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Remembering Barre Toelken On Wednesday's Access Utah

Utah State University

Today on Access Utah, we remember acclaimed folklorist Barre Toelken. Our guests include Randy Williams, folklore curator and oral history specialist with the Special Collections and Archives at the Merrill-Cazier Library, USU Assistant Professor of English Lynne McNeill, and Barre's daughter Kazuko Toelken.

Barre Toelken was born in 1935 to a musical family in Enfield, Mass., a town now replaced by a reservoir that serves nearby Boston. He died Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, in Logan at age 83. He spent nearly 20 years at Utah State University as a professor of English and a folklorist, eventually retiring in 2003. Toelken spent more than 40 years collecting Navajo stories — many of them sacred — and building tight relationships with Native American families.