Guide to the Steven Lasswell/Peter Tiersma Frisian research archive Mss 321

Finding aid prepared by Catherine Chen and Zachary Liebhaber, 2016; revised by Beaudry Allen and Kovin Sherrod, 2016.
UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Research Collections
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara 93106-9010
2016 June 7

Title: Steven Lasswell/Peter Tiersma Frisian research archive
Identifier/Call Number: Mss 321
Contributing Institution: UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Research Collections
Language of Material: Multiple languages
Physical Description: 9.5 linear feet (3 cartons, 4 document boxes, 3 flat boxes, 71 audiocassettes)
Creator: Lasswell, Steven Theophilos, 1952-
Creator: Tiersma, Peter Meijes
Date (inclusive): 1926-2016
Date (bulk): 1980-2016
Abstract: Materials created and collected by the linguist Steven Lasswell in the course of writing his 1998 dissertation An Ecological Reference Grammar of Sölring North Frisian, as well as materials by and from the legacy of the late Peter Tiersma, Frisian linguist and professor of law.
Physical Location: Special Research Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library
Language of Material: The collection is in English, Frisian, various dialects of German, Plautdietsch, Dutch, and Danish.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Research Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Research Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Research Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of Item], Steven Lasswell/Peter Tiersma Frisian research archive, Mss 321. Department of Special Research Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Acquisition Information

Additions acquired by Special Research Collections, as a gift by Steven Lasswell, in 2016, with an additional increment in 2016.

Processing Information

File names retain the creator's naming convention.

Scope and Content

The Frisian Research Archive comprises materials used by the linguist Steven Lasswell in producing his 1998 dissertation An Ecological Reference Grammar of Sölring North Frisian as well as materials by and from the legacy of the late Peter Tiersma, Frisian linguist and professor of law. The Ecological Reference Grammar is particularly significant as not only the sole English-language treatment of Sölring, but also as the only exhaustive study of the language ever made – a language that is one of the most closely related to English and is thus of special interest historically.
Given the 'ecological' perspective of the dissertation for which it served as basis and Lasswell's pan-Frisian approach to his subject, the archive has much more than a purely grammatical orientation. With the term ecological here signifying the broadest possible approach to language, including knowledge of society, culture, and history of the speech community, the materials used encompass both academic and non-academic treatments of issues that bear on the functioning of the speech community on Söl (German Sylt), the North Sea island that is the home of the variety of North Frisian that is the focus of the study. Accordingly, there are manuscript and printed writings in Sölring, including an extensive body of correspondence between the author and inhabitants of the island; many of the published materials written by the Sölring islanders themselves; and several of the pedagogical works being used in schools to try to promote the language to a new generation. Of major importance is the collection of the newspaper Fuar Söl'ring Lir published during 1926-1939 and 1953-1970 in Sölring by Hermann Schmidt. Unique is the manuscript translation (in photocopy) of the entire New Testament by Peter Michael Clemens (1804-1870), from which the four Gospels were finally published in Germany and the Netherlands by Hindrik Brouwer in 2008. At the heart of the collection are approximately twenty-one hours of conversation with speakers of Sölring that were recorded by Lasswell on research trips in 1992 and 1993.
In addition to looking at the grammar and other structural characteristics of Sölring, Lasswell devoted much attention in his dissertation and other writings to the issue of language endangerment, language maintenance, and language revitalization, and the archive contains a number of source documents on these subfields of sociolinguistics which were emerging in the 1990s and which continue to be important in the face of widespread language loss around the world.
In conducting his research, Lasswell maintained close contacts throughout the historical area of the three Frisias (north, east, and west), and there are language materials in and about not only Sölring, but also Fering-Öömrang, the other insular variety of North Frisian; Freesk, Mooring, Frasch and Halunder (mainland varieties); and Seeltersk (East Frisian). Frysk, centered in the Frysian province of the Netherlands and the most widespread variety of Frisian, is also represented in the archive, and it is in fact to the "West Frisians" that Lasswell and many Frisianists look for inspiration in today's efforts at measures for maintaining and revitalizing the much smaller varieties of North and East Frisian, which are structurally changing and rapidly disappearing under unrelenting pressure from Standard German as the most viable and useful mode of communication in society in Germany. A large number of research materials are in German; further studies in Dutch, and Danish and other Scandinavian tongues round out the selection of foreign languages present in the archive.
Additional material was acquired in later half of 2016 (Boxes 7-10) and is comprised of correspondence, newspapers, magazines, academic papers and related research materials, books, and notes. The correspondence relates to conferences, article publishing, and general correspondence amongst the academic community. The research materials are in English, German, and Danish. Beyond correspondence, many of the records relate to writing, publishing, and conferences Lasswell participated in from the mid 1990s to early 2000s.


The collection has been divided into four series: Series I. Research Files, Series II. Newspapers and Manuscripts, Series III. Additions, and Series IV. Audio.

Related Material

Books on the Frisian Language from the libraries of Steven Lasswell and Peter Tiersma have been separated from the collection and cataloged. These may be accessed via the UCSB Library catalog under Steven Lasswell/Peter Tiersma Collection.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Frisian language
Frisian language -- Dialects
Letters (correspondence)
Manuscripts (document genre)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Sound recordings


Series I. Research Files 1990s

Box 1

Addenda re Lexik, Lasswell, and Materials on Frisian circa 1990s

Box 1


Box 1


Box 1


Box 1


Box 1


Box 1

Boie, Margarete, Der Sylter Hahn (copy)

Box 1

Bosma-Banning, Bûter, Brea en Griene Tsiis (copy) (Frysk)

Box 1


Box 1

Codeswitching in Sölring North Frisian

Box 1


Box 1

Clemens, Bibelübersetzungsarbeit

Box 1

Clemens, Dit helig Evangilje van Lukas (notes)

Box 1

Correspondence (Academic)

Box 1


Box 1

Degn, Christian Von - Schleswig-Holstein

Box 1

Danish West Frisian, West Frisian Danish outline grammars

Box 1

Outline grammars of Sölring: Nann Mungard (1909), Peter Saxild (1846), Hermann Schmidt (ca. 1961)

Box 1

Early Sölring Literature: C.P. Hansen's Uald Söld'ring Tialen (1858), Jap Peter Hansen's Di Gitshals of di Söl'ring Pidersdai & Di lekkelk Stjüürman (1896), Boy Peter Möller's Söl'ring Leesbok (1909)

Box 1


Box 1

Economic Text - Original and Translation, Lexical Elaboration

Box 1

Faltings / Ebert

Box 1


Box 1

Feitsma, Vernacular and Identity; Die Friesen und ihre Sprache

Box 1

Fering - Öömrang (insular N. Fris.)

Box 1


Box 1

Folien / Dir. Rds.

Box 1

Frasch / Freesk - Mainland N. Frisian

Box 1

Friserstudier 1979-1980

Box 1

Friserstudier 1981-1983

Box 1

Fridsma, Bernard J. Sr., Introduction to Frisian (copy)

Box 1

Friesische Bewegung - Language Movement

Box 1

Friesisch und Englisch

Box 1

Frisian allgm. (Hoekstra/Tiersma)

Box 1

Frisians in America

Box 1

Frysk Diminutives (D. Hoffmann)

Box 1

Frysk / West Frisian 1

Box 1

Frysk / West Frisian 2

Box 1

Frysk / West Frisian 3

Box 1

Genetics and Typology

Box 1

Glasgow, ESSE Papers: Sociolinguistic Factors...English/N. Frisian

Box 1

Handwritten Grammatical Notes, Lasswell

Box 1

Halunder - N. Frisian / Helgoland

Box 1

History of Frisia(n)

Box 2

History Schleswig - Holstein/Slesvig/Denmark

Box 2

Hoekstra, Braunmüller

Box 2


Box 2

IHC - Fall 1994 PhD

Box 2

Jørgensen, Über die Herkunft der Nordfriesen

Box 2

Jørgensen, Peter, Phonetics/Phonology

Box 2

(Journal) Nordfriesland

Box 2

Kalendarium (Eider, Wiedau)

Box 2

Kööp, Karl-Peter, Quellen und Materialien zur Nordfriesischen Geschichte

Box 2

Language Contact

Box 2

Language Maintenance

Box 2

Language Maintenance, Education, Politics

Box 2

Language Purism

Box 2

Lasswell [1]

Box 2

Lasswell [2]

Box 2

Lasswell [3]

Box 2

Lasswell [4]

Box 2

Lasswell, An Ecological Reference Grammar of Sölring North Frisian (Dissertation - Final)

Box 2

Lasswell, An Ecological Reference Grammar of Sölring North Frisian (Dissertation - Preliminary Ver.)

Box 2

Lasswell - Articles and Lecture Notes

Box 2

Lasswell - Directed Reading Fall 1992

Box 2

Lasswell - Linguistics 252 Fall 1994

Box 2

Lasswell, North Frisian Dialectalization or Demise [1]

Box 2

Lasswell, North Frisian Dialectalization or Demise [2]

Box 2

Lasswell, North Frisian Language Management and Planning

Box 2


Box 2


Box 2

Lowlands 1999

Box 2

Low Saxon

Box 2

LSA 1995

Box 2


Box 2

Maps, Calendars, Landeskunde

Box 2

Minority Languages

Box 3

Miscellaneous Articles

Box 3

Miscellaneous - Frisian 1

Box 3

Miscellaneous - Frisian 2

Box 3

Miscellaneous - Frisian 3

Box 3

NFrl Quarterly

Box 3

NF - Maps

Box 3

(N)Frisian Varieties (Texts)

Box 3

NFrl - Hefte

Box 3


Box 3

Nordfriesisches Jahrbuch

Box 3

Nordfriisk Instituut

Box 3

Other Gmc.

Box 3


Box 3


Box 3


Box 3


Box 3

Schmidt, Hermann, Index to Fuar Söl'ring Lir [1]

Box 3

Schmidt, Hermann, Index to Fuar Söl'ring Lir [2]

Box 3

Seeltersk - East Frisian (Saterland)

Box 3

Siebs, Th.

Box 3

Sölring Concl.

Box 3

Sölring Contemporary Texts

Box 3

Sölring Grammar/Orthography/Texts

Box 3

Sölring/N. Frisian Landeskunde

Box 3

Söl'ring Önerrocht

Box 3

Sölring - Teenkstiiner

Box 3


Box 3


Box 3

Tholund [1]

Box 3

Tholund [2]

Box 3


Box 3


Box 3

Transcriptions - Kairem/Söl

Box 3

Transcriptions - (Litj-) Muasem/Söl

Box 3

Transcriptions - Weesterlön/Söl

Box 3


Box 3


Box 3

W. Frysk/NLs

Box 3

Wü wel Sölring liir

Box 3



Series II. Newspapers and Manuscripts

Flat-box 4

Clemens, Dit helig Evangilje van Lukas (copy of manuscript) 2008

Scope and Content

Manuscript translation (in photocopy) of the entire New Testament by Peter Michael Clemens (1804-1870), from which the four Gospels were finally published in Germany and the Netherlands by Hindrik Brouwer in 2008.
Flat-box 5-6

Fuar Söl'ring Lir (Newspaper) 1926-1970

Scope and Content

Collection of the newspaper Fuar Söl'ring Lir produced during 1926-1939 and 1953-1970 in Sölring by Hermann Schmidt.

Related Material

For comprehensive index to this publication, see Schmidt, Hermann, Index to Fuar Söl'ring Lir ( Box 3).

Series III. Additions 1991-2006

Scope and Content

This series, constituting an addition to the Lasswell/Tiersma Frisian Research Archive, comprises correspondence and research files acquired from a number of later acquisitions.
Arranged in original order and retains original folder titles of the creator with added english translations when applicable.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Frisian language
Frisian language -- Dialects
Box-folder 7:1

Sölring Umschriften (Sölring Transcriptions) 1995 June 9 - 1997 April 1

Other Descriptive Information

Steven Lasswell dissertation colloquium.
Box-folder 7:2

Plautdietsch 1995 - 1996

Box-folder 7:4

Intro/Preview 1 1997-1999

Box-folder 7:5

Unity in diversity, the lesser used languages of Europe undated


Correspondence 1998-2006

Box-folder 7:6

Correspondence 1998-2006

Box-folder 7:8

[Correspondence] 1998-2001

Box-folder 7:9

[Correspondence] 1997-2006

Box-folder 8:1

Correspondence 1991 - 1995

Box-folder 8:4-5

Postcards/Letters 1993-1999


Frisian conference 1998 - 1999

Scope and Content

Regarding presentation on Frisian grammar at a Frisian conference. Also includes correspondence.
Box-folder 7:11

Notes/address book 1995 March 5

Box-folder 8:2

Newspapers 1999

Box-folder 8:3

Magazine clippings 1985

Box-folder 8: 4

Hans Hoeg dechtings [poems]. 1993

Box-folder 9:2

Academic papers 1993

Box-folder 9:3

Publishers 2000

Box-folder 9:4

Academic Journals, includes correspondence 1996-1997

Box-folder 9:5

Dissertation colloquium/Conference papers 1997-1999

Box-folder 9:6

Germanic/European Histories undated

Box-folder 9:7

Liiglönen (Light) 1998

Box-folder 9:8

Weinrich 1993

Box-folder 9:9

Dissertation von Steven Lasswell 1999

Box-folder 9:10

Academic papers, includes correspondence 1994 - 1995

Box-folder 9:11

NF Handouts en: me elev jaar 1995

Box-folder 9:12

Defense 1997

Box-folder 9:13

Rødgrød 1993-1997

Box-folder 9:14

Dansk (Danish) undated

Box-folder 10:1

Old English undated

Box-folder 10: 2

Fering lidj an leewent, by Peter Paulsen 1993

Box-folder 10:3

Mein Sylt Ein Lesebuch Von Hinrich Matthiesen 1992

Box-folder 10:4

Hans Hoeg (plus Min Jest Duusend: Uurter Sölring by Heather Amery) 2011-12


Series IV. Audio

Scope and Content

This series contains twenty-one hours of conversation with speakers of Sölring that were recorded by Lasswell on research trips in 1992 and 1993, and includes recordings in Öömrang and in mainland varieties of N. Frisian.
item A27207/CS

Abelings/Bartels, Hoeg

item A27208/CS

Arichsem, Muasem

item A27209/CS

Arnold/Brunhilde Voss (Muasem) and Hans Hoeg

item A27210/CS

Annemarie (M Kamp)

item A27211/CS

Bai üs tu hüs (Frasch)

item A27212/CS

Thiessen, Blunk

item A27213/CS

Bohn: 1

item A27214/CS

Bohn: 2

item A27215/CS

Bohn: 3

item A27216/CS

Bohn: 4

item A27217/CS

Bohn: 1

item A27218/CS

Bohn: 2

item A27219/CS


item A27220/CS

Bohn/Jacobsen, T. Hansen

item A27221/CS

Borgfeld/Golatic, dill 4/4

item A27222/CS


item A27223/CS

Boysen/Nissen broket

item A27224/CS


item A27225/CS

Clemens; Bencziks

item A27226/CS

Christoph, Kaarten/Bartling

item A27227/CS

C. Petersen/P. Schober

item A29627/CS

Frysk 1-8 (Butter Brea Griene Tsiis)

item A29628/CS

Frysk 9-20

item A29629/CS

Frysk 21-22

item A27228/CS


item A27229/CS

E. Hansen and U. Holst

item A27230/DAT

Hans Hoeg, Glasgow

item A27231/CS

Hiir Sölring, Liir Sölring

item A27232/CS

Hogreve; Andresen, Tadsen (Öömrang)

item A27233/CS

Holst, Voss (Arichsem)

item A27234/CS

Irene Bartels (biiring)

item A27235/CS

Jacobsen, Borgfeld and Golatic/T. Hansen

item A27236/CS

Kamp (töjen); Michelsen, Simonsen and NÅ 1996

item A27237/CS

M. Kamp and H. Lade

item A27238/CS


item A27239/CS

M. Kieckbusch ; E-U Schrahé, Herm. Lorenzen

item A27240/CS

Krogmann ; Gantzel ; Schneider M. Kamp

item A27241/CS


item A27242/CS


item A27243/CS

Neeli-most "üp raisin" Sölring komeedi fan Erich Johannsen 1934

item A27244/CS


item A27245/CS

Martinsen, Nissen

item A27246/CS

Moore, Dachte Foon E. (Freesh)

item A27247/CS

Öömrang: Chr. Flor

item A27248/CS

Öömrang: Weithas, Quedens Martinen, Gerretz

item A27249/CS

Paula Schneider and Alastair Walker

item A27250/CS

Petersen/Nicolai, Bohn

item A27251/CS

Proben, Kieckbusch/K.

item A29630/CS

Sangschaw and Penny Wheep by Huch MacDiarmid (The Boonie Broukit Bairn)

item A27252/CS


item A27253/CS


item A27254/CS

Schrahé 1966

item A27255/CS

Schrahé/Alte Aufnahmen

item A27256/CS

Siemens Fiirstön, Brer'ep

item A27257/CS

Siewertsen, Winger 1

item A27258/CS

Siewertsen, Winger 2

item A27259/CS

Sobila ; Jürgen Kamp

item A27260/CS

Sölring: Abelingo ; Bartels/Hoeg

item A27261/CS

Sölring: E. Hansen / U. Holst

item A27262/CS

Sölring: Irene Bartels (3, 4)

item A27263/CS

Sölring: Ossenbr/Lade; Schröders

item A27264/CS

Sölring: P. Hansen ; Abelings

item A27265/CS

Sölring (Kamp/Lade)

item A27266/CS

Thaysen/s ; döör NÅ 1966

item A27267/CS

Thaysen, Bartling/B.

item A27268/CS

Thaysens (ual) ; Bencsiks

item A27269/CS


item A27270/CS

Thiele, Gieppner - Carstensen

item A27271/CS

Üüs Ains Kieckbusch

item A27272/CS

Voss (Kiil) ; Krogmann (inkl. Eke Nepekken)

item A27273/CS

Voss/Hans ; Voss (K)

item A27274/CS

Voss, Kieckbusch / K.

item A27275/CS

Wilh. Siemens last ain Steken

item A27276/CS

Willy Schröder 1990