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Inventory of the Margaret Palmer Taylor Collection of Sacred Dance
GTU 96-7-01  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Other Finding Aids

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Margaret Palmer Taylor collection of Sacred Dance
    Dates: 1920-2004
    Collection number: GTU 96-7-01
    Creator: Taylor, Margaret Palmer (1908-2004)
    Collection Size: 2.2 linear feet (2 archives boxes and 4 folios) 8 images
    Repository: The Graduate Theological Union. Library.
    Berkeley, CA 94709
    Abstract: Margaret Palmer, 1908-2004, was born in Oakland, Calif. She was a pioneer in the field of sacred dance in America. A daughter of a Congregational minister, the family moved to Honolulu in 1917, where she learned creative dance in school. She continued to study dance, and earned her B.A. at Oberlin College in 1930, later attending Chicago Theological Seminary, 1931-32. Her first husband, Chester B. Fisk, was a minister. Margaret began to incorporate sacred dance in the church worship services. She continued to expand her dancing, organizing rhythmic choirs and teaching in workshops, festivals, and classes in many denominational and college settings. She interpreted and choreographed dances for worship services well into her 90's. She was one of the founders of the Sacred Dance Guild.
    Physical location: 5/G/3; 5/H/6
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English
    Selected digitized images from this collection.

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Graduate Theological Union. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Graduate Theological Union as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    Margaret Palmer Taylor collection of Sacred Dance, GTU 96-7-01. Graduate Theological Union Archives, Berkeley, CA.

    Acquisition Information

    The material in Box 1 was organized and given by Margaret P. Taylor. The second part of the collection came to the Archives in 2006 from the office of Douglas Adams at the Pacific School of Religion. This material is contained in Box 2 and four folios.

    Biography / Administrative History

    Margaret Palmer (1908-2004) was a pioneer in the field of sacred dance in America. Born in Oakland, California, she was a daughter of a Congregational minister. The family moved to Honolulu in 1917, where she learned creative dance in school. She continued to study dance, and earned her B.A. at Oberlin College in 1930, later attending Chicago Theological Seminary, 1931-32.
    Her first husband, Chester B. Fisk, was a minister, and Margaret began to incorporate sacred dance in the church worship services. She continued to expand her dancing, organizing rhythmic choirs and teaching in workshops, festivals, and classes in many denominational and college settings. She interpreted and choreographed dances for worship services well into her 90's.
    She is the author of several books and articles, performed sacred dance on early television, and was a founding member of the Sacred Dance Guild. She lived and traveled extensively throughout the United States. She assumed the names of all four husbands. In 1957 she married Walter A. Taylor; in 1969, Elwyn B. Chaney; and in 1980, Clarmont Paul Doane. This resulted in several combinations of married names in her writings and performances.
    Her choreography was designed so that members of the congregation could participate and express a relgious and communal spirit. She writes, "Sacred dance is really a sacred trust. We can use energy in our dances to share meaningful awareness of our Creator's power among us, strengthening us, and bringing us resiliency as we grow in mutual caring and daring."

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The material in box 1, donated by Taylor, consisted of a series of scrapbooks. Everything was arranged in chronological order. She provided a detailed chronology of her life to 2001 (Box 1, File Folder 1). See also an extensive biographical interview in Box 1, File Folder 21. The second part of the collection came to the Archives in 2006 from the office of Douglas Adams at the Pacific School of Religion. This material is contained in Box 2 and three folios. The material had no order and is here arranged by the Processor.

    Arrangement

    The arrangement is as follows: Series 1, Biographical; Series 2, Writings and performances; Series 3, Dance Groups; Series 4, Photographs; Series 5, Subjects.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Dance--Religious aspects--Christianity.
    Religious dance, Modern.
    Women in church work--United States.
    Sacred Dance Guild.

    Other Finding Aids

    GTU 2008-1-0, Doug Adams Collection.