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The Charles Aubrey and Patricia Anderson Buser Collection
Research on American Indian Languages and Cultures
A Guide and Inventory

Guide Compiled by:
Mannen Asefa, Jennifer Boguski, Lauren Coker, Kristin DiPietro, Khalid Elwanni, Caitlyn Fader, Eric Hines, Lisa Iacobellis, Benjamin Lammers, Karin Luk, Timea Mazhar, Sophia McGuire, Benjamin Obringer, Laura Smith, Molly Van Hart


The Story of the Collection

Charles Aubrey Buser (1922-2010) and Ardis Patricia Anderson Buser had a strong personal interest in Wyandotte language and culture. They traveled widely, throughout the United States and Canada, making many enduring friendships along the way. They explored the history and traditions of the Wyandotte, as well as other native peoples, gathered genealogical information, and in the process sought to record as much as possible of the languages, both in text and audio recordings. Charles Buser's research proved to be valuable to the Wyandotte people on more than one occasion, and he was honored for his contributions.

Stephen Buser, former faculty member of the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, recognized the research value of his parents' papers and offered to permit the OSU Libraries to scan the collection before the materials were donated to the Wyandotte Nation. He graciously contributed financial support for the scanning project. Scanning commenced in November of 2008, and the project was completed in July 2012, although students and outside researchers were able to access the collection as the finding aids began to appear on the web.

Content and Description

The Buser collection in its original physical state, which is now held by the Wyandotte Nation in Oklahoma, consists of 13 boxes of photocopies, notes, books, pamphlets, government documents, clippings, audio recordings, and a great deal of personal correspondence. The finding aids maintain the order in which the collection came to us for scanning, and thus they are divided into box and folder categories, arranged in two main alphabetical sequences that seem to reflect the contents of two separate filing locations rather than a clear categorical division. Additional binders and boxes of note cards were used to track historical events and form the beginning of a dictionary. The collection contains a wealth of information that will be an essential research resource for historians, linguists and genealogists. The contents are of value for researching the history of the Wyandotte people in general, and individual families in particular. Buser, who also documented cultural practices and details about clothing design, was at times consulted by the Wyandotte because of the extent of his knowledge in these areas. Buser's handwritten language materials are the most readily available, as they may be retrieved directly via links in the finding aids for box 5.

How We Processed the Collection

In evaluating the collection and its potential research value, Rare Books decided to scan every item, except for books, pamphlets and journals, or clippings that include citations of their sources. These were only mentioned in the finding aids so that researchers can pursue those references if they wish to do so. This means that some more obscure clippings were scanned, as well as hand-typed and mimeographed newsletters. All of the notes and drawings of Charles and Patricia Buser, including the history and language note cards, are available on the web to interested parties connecting from any location. Official and personal correspondence and photographs were also scanned, and are listed in the finding aids. However, images of these items may only be viewed in the Thompson Library Special Collections Reading Room or the Newark Earthworks Center at OSU Newark, since the correspondence is relatively recent, and the individuals, or their immediate family members, may still be alive. Please make an appointment to view the restricted items in our reading room.

OSU Rare Books and Manuscripts would welcome contact from anyone who corresponded with the Busers or whose family members collaborated with the researchers and are willing to have the scans of their letters made public. These have been of particular interest for genealogical investigations.

Please use the search function within your browser to search each finding aid for particular subjects or individuals.

Lisa Iacobellis
Assistant Curator, Rare Books & Manuscripts

Overview of the Collection:

Repository:Rare Books and Manuscripts Library
Creators:Charles and Patricia Buser
Title:The Charles and Patricia Buser Collection of Research Materials on Native American Cultures
Dates:1700s (in photocopies) through 2005
Quantity:13 boxes
Description:The collection includes audiotapes, transcriptions, notes and research on the Wyandot language. In addition, there are many articles, as well as complete newsletters or other publications related to their study of the Wyandot tribe and other Native Americans. There is a significant amount of correspondence, both professional and personal, and a number of photographs.

When accessing the site from within the Special Collection Reading Room please use the following link to view all available scans.

The Background of the Collection
Box 1: Folders "Abenaki" through "DeWeese"
Box 2: Folders "Estill" through "Michigan"
Box 3: Folders "Migrations" through "Tanner"
Box 4: Folders "Tecumseh" through "Zane"
Box 5, list a: Bibliography note cards
Box 5, list b: Chronology note cards - no date through 1768
Box 5, list c: Chronology II note cards - 1770-1817
Box 5, list d: Chronology III note cards - 1818-1980
Box 6: Notes arranged alphabetically or chronologically, held in binders and folders, but related to the note cards
Box 7: Folders "Abenaki" through "Long"
Box 8: Folders "McQuistion" - "Zane"
Box 9: Folders 1-44: Wyandot Roll 1763-1956
Box 10:Wy - Language folders 1-5
Box 11:Audiotapes
Box 12, list a: Note cards "A" through "M"
Box 12, list b: Note cards "N" through "XYZ"
Box 13: Vocabulary note cards
Box 14: Digitized files on DVDs
All of the digitized files are available on DVDs if one wishes to browse the images without the finding aid. This approach may be preferred for multi-page documents. The DVDs may be used in the Special Collections Reading Room.

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Page last revised: JUne 16, 2016

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