The Leland D. Case Library at Black Hills State University recently received a collection of Lakota language materials from the Summer Institute of Language (SIL) North American Branch.
The collection contains 86 titles, consisting mainly of language study materials such as grammars and dictionaries. There are also a number of religious books, such as hymnals and Bibles translated into the Dakota and Lakota languages, and some Lakota stories. Most of the materials are from the 1970s, but there are also items dating as far back as 1898 and as current as 2002.
The SIL was founded in 1934 with the intention of thoroughly exploring and documenting every minority language on the globe that had not yet been analyzed. By the latter part of the 20th century, the SIL had published studies on over 1,000 languages. They are currently in the process of studying over 1,000 additional languages. SIL founder William Cameron Townsend was also instrumental in involving governmental and educational bodies in bringing recognition to minority peoples.
More information about this collection is available at http://iis.bhsu.edu/lis/findingaid/sil.cfm. For further information about the Case Library, contact Bobbi Sago at 642-6361 or RobertaSago@bhsu.edu.