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Ardis M. Walker Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Walker, Ardis Manly, 1901-
Title: Ardis M. Walker Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1928-1971
Quantity: 1.5 linear feet
Abstract: Papers of the American engineer, writer. Collection includes correspondence, 1928-63; typescript, holograph, and carbon copy manuscripts of articles; publicity materials including photographs; and published works. Works primarily concern local California history, especially for Kern County, California.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Ardis M. Walker was an American engineer, civil servant, and local historian and poet.

A descendant of a Kern County, California pioneer family, Walker was born in an old mining camp in Kernsville, California. He was educated in the public schools of the Kern County system and later attended Fresno State College, the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Southern California. After graduation from the School of Engineering of the latter institution, he was employed in New York City as an engineer. Returning to Kern County, he became active in civil affairs, serving as a supervisor and as a justice of the peace. He also became an active sportsman and conservationist, and was well-known for his writings on local history. He published a number of books, both prose and poetry.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Ardis M. Walker Papers consist of correspondence, writings, printed material, and a small amount of miscellanea.

Correspondence consists primarily of incoming letters, much of which is related to Walker's writings.

Writings contains typescripts of articles, books, pamphlets, poems, and other writings. Of particular interest is the typescript for his Sierra Nevada Sequence (1968), which includes proofs of the woodcuts by Kirk Martin that accompanied each sonnet.

Printed material includes campaign material and clippings relating to Walker's bid for Congress, clippings relating to his work, newspapers edited by Walker, publicity items for some of his books, and a selection of letterpress printings of some of his poems.

A small amount of Miscellany completes the collection. Here will be found photographs of Walker and his house, along with typed copy for two radio pieces on Walker that apparently ran on the local radio station.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Overall the collection is arranged alphabetically. Clippings are arranged roughly chronologically.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

A number of published books and monographs by Walker have been removed from the collection and transferred to Rare Books for cataloging. Please refer to the Classic Catalog and search on "Gift of Ardis M. Walker" to locate these items.

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Subject Headings


Garcés, Francisco Tomás Hermenegildo, 1738-1781.
Walker, Ardis Manly, 1901-
Walker, Joseph Reddeford, 1798-1876.


Death Valley '49ers.
Ecology in literature.
Historians -- United States.
Local history.
Nature in literature.
Poets, American -- 20th century.


Kernville (Calif.) -- History.
Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.) -- Poetry.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuscripts for publication.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Ardis M. Walker Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Ardis M. Walker, 1971, 1976, 1988, 1989.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: [Summit record]
Date: Mar 1967
Revision history: 5 Nov 2009 - converted to EAD (MRC); 20 Sep 2011 - additions processed (MRC)

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Box 1 Miscellaneous 1930-1963, 1971, undated (15 items with enclosures)
Box 1 A 1954-1963 (2 items)
Box 1 B 1930 (1 item)
Box 1 B 1962 (1 item)
Box 1 C (California) 1954-1962, undated (8 items with enclosures)
Box 1 C (Crillimore, Clarence) 1945-1946, undated (15)
Box 1 D 1963 (1 item)
Box 1 D (Death Valley 49ers) 1954-1957, undated (3 with enclosures)
Box 1 E 1944 (2 items)
Box 1 F 1937-1957, undated (3 items with enclosures)
Box 1 H 1928-1935, undated (15 items with enclosures)
Box 1 K 1960-1962 (2 items)
Box 1 K (Kern County, California) 1936-1963 (7 items with enclosures)
Box 1 L 1962, undated (2 items)
Box 1 L (Larson, Winifred) 1934-1936 (5 items)
Box 1 M 1930-1933 (4 items)
Box 1 N 1962 (1 item)
Box 1 O 1963-1964 (2 items)
Box 1 P 1949-1963, undated (5 items)
Box 1 R 1936 (1 item)
Box 1 S 1936-1963 (8 items)
Box 1 S (Arthur S. Stockwell Limited) 1930-1934 (8 items with enclosures)
Box 1 T 1934-1948 (5 items)
Box 1 U (Underwood, Edna Worthley) 1930-1949 (33 items with enclosures)
Box 1 W 1932-1962, undated (7 items with enclosures)
Box 1 Articles - appeared in magazines and newspapers, some with original manuscripts
1) "A Sonnet To My Wife" ( The Winged Word, vol. II, No. 3, Spring, 1943)
2) "A Tribute To J. C. Howe" (appearing in Aug 6, 1964 newspaper) holographic manuscript, original typescript manuscript and published copy
3) "Are The People's Forests Administered For The People?" ( Sierra Rainbow, Sep 1956)
4) "Charles Alvord, His Rescue and His Murder" ( Death Valley Tales, 1955) carbon copy manuscript with corrections and 2 published copies.
5) "Editorial" on the Sierra Nevadas ( Sierra Rainbow, Jun 1955) published copy
6) "Founder of Havilah" ( Sierra Rainbow, Mar 1957) published copy
7) "Howard Bilton" ("Sincerely Yours", Kern Valley Sun column, Sep 14 1961) carbon copy manuscript and published copy
7a) "In Support of Controlled Burning" ( Sierra Rainbow, Aug 1957) 2 Published Copies.
8) "Is It Now Too Late? A Summary of a Controversy" (Presented at Conservation Workshop of the Kern Plateau Association, August 29, 1964) mimeographed copy and background research material.
9) "Judas of the Kern" ( Westways, Mar 1958) published copy
10) "Old Quartzburg Monument" ( Sierra Rainbow, Dec 1956) published copy
11) "Sierra Prologue" (Kern County Historical Society, Fourth Annual Publication, May 1938) published copy
12) The Great Mojave Desert" 3 published installments and holograph and carbon copy manuscript
13) "Tiburcio Vasquez On The Kern" ( Sierra Rainbow, Mar 1957) published copy
14) "Unsung Argonauts of the Gold Rush" ( Sierra Rainbow, Sep 1957) published copy
15) "When Youth Came Down From the Harley Mine To Seek Oblivion" ( Sierra Rainbow, Mar 1957) published copy
16) "Whiskey Flat Massacre of 1863" (published copies from Sierra Rainbow, Mar 1957 and Tales of Whiskey Flat, Oct 1961)
17) "Wilderness Area" ( Sierra Rainbow, Oct 1955) published copy
Box 1 The Borax Smith Story - "Borax Smith" carbon copy manuscript; "The Story of Borax Smith" ( Searles Lake Borax 1862-1962, published for the dedication of the Searles Lake Monument by the Death Valley 49'ers, Nov. 8, 1962); published copy
Box 1 Death Valley 49'ers: The First 20 Years - original typescript with corrections
Box 1 Death Valley and Manly: Symbols of Destiny - published copy; "an enlarged treatment of The Manly Map and the Manly Story", 1 published copy; "Death Valley and Manly: Symbols of Destiny" original typescript manuscript with corrections
Francisco Garcés: Pioneer Padre of Kern
Box 1 Early draft, background source material - holograph and original typescript and carbon copy manuscripts with corrections
Box 2 Second draft of manuscripts with Spanish corrections - original typescript and carbon copy manuscript with corrections
Box 2 Third draft of manuscript - holograph, and carbon copy manuscript with corrections
Box 2 Final draft of manuscript - original typescript manuscript with corrections
Box 2 Freeman Junction - original typescript manuscript with corrections; carbon copy manuscript; published copy
Box 2 Joseph Reddeford Walker, Agent of Destiny - original typescript manuscript with corrections, two copies
Box 2 Kern Valley Centennial Vignettes - typescript manuscripts of several short articles, with corrections
Box 2 Poems - "Manhattan Spring" and "Spring Quickening"; carbon copy manuscript with corrections by Mrs. Underwood
Box 2 Political writings of Mr. Walker
"County Purchasing" (a talk given on May 20, 1952 at Candidates' Forum, Ridgecrest, California), mimeographed copy; "Road District Government" original typescript manuscript with corrections
Box 2 Prologue for unidentified book
Box 2 Manuscripts - early draft, holograph, original typescript and carbon copy manuscripts with corrections; original typescript manuscripts; carbon copy manuscripts
Box 2 Galley page proofs, promotional postcard
Box 2 The Rough and the Righteous - original typescript manuscript with corrections
Box 2 Sierra Nevada Sequence - sonnets; typescript for publication, including proofs of woodcut illustration accompanying each poem (2 folders)
Box 2 Sonnets "for possible publication" - original typescript manuscripts (for possible publication), with typescript explanation
Box 2 "Unknown Ananias" - carbon copy manuscript, author uncertain
Box 2 "Walker Pass" - original typescript manuscript of article with corrections; carbon copy manuscript with corrections
Printed material
Box 3 Campaign material - relating to Walker's campaign for Congress; campaign brochure, proofs of two advertisements
Box 3 About Walker 1954-1957, 1959, 1960-1962, 1968 (2 folders)
Box 3 About Walker and politics 1949-1950, undated (4 folders)
Box 3 Miscellaneous 1957-1959, undated
Box 3 Newspapers edited by Walker - The Whiskey Flat Miner and Kernville News (Feb 11, 1938)
Box 3 Poems by Walker - letterpress/fine press printings on broadsheets, pamphlets, greeting cards
Box 3 Publicity for Walker's books - fliers or advertisements for Francisco Garces, The Rough and The Righteous, and Sierra Nevada Sequence
Box 3 Photographs - of Walker, his house (5 items)
Box 3 Radio broadcast about Walker - typescript of remarks by unknown newsperson
Box 3 Radio broadcast about Walker - typescript of "conversation" between Harbison Parker and Pat [surname unknown], about Walker's Sierra sonnets

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