Smithsonian Global

Mary S. Linn

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Photo Courtesy of Mary Linn



Culture & the Arts

Mary S. Linn is Curator of Cultural and Linguistic Revitalization at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (CFCH). Mary specializes in work with indigenous communities in North America to sustain and revitalize endangered languages.

Mary joined the Smithsonian in 2014. She works in revitalization strategies for indigenous community members including language documentation, language policy, survey methods, and culturally-based language curriculum.

In Mary’s words, “working at Smithsonian on these exciting new language and cultural initiatives will help me affect positive change in communities, and these changes create a more diverse and sustainable world for everyone.”

Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Mary was associate curator of Native American languages and associate professor at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, University of Oklahoma.


Recovering Voices   Active

Through archival materials in our collections—sound recordings, field notes, books, and artifacts—Smithsonian’s Recovering Voices initiative helps reconnect individuals and communities with their linguistic traditions and sustain endangered languages for generations to come.