About the library

First Keepers of the Books

In operation since 1958, the Colorado River Indian Tribes Library is known as the first Tribally funded library in the United States. Instrumental in its development were the late Dr. Spencer Hatch and his wife Emily.

In tribute to their oustanding contributions to the Colorado River
Indian Tribes, the Tribal Council adopted Dr. & Mrs. Spencer Hatch
as honorary members on December 1, 1962.

This action reflected the gratitude of Tribal Members for both Dr. Hatch and Emily, and has been the only time constituents of the Caucasian race have been adopted as honorary members of the Tribe.

In 1966, books were moved from the first library, at the old Agency tribal office to the present facility. In September 1970, as part of the National Indian Days Celebration, the Library and Museum building were dedicated with Mrs. Hatch as Master of Ceremonies. It is the first triball owned and operated library which includes a complete archive and indian information section in the United States.


Oklahoma City, OK, April 17, 2012

The Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums (ATALM) today announced the winners of its 2012 Guardians of Culture and Lifeways International Awards.

Established in 2007, the awards program identifies and recognizes organizations and individuals who serve as outstanding examples of how indigenous archives, libraries, and museums contribute to the
vitality and cultural sovereignty of Native nations.Archives Institutional Excellence, which recognizes indigenous archival organizations that demonstrate a significant commitment to the preservation and use of documentary heritage, is awarded to the
Colorado River Indian Tribes Library (CRIT) and its archivist Amelia Flores.