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Kenneth L. Pike (1912–2000)

Pike Special Collection

Including papers of Kenneth Lee Pike, Evelyn Griset Pike, and Eunice Victoria Pike

In March of 1999, Kenneth Pike, Evelyn Pike, and Eunice Pike donated a large body of their personal and work-related papers to the Summer Institute of Linguistics. These papers are comprised of unpublished academic papers, lecture and sermon notes, teaching resource materials, personal and SIL corporation correspondence, diaries, awards and honorary recognitions, as well as various photos and work-related artifacts.

After Kenneth Pike's death on December 31, 2000, some additional deposits of papers from his home office were made by Evelyn Pike. In addition, a small number of papers were deposited from some of the academic offices at the International Linguistics Center in Dallas.

These collected papers now reside as a special collection in the SIL International Language and Culture Archives in Dallas, Texas. The papers have been arranged in eleven series, each of which is briefly described below.

Researchers desiring access to the collection must complete and submit the SIL International Language and Culture Archives Access Policies and Registration before making an appointment with the curator.

Correspondence Series

(Three and one half file cabinet drawers)

This series spans nearly a century. There are copies of some William Cameron Townsend correspondence from 1917-1938 that were in the materials the Pikes deposited. The Pike correspondence begins in 1931 with a 14 page handwritten letter to Pike's sister Sally and ends in December 2000 with a handwritten note responding to a professor in Iraq who had requested some of Pike's publications. The materials are arranged chronologically in file folders. A database lists date, author, recipient and place of writing [if known] and brief note of content. Some of the correspondents by decade are:

An attempt has been made to list the correspondents above only in the decade when the correspondence first started, though there may be additional correspondence in the following decades. There are many more correspondents than those listed. There are over 200 pieces of correspondence to or from William Cameron Townsend between 1935 and 1975. There are 8,220 pieces of correspondence listed in the database. In addition there are over a hundred greetings and reminiscences from friends around the world in a volume made for Pike's 80th birthday celebration.

Corporation History Series

(One file cabinet drawer) is divided into four subsections

Honors and Awards Series

(Five boxes; two linear feet)

This series of sixty listed items includes copies of Pike's earned and honorary degrees, academic appointments, honorary memberships, papers related to Pike's nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Lecture Series

(Two file cabinet drawers + 18 inches linear shelf space) is divided into three subseries:

Research Topics Series

(30 linear feet) is divided into topical and chronological sub-series, a collection of miscellaneous conference papers, and a book collection.

Publications Series

(Three file cabinet drawers )

Most of Pike's published articles are in the collection. A few not included here are in the Language and Culture Archives along with some of the books. There are three file drawers of folders arranged chronologically. Some early drafts are included here, as well as correspondence related to publication. Also included are published reviews of Pike's works.

Poetry Series

(Two boxes; 18 linear inches)

This series includes copies of Pike's poems arranged alphabetically by title in two archival boxes. Included are original handwritten copies, typed copies, computer print out copies, and some reprints of early published poems. A third box includes correspondence related to the publication of Seasons of Life, a file on Poetry chapels, and a file of poetry not included in Seasons of Life. A database lists title, variant title(s), date and occasion of writing, publication prior to Seasons of Life, and volume and page in Seasons of Life, plus some 30 unpublished poems.

Personal History Series

(One file cabinet drawer)

This series includes diaries, photos, newspaper clippings, financial records and address lists.

Eunice Victoria Pike Series

(One file cabinet drawer)

The major part of this series consists of copies of some 3,500 letters which EVP wrote between 1936 and 1997. There are copies of some published articles, some drafts of other articles, a few papers on Mazatec village life, syllabus and lesson plans for a 40-day course on analysis of tone languages, and articles on the mushroom ceremony of the Mazatec.

Evelyn Griset Pike Series

(One half file cabinet drawer)

This series includes correspondence; a folder with "some of Ken's poems—E's copy"; some lesson plans and class notes for grammar classes and language learning classes; Vitae; some of Evelyn's published and unpublished materials.


A small number of artifacts and memorabilia including passports; original photo-ready copy of most of the pages of the Mixtec-Spanish New Testament; pocket calendar diaries from 1963-2000; the 16 mm. film reels of "Pike on Language"; Pike's wood desk from Michigan and Dallas days; Gray audograph machine and plastic discs of Pike's recordings.