Joe E. Pierce was a faculty member in the Anthropology Department at Portland State College at the time these recordings were made. Pierce earned his Ph.D. at Indiana University in 1957 and specialized in linguistics and world languages. He died in 1994.
Bruce J. Rigsby was a graduate student at the University of Oregon and completed his Ph.D. in 1965.
Amelia Brown was described by James Collins in Understanding Tolowa Histories: Western Hegemonies and Native American Responses as "herbalist, midwife, cook, and raconteur".
The Oregon Native American Language Sound Recordings consist of cassette audiotape recordings of interviews conducted by Joe E. Pierce with members of the Coquille and Siletz tribes. The recordings were made as part of a project funded by the National Science Foundation for a systematic study of Native American languages in Oregon. Bruce J. Rigsby also participated in the study.
The recordings document the Tolowa and Tutuni languages, especially word phrases, songs, and stories. The grammatical structure of the languages is also addressed. The bulk of the recordings are interviews with Mrs. Amelia Brown; other individuals that are included in the recordings are Mr. and Mrs. Lopez, Mrs. Ida Bensell, Hoxy Simmons, Miller Collins, and Mrs. Carrie Streets.
The cassette audiotapes were prepared in the late 1980s by Tom Grigsby of the OSU Anthropology Department from original reel-to-reel recordings. Tape logs were prepared at that time and are included with the collection.
Oregon Native American Language Sound Recordings (OH 12), Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis, Oregon.