Richard L. Walker (1922-2003), known as Dixie to his friends, was an international scholar, educator, leader in international studies, and former Ambassador to South Korea (1981-1986). A Drew University graduate (BA ’44), Walker served in World War II before becoming a noted educator at Yale University and the University of South Carolina.
This collection consists of a wide variety of materials related to Walker’s personal, professional, and political life. The papers include correspondence, research materials, manuscripts, typescripts, publication materials, conference/event materials, government documents, memorabilia, as well as photographs and audio media. Hundreds of books from Richard Walker’s personal library are also included as part of the collection.
Walker was appointed Ambassador to South Korea in 1981 by Ronald Reagan. His tenure is still the longest of any Korean ambassador in U.S. history. Documents in the collection cover Walker’s life before, during, and after his time as ambassador. This includes research materials, manuscripts, and typescripts for many of his published works and public speeches, which provide insight into his writing and editing process. In addition, the collection includes detailed daily planners and scrapbooks from his time as ambassador, many of which were assembled by his wife Celeno “Ceny” Walker. A small subset of the collection contains documents related to Ceny herself and her role in Richard’s life.
The archival and printed materials in the Walker Collection focus mainly on political and international studies of Korea, China, Japan, and other Asian nations. Walker was a long-standing authority on Asian history and political development and the collection makes for a valuable contribution to the academic study of international relations, Asian heritage and history, and the political culture of America’s relations in East Asia. Scholars interested in these areas will find a variety of useful materials that will contribute to their research.