Archive for Turkish Oral Narrative (ATON)

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Welcome to the Uysal-Walker Archive of Turkish Oral Narrative (U-W ATON), located in the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas. ATON currently resides under the umbrella of the University Archives of Texas Tech University.

Brief Overview:

In 1961, Ahmet E. Uysal, Warren S. Walker and Barbara K. Walker first began collecting materials from the field after meeting in Ankara as a result of Dr. Walker receiving a U.S. Fulbright Grant to research in the Turkish Republic. After the first ten years of fieldwork in many villages, the task of organizing the materials and finding a permanent home for them began occupying their thoughts. With these concerns in mind, the three founded the Uysal-Walker Archive of Turkish Oral Narrative (U-W ATON) and eventually donated the holdings to Texas Tech University in 1980. Following Dr. Walker’s passing and Mrs. Walker’s retirement, H. B. Paksoy, who had taught at several universities, served as ATON Unit Head between January 2001 and December 2003.

Biographies of the Walkers:

Warren Stanley Walker [1920-2002] earned his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1951. Earlier, he had obtained his M.A. from the State University of New York-Albany (1947); and B.A. from the same institution (1947), all in English. During the Second World War, he was with the United States Army Air Corps (1943-1946). Afterward, he served on the English faculties of Blackburn College, Illinois (1951-1958); Parsons College, Iowa (1958-1964); and Texas Tech University (1964-1986). In 1971, Dr. Walker was appointed the first Horn Professor in the Department of English at Texas Tech University. He is the author and editor of several dozen volumes. The article Language Laboratory: A Formula for the Small College in American College and University Business written while at Blackburn College outlined the plan he developed and constructed, and was broadcast on the show Today and Tomorrow in Science by Huntley of Huntley-Brinkley.

Barbara Jeanne Kerlin Walker was born in Michigan in 1921, earned her B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany in 1943; and M.A. from the State University of New York at Albany in 1947, both in English. She taught at high schools in New York (1948-1949) and worked as a reader and associate editor at Cornell University Press (1949-1951). She moved to Lubbock alongside her husband and worked in ATON as an unpaid volunteer. Mrs. Walker was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Selcuk University (Konya, 1989) in recognition of her retelling the Turkish narratives. She retired from ATON in 2003.

During the 1961-1962 academic year, Dr. Walker and his wife, Barbara, were in Ankara to fulfill the requirements of the Fulbright Grant he was awarded. There, Walkers met Professor Ahmet Edip Uysal. It was Dr. Uysal who personally took Dr. and Mrs. Walker to the villages, made introductions, vouched for them, and protected them from the realm of the unknown. During subsequent summer visits by Walkers to the Turkish Republic, when Barbara Walker also began audio-taping narratives, the same pattern continued. Later, Barbara Walker published a segment of these in a number of volumes. Dr. Uysal also recorded narratives from the field year and forwarded them to the UYSAL-WALKER Archive at Texas Tech. This designation was a mutual decision reached by Drs. Uysal and Walker, and is engraved onto each and every volume of the translated narratives; thus the name of the collection.


Contact information:

Lynn Whitfield,
University Archivist
Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library
Box 41041
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, Texas 79409-1041
Phone (806) 742-3749

Visit The Archive of the Turkish Oral Narrative website for more information on ATON.


The files in the Uysal-Walker ATON collection are for study purposes, teaching, classroom projection and research only. Electronic publication of these works does not place them in the public domain. Texas Tech University owns the copyright to these materials. To use these digital files in any form, an attribution of "Courtesy of the Archive of the Turkish Oral Narrative, Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library" must be used.