Finding Aid & Box Contents

Ulla Johansen Anatolian Ethnology Collection Records, 1956-1957 

Descriptive Summary


Ulla Johansen, 1927-


Collections of Anatolian Civilizations,

Ulla Johansen Anatolian Ethnology Collection

Collection Number



This collection includes images, notes and diaries, and an extended geneaological map of nomadic Yörük tribal families collected during the fieldwork of ethnologist Ulla Johansen in Turkey in 1956-57. Nomadic tribe on horseback is one of the nomadic Turkic community that settled relatively recently. Typically living a nomadic life and traveling in tents set up on the plains or plateaus, their origin goes back to Oğuz Turks. They emigrated from Central Asia through Iran after the victory of Seljuq Turks against the Byzantine army near Manzikert in 1071.

They continued the same old lifestyle in Anatolia and Rumeli (the Balkans) yet some of the Oğuz tribes, known as Türkmen, settled after islamization, and the ones continued nomadic lifestyle came to known as Yörük. Johansen’s fieldwork on Yörüks of Anatolia with the materials represented in this collection became the basis for her scholarly publications and papers later.

Administrative Information

Access Restriction

This collection is open for research.

Copyright notice

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The unique materials have been digitized and placed online with the exception of published works that are not currently in the public domain, having copyright restrictions. Some materials are available only within the confines of Koç University campus, and some are not currently available online at all. These materials may be made publicly available online at the expiration of their copyright terms, subject to international and domestic copyright laws. Information about the works in question is available for all items, even those to which online access is restricted.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ulla Johansen Anatolian Ethnology Collection, UJ 01, Suna Kıraç Library Archive, Koç University.

Acquisitions Information

The collection was donated to Koç University by Prof. Dr. Ulla Johansen, ethnologist in 2014.

Processing Information

Processed by University Archive Staff

Biographical Note

Prof. Dr. Ulla Johansen was born to a family of a German mother and a Danish father (historian Paul Johansen) in 1927 in Estonia. Resident in Germany since 1940, she gained her PhD at the University of Hamburg in 1953 and she worked at the Hamburg Museum of Ethnology (1954-55). She continued her academic career with fieldwork research in Turkey (1956-57). After her research in Turkey she returned the Hamburg Museum of Ethnology as Fellow in 1958 and worked in various Scandinavian museums in 1959.

She continued her career as Senior Scientific Associate at the Soviet Academy of Sciences, Institute of Ethnography (1960-61) where she later became the Head of South and East Asia (1962-65). She contined her career as assistant at the South Asia Institute of Heidelberg University (1966-68), lecturer at the South Asia Institute (1969-72), and professor and Director of the Institute of Ethnology at the University of Cologne (1973-90). She was appointed chairman of the Technical Committee of Ethnology of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (1976-80) and project manager of the Ethnology Collaborative Research Centre of the DFG “Tubingen Atlas of the Middle East” (1980-95).

Additionally, she became member of the selection committee of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (1981-2001) and chairman of the German Anthropological Association (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Völkerkunde, DGV) (1985-1989) of which she has become honorary member since 1997.

Since her retirement in 1990, she continued visiting professorships at the Universities of Leipzig and Dorpat (Tartu) and the Academy “Humanitar Institute” in Reval (Tallinn). She also carried out fieldwork in Estonia. She was also President of Societas Uralo-Altaica (1998-2007). Her other achievements were winning the Werner Heisenberg Medal for “outstanding achievements in the promotion of international scientific cooperation” (1999), medal of the “International Society for Shamanistic Research” for work on shamanism (2001), and medal and certificate of honor of the Parliament of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) (2008).

Her research interests

Her area of interests include ethnohistory, ethnology, material culture, social organization, cognitive structures, religion, especially Shamanism, and geographical locations such as Middle East and Central Asia, Siberia, East-Europe.

Collection Arrangement

Regardless of any chronological or alphabetical arrangement, the records are arranged according to provenance.

Detailed Description of Collection

Box 1

UJ.01 Images of Anatolian folk life 1 (115 black and white photographs)

UJ.02 Images of Anatolian folf life 2 (992 negatives)

Box 2

UJ.03 Images of Anatolian folk life 3 (116 black and white photographs)

UJ.04 Images of Anatolian folk life 4  (418 negatives)

Box 3

UJ.05 Images of Anatolian folk life 5 (3 Diaries)

UJ.06 Images of Anatolian folk life 6 (7 manuscripts and 1 illustration)


  • Asia Minor.
  • Turkey.
  • Ethnology—Fieldwork—Turkey.
  • Yörüks (Turkic people).
  • Nomadic peoples.
  • Nomads—Turkey, Eastern–Social life and customs.
  • Genealogy.