Founded by a group of high school boys as FC 1897 Oldenburg on 17 October 1897, they merged with FV Germania 1903 Oldenburg in 1919 and adopted their current name. Their interests were football, cricket and track. Within a year the club acquired an old velodrome in Donnerschwee – part of the town of Oldenburg today – and converted it to a football ground.
The club played for two seasons in the Gauliga Weser-Ems (I), just before the end of the war, from 1942 to 1944.
After again restoring their ground in the aftermath of World War II, the club was able to pick up play in the Oberliga Nord in the 1949–50 season, but immediately found themselves relegated to tier II. They made another single season appearance in the upper league in 1955–56, before returning for a run of three seasons from 1960 to 1963 in the lead up to the formation of the Bundesliga, Germany's new professional football league. Oldenburg did not qualify for the new circuit and found themselves in the Regionalliga Nord (II). They played at that level until the mid-70's when they slipped into the Amateur Oberliga Nord (III).
They enjoyed their highest league finish in 1991-92. They finished bottom of the third level in 1999-2000, and came close to being dissolved due to financial problems.