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Foreign Language phrasebooks and polyglots

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: SPEC-045

Scope and Contents

The phrasebooks and polyglots in this collection range from the early 1800s to the late 1980s. Languages covered include Chinese, French, Greek, Flemish, Dutch, Arabic, Flemish, Italian, Norwegian, Scandinavian, Japanese, Swedish, and Turkish.


  • Creation: 1855-1989

Language of Materials

Materials in English, Chinese, French, Greek, Dutch, German, Turkish, Egyptian, Arabic, and Sundanese

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

Literary rights, including copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their legal heirs and assigns. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections. The publisher must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Historical Note

Phrase books are collections of ready-made phrases, generally for a foreign language with a translation. Most phrasebooks are organized thematically into chapters such as interpersonal relationships, food, etc; along with useful information on the travel destinations culture, customs, and conventions. Phrase books generally present clear, concise, and practical structuring which allow the user to communicate in a quick and easy manner. A polyglot is traditionally a book that contains side by side versions of the same text in several different languages.


13 Cubic Feet


Arranged in the following series and subseries:

Series 1: Phrasebooks

Subseries 1.1: Arabic phrasebooks

Subseries 1.2: Danish phrasebooks

Subseries 1.3: Dutch phrasebooks

Subseries 1.4: French phrasebooks

Subseries 1.5: Flemish phrasebooks

Subseries 1.6: Gaelic phrasebooks

Subseries 1.7: German phrasebooks

Subseries 1.8: Greek phrasebooks

Subseries 1.9: Italian phrasebooks

Subseries 1.10: Japanese phrasebooks

Subseries 1.11: Norwegian phrasebooks

Subseries 1.12: Portuguese phrasebooks

Custodial History

This collection was purchased by Archives and Special Collections.


Further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2009/06/20 by A. Kidder. Finding Aid created 2009/07/16 by Lajmar Anderson and A. Kidder. EAD finding aid created 2009/07/30 by Lajmar Anderson. EAD finding aid revised 2012/11/28 by Stephen Jones. Addition processing completed on 2015/05/28 by John Renschler and Lindsey M. Vesperry. EAD finding aid revised 2015/05/28 by Lindsey M. Vesperry

Foreign language phrasebooks and polyglots
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA