The Native American Languages collection at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is a repository for invaluable language resources, primarily on the indigenous languages of the Americas. We accept material donated by individuals, families, communities/tribes and other organizations as long as they pertain to the mission of the collection, and respect museum collections policies. Our guidelines for ingest of materials are as follows:
We collect any items which include instances of indigenous languages, particularly (but not necessarily limited to) languages of the Americas. This includes primary materials such as field notes, audio/video recordings, and correspondence, as well as secondary materials like datasets, pedagogical materials, descriptive materials, translations/transcriptions, and other media productions.
We also have a reference library which holds scholarly papers, articles, journals, books and theses on and related to Native languages. These come from disciplines like linguistics, anthropology, archaeology, and ethnology.
We cannot take any items which:
- Have legal or ethical complications, where the depositor does not have the appropriate permissions to donate the material;
- May be hazardous to persons or to the collections. We treat all incoming items for pests, but we are unable to treat materials for all potential hazards, namely mold;
- Are beyond our local capabilities to care for appropriately. This is generally not a problem for the languages collection.
With respect to music, the Native American Languages collection accepts culturally pertinent music which has indigenous language content. As a language archive we recognize that language is not divorceable from song, but our priority is language documentation as opposed to musical performance alone. Therefore, the music should contain understandable language, and have substantial lyrical content and do not consist primarily of non-lexical vocables.
We reserve the right to decline to take in any materials which do not adhere to these policies, or which do not fit within the scope of the collection. In the later instance, we may direct you to another repository that may be more appropriate for your materials.