Walt Riker Papers, 1943-2003
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Brief Description:

The Walt Riker Manuscript Collection, which spans the years 1943-2003, consists of correspondence, photographic and audiovisual materials, invitations, press passes and badges, maps, newspapers and clippings, books and magazines.

The majority of the collection relates to his tenure as Press Secretary for Senator Bob Dole. Riker worked alongside Senator Dole from 1981-1993, as his media specialist. Included in the collection are photographs of political functions, press releases, drafts of speeches, notes and itineraries. Many of the items reveal Riker’s close relationship with Senator Dole and his responsibility to promote the Senator’s public image. Also documented are Riker and Senator Dole’s extensive travels with the Congressional Delegation wherein they met such figures as Saddam Hussein, Pope John Paul II, and Deng Xiaoping, among others. Additional items not only portray Riker’s interest in politics, but also events closer to home including the Kansas City Royals World Series championship in 1985 and the Kansas Jayhawks Men’s Basketball championship in 1988.

In addition to materials pertaining to Riker's role as Press Secretary, a small portion of the collection includes essays and coursework related to Riker’s academic career at The University of Kansas. These materials consist primarily of graded papers from his time as a student at the William Allen White School of Journalism and are restricted to patron access in accordance with FERPA. The collection also includes memos and correspondence Riker acquired as a radio and television journalist for WIBW in Topeka, Kansas, from 1978-1981.

Held at:
Robert and Elizabeth Dole Archive and Special Collections
The Dole Institute of Politics
2350 Petefish Drive
Lawrence, KS 66045
Phone: 785-864-1405
Email: dolearchives [at] ku.edu
Record Series Number: 01/014
Created by: Riker III, Walter F. (1947-)
Volume: 14.63 Linear Feet
Arrangement: The collection is arranged chronologically into four series based on major functions of Walt Riker’s career and includes Pre-Press Secretary, Press Secretary, Post-Press Secretary and Published Materials. All attempts have been made during processing to preserve the original order of the collection as it was received from Walt Riker. Subseries and individual folders within each series are arranged alphabetically first, and then chronologically if needed. The collection includes a fourth series, Published Materials, comprised of books, newspapers and magazines, which did not fit intellectually within the three preceding series. An attempt was made to incorporate any viable published materials into the first three series. Additionally, photographs, slides and audio visual materials have been housed separately from text materials for preservation purposes, although removal forms still link the materials intellectually to the corresponding series.
Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research, however, some materials within the Riker Papers are restricted because of their sensitive nature or because they contain personal or confidential information. These records are protected by federal laws such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Examples of restricted records are academic files and any materials containing personal information such as addresses and social security numbers. Restricted materials are identified at the box and/or folder level within the finding aid. Questions about these materials may be directed to the Senior Archivist of the Dole Archives.
Subject Index
Dole, Robert J., 1923-2021
Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- )
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Russian [rus]
Chinese [chi]
Rights/Use Restrictions: Copyright restrictions apply in different ways to different kinds of materials. Some of the documents and other historical materials in the Dole Archive are in the public domain and may be reproduced and used in any way. However, there are other materials that carry a copyright interest that must be used according to the provisions of Title 17 of the U.S. Code. The Dole Archive issues a warning concerning copyright restrictions to every researcher who requests copies of documents. Although the copyright law is under constant redefinition in the courts, it is ultimately the responsibility of the researcher to properly use copyrighted materials.