Language Studies Research Guide

The State Historical Society of Missouri holds numerous etymology, linguistic, foreign language study, and language collections that reflect the state and nation’s diverse cultural heritage. The collections and resources for language studies include the American Dialect Society Records, the Foreign Language Association of Missouri Records, and the Mid-America Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Records.

Articles from Missouri Historical Review and Missouri Times


Many of the State Historical Society’s holdings are included in the SHSMO online catalog. The State Historical Society holds numerous books on the history and study of language in Missouri, the Midwest, and the United States generally. The broadest term to search is the subject term “language” or “linguistics.” For a more specific search in Missouri, simply add the subject term “Missouri” to your search.


The State Historical Society has many collections with primary source materials related to the study of language.

View All Language Manuscript Collections


Oral Histories

Lance, Donald M. (1931-2002), Papers, 1938-2002 (C3992) - The papers of a University of Missouri English professor well known for his lectures on the pronunciation of “Missouri” and other dialect research contain extensive professional correspondence, research data, articles, presentations, teaching materials, and materials related to his work with professional organizations. Audio cassettes include interviews with Germans in Missouri and with decorated US Army Special Forces veteran Byrl D. Taylor, Missouri folk musicians, and examples of English language dialects.

Steinkuehler, Leland, German Dialect Collection, 2005-2008 (CA6096) - Recordings and accompanying paperwork of interviews conducted by Steinkuehler with Missourians of German heritage from Concordia, Loose Creek, Westphalia, and St. Elizabeth, Missouri, as well as visitors from Meerbusch, Germany. Includes a comparison of dialects between three interviewees. Recordings of a Lutheran Church service conducted in Low German and a narration with English translations by Reverend Alfred W. Rodewald were added in 2009.