Christine Armer Collection

Languages Represented: The collection materials are in Cherokee and English

Extent: 11 items

Collection Date Range: 1962 - 1995

Creators: Various 

Collection Identifier: CAR

Abstract: This print-based collection contains various comic books, a bible, ephemera, historical church records and letters in Cherokee.

Acquisition Information: These records came to the Sam Noble Museum from Christine Armer in three batches, two of which were in 2012 with a third in 2013.

Access Restrictions: The records are open to research. Contact the NALC at 405-325-3332 or language.samnoblemuseum@ou.edu.

Cite As: [title], [catalog number], Christine Armer Collection, Sam Noble Museum Department of Native American Languages.

Collection Scope and Contents: The Christine Armer Collection is dedicated to Cherokee, a language within the Iroquoian language family traditionally spoken by the Cherokee people of the southeastern United States (parts of present day Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee).

Prior to the 1820s, Cherokee was only a spoken language. It had no writing system until the Cherokee silversmith by the name of Sequoyah came along and developed what is today known as the Cherokee syllabary – a writing system adopted by the Cherokee Nation in 1825.

Christine Armer is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and a Cherokee language instructor at the University of Oklahoma. She has been a long-time supporter of and collaborator with the Department of Native American Languages at the Sam Noble Museum, having initially served as a judge for eight years and later as the coordinator for the annual Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair.

In 2010 she co-wrote “Why Revisit Published Data of an Endangered Language with Native Speakers?: An Illustration from Cherokee,” alongside Durbin Feeling, Charles Foster, Marcellino Berardo, and Sean O’Neill. The paper analyzes the physical documentary record of Cherokee as an endangered language.

Throughout her life, Armer has been a collector of Cherokee language materials. Her collection here is varied in nature, featuring books, ephemera, historical records and letters. Some highlights of the collection include:

  • A late 20th century edition of the New Testament in Cherokee
  • Documentation and letters pertaining to the Bellefonte Indian Baptist Church in Cherokee County, Oklahoma, dated to the 1960s
  • A set of full-color bilingual “Popeye the Sailor,” “Hi & Lois,” “Beetle Bailey” and “Blondie” comic books in Cherokee and English
Catalog #Title
CAR-001ᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᏤ ᎧᏃᎮᏛ ᏖᏠᎯᏍᏛ / Cherokee New Testament
CAR-002 “Hi & Lois”
CAR-003 “Popeye the Sailor”
CAR-004 “Beetle Bailey”
CAR-005 “Blondie”
CAR-006Notebook containing Bellefonte Indian Baptist Church Sunday school records in Cherokee for years 1962-63
CAR-007 Notebook containing Bellefonte Indian Baptist Church Sunday school records in Cherokee for years 1965-67
CAR-008Loose manuscript page from Bellefonte Indian Baptist Church Sunday school records, dated Oct. 22, 1963
CAR-009Loose manuscript page from Bellefonte Indian Baptist Church Sunday school records, dated 1968
CAR-010 Letter in Cherokee and English from Sam H. Hair and pastor Felix Bird, dated 1968, on the resignation of two members of the 13 Mile Creek Church
CAR-011Letter from Lizzie Gonzales to Bellefonte Baptist Church, Cherokee County, Oklahoma