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Register of the Taylor (Elliott and Burta) Collection, 1922-1986
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Access Points
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Taylor (Elliott and Burta) Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1922-1986
    Collection number: Mss254
    Creator: Burta Beers Taylor
    Extent: 10 linear ft.
    Repository: University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
    Stockton, CA 95211
    Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Taylor (Elliott and Burta) Collection, Mss254, Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

    Access Points

    personal name

    Taylor, Elliott J. (1904-1986)
    Taylor, Burta Beers (1908-1994)
    Irwin, Samuel

    corporate name

    Near East Foundation (New York, N.Y.)
    Colegio Internazionale Monte Mario (Rome, Italy)
    Bryn Mawr College
    University of the Pacific (Stockton, Calif.)
    Albanian American Institute (Kavaje, Albania)
    University of Vienna


    Education -Italy -Rome
    Education -Albania
    Education -Austria
    Albania -Description and travel
    Albania -Description and travel -Views
    Italy -Description and travel
    Italy -Description and travel -Views
    Austria -Description and travel
    Austria -Description and travel -Views
    Europe -Description and travel -Views
    Mexico -Description and travel -Views
    Central America -Description and travel
    South America -Description and travel
    Asia -Description and travel
    China -Description and travel
    Iran -Description and travel


    Elliott Taylor (1904-1986) met his future wife, Burta Beers (1908-1994), while both were students at the College of the Pacific in Stockton (Calif.). Following graduation from the College (1928), Elliott worked as assistant to the President at the Colegio Monte Mario in Rome (1928-29). Burta Beers graduated in 1929, then did a year of graduate work at Bryn Mawr. The two married in Rome (1930) and together they moved to Albania, where Elliott Taylor was Assistant Director of the men's section and Burta Taylor helped establish the women's school of the American Institute at Kavaje sponsored by the Near East Foundation of New York (1929-1935). The purpose of the two schools, which were separate in accord with Muslim practice, was to "train young people for leadership in villages and rural districts" through education in health, agriculture and homemaking. While living in Albania, the Taylors made films of the Albanian countryside and people. Burta and Elliott Taylor travelled widely during their years in Europe; both took summer courses at the University of Vienna. After six years in Albania Elliott Taylor moved to New York City, where he worked as a fund-raiser for the Near East Foundation (1935-1938). The Foundation operated schools, clinics, handicraft centers, libraries and playgrounds in Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Syria. Burta Taylor briefly took a job in San Francisco to be nearer to her aging parents but eventually settled with her husband in New York City. In 1938 the Taylors moved to Reedley (Calif.), where Elliott taught, counseled and, ultimately, served as Dean of Reedley Junior College (1938-1947).
    When Robert E. Burns became President of the College of the Pacific (1947), he hired Elliott Taylor as the school's first Dean of Admissions. The College had no admissions officer in those days and the Registrar's Office handled all applications. Burns created the new post for Taylor both to lighten the Registrar's workload and to facilitate active student recruitment. In addition to his admissions responsibilities, Burns entrusted Taylor with the task of developing and managing a program of C.O.P. tours for academic credit to various parts of the world. During the years that followed, Taylor traveled widely in support of this program, zealously photographing for publicity and recruitment purposes the lands he visited. Elliott Taylor was granted an honorary doctorate by Illinois Wesleyan University (1963) and received the Order of Pacific (1972) from the University of the Pacific. He retired in 1972.

    Scope and Content

    The Elliott & Burta Taylor Collection contains rare film footage of Albania (1929-1935), transcribed on videotape with a voice-over narrative done by Burta Taylor (c1990). The slides Elliott Taylor took--representing unusual views and seldom-visited sites in more than twenty countries--are a core component of the Taylor Collection; but the collection consists not merely of slides and films, for it also contains considerable correspondence and other papers. This latter material, which consists in part of hundreds of letters written by the Taylors to each other, family and friends, during their years abroad, vividly describes his life in Rome (1928-29), her life at College of the Pacific (1928-29) and in the department of social work at Bryn Mawr College (1929-30), as well as their shared life in Albania (1929-35).