The Native American Languages Collection at the Sam Noble Museum represents over 175 languages and provides invaluable reference material to researchers, educators and students. The collection and activities sponsored by the department are aimed to preserve valuable linguistic resources, support language retention and revitalization, celebrate linguistic diversity and further the intellectual heritage of these languages.
The collection includes audio and video recordings, manuscripts, books, journals, ephemera and teaching curricula, including lesson plans. Materials have been donated to us from a variety of individuals and groups, including tribal members and families, linguists and anthropologists, community language projects, teachers and students, and other archives.
This collection is intended to be a resource center where scholars and community members develop mutually beneficial relationships by preserving language resources, conducting research, providing services to Native American communities and educating our community about the importance of Native American culture.
Through outreach programs like the Breath of Life Workshop and the annual Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair, the collection also fosters public education opportunities so that visitors can develop an awareness, appreciation and understanding of Native American languages.