the library, became geared toward the lesser-known artists; the better-known artists were already well- represented and accessible. However, this does not limit the library's resources. The Library houses material on all artists who have reached recognition through publication and/or public acceptance through secondary market sales. The adjacent art collection is a delightful adjunct to the library.

    Howard Melton, Co-founder of the Melton Art Reference Library, Was Himself an Artist, Having Exhibited and Sold in Oklahoma Galleries Including IAO, ArtsPlace II, and the Jacobson Foundation. His Generosity Has Been a Pioneering Spirit in the Library's Belief of Giving Back to the Community. Mr. Melton's Contributions Were Acknowledged by His Nomination For, and Receiving, the Governors Arts Award Through the Oklahoma State Arts Council; As Well As Being Named a Recipient of the Distinguished Service Award by the Oklahoma County Historical Society.

    The Melton Art Reference Library Was Officially Dedicated March 9, 1989 in Memory of Its Co-founder, Merle Buttram Melton. The Library Achieved 501-(c)3) Non-profit Status in October of 1989.

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