Morris Foster Collection

Languages represented: Algonquin, Caddo, Cherokee, Dakota, Ho-chunk, Lakota, Moose Cree, Omaha; Oneida, Plains Cree, Swampy Cree

The Morris Foster Collection was established in 2003. It features books and language lesson manuals concerning 11 various languages within the Algonquian (Algic), Caddoan, Iroquoian and Siouan-Catawban language families. The books on Caddo, Cree and Lakota are especially useful for those interested in understanding and learning to read and write those languages or enhancing vocabulary skills.

The collector of these materials, Morris Foster, was born in Alva, Oklahoma and attended schools in Alva and Stillwater. He is a former colleague of Mary Linn, (Curator of Native American Languages at the Sam Noble Museum from 2002 – 2014) and served as Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma for more than 2 decades before being named Vice President for Research at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.

Between 1984 and 2010, Foster conducted fieldwork with Comanche, Creek, Seminole, Yuchi, Plains Apache, Choctaw and Chickasaw communities. He also served as Editor of American Indian Quarterly from 1993 – 1997. His research has been centered on ethnohistory and ethnography and includes his book Being Comanche: A Social History of an American Indian Community, which earned him the Erminie Wheeler-Voeglin Prize for best book from the American Society for Ethnohistory in 1992.