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Personal papers of Allan Wicker

Call Number: PP 625


This collection mostly consists of correspondence between Allan Wicker and his mentor and friend, Roger Barker, who began the field of ecological psychology while working at the University of Kansas.


  • Creation: 1962 - 2014


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Allan W. Wicker

Allan W. Wicker received an associates degree from Independence Community College in Kansas in 1961. He received the rest of his degrees from the University of Kansas, including a bachelors in personnel administration in 1963, masters in psychology in 1965, and doctorate in psychology in 1967. He studied under Roger G. Barker, who had come to the University of Kansas to serve as chairman of the psychology department in 1947. Barker established the Midwest Psychological Field Station in Oskaloosa, Kansas and lived in Oskaloosa for much of the rest of his life.

Wicker went on to serve as an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 1967-1969 and than at the University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana from 1969-1971. In 1971, he joined the faculty at the Claremont Graduate School, serving as acting chairman of the Psychology Department from 1985-1986. He has held visiting professorships at the New York State School of Labor and Industrial Relations, part of Cornell University, and at the Psychological Institute at the University of Tuebingen in Germany. He has also held Fulbright appointments as a visiting professor at the University of Zimbabwe-Harare, University of Ghana-Legon, and University of Malaysia-Sarawak. He has been professor emeritus with Claremont Graduate University since 1999.

Wicker's research interests include culture and ethnicity; interpersonal processes; organizational behavior; research methods and assessments; and sociology, particularly social networks. He has taught undergraduate courses in ecological psychology, social psychology of work, non-governmental organization (NGO) administration, qualitative research methods, and organizational behavior and industrial relations. He has taught graduate courses in research conception and design, qualitative resarch methods for education, work and culture, naturalistic inquiry, theories of social behavior, applied conceptual framing and analysis, and qualitative research methods for human resource professionals.

Wicker's publications include the book An Introduction to Ecological Psychology (1979), an online publication about the "Working in Ghana" Project, and several articles and book chapters in psychology journals, conference proceedings, and textbooks.

[Information retrieved from Allan Wicker's CV, dated March 2014.]


.25 Linear Feet (1 document case)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

This collection largely consists of correspondence from or about Roger Barker and regards the development of ecological psychology, which Barker co-founded with Herbert F. Wright at the University of Kansas. The correspondence also covers personal topics, such as family visits, the weather, and Barker's own self-reflections. There are some copies of correspondence Wicker sent Barker, and the correspondence continued after Barker's death in 1990 with Barker's wife, Louise. Individuals mentioned in the letters include Wicker's second wife Kathy/Kathleen, Paul and Natalie Gump, Phil and Dikkie Schoggen, Jon/Jonathan and Nancy Barker (Roger and Louise's son and daughter-in-law), Lucy and Celia Barker (Roger and Louise's daughters), Sandra Kirmeyer, Fritz Heider, Herb/Herbert Wright, Tony Smith, Beatrice Wright, and "KL," or Kurt Lewin, Barker's mentor.

Other items in the collection include copies of a paper Barker gave and a grant application for the Midwest Town project, memorials and obituaries for Roger Barker after his death in 1990, correspondence with Paul Gump, notes from interviews and phone calls Wicker conducted with the Barkers, photographs, and a copy of Wicker's curriculum vitae, which he believed would provide cross referencing help to publications referred to in the collection's correspondence.


Collection is largely organized chronologically.

Physical Location

PP 625

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Allan Wicker, 2014.

Related Materials

Personal papers of Roger Barker, PP 367, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Consult library staff regarding the availability of related photographs, biographical files, and scrapbooks.

Separated Materials

Allan Wicker deposited correspondence with the Barkers dating from 1976-1979 and related to writing his book An Introduction to Ecological Psychology with other papers related to his career at the Honnold/Mudd Library Special Collections, Claremont Colleges, California.

Guide to the Allan Wicker Collection
Personal papers of Allan Wicker
Finding aid prepared by mwh. Finding aid encoded by mwh.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Personal papers of Allan Wicker, PP 625, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States