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Franklin Newton Taylor collection

Identifier: L359

Scope and Contents

The collection contains papers connected with Franklin Newton Taylor's personal and professional lives, dating from 1878 to 1963. The papers, which include correspondence, documents, and publications, fall into three chronological periods: 1878-1918, previous to Taylor's departure for France; 1919, the period he lived in France and entertained servicemen in camps and hospitals during World War I; and 1920-1963,the time of Taylor's academic service to Jordan College of Music at Butler University and his professional service to churches and other organizations of Indianapolis.

Taylor's letters from Europe are written to family and friends. Most of them were written from Bordeaux, France, although a lesser number were written from New York, where he attended Columbia College in preparation to go overseas. Documents include those generated by the Y.M.C.A. and other documents. Other items include a diary of service in World War I, a written history of service to the Y.M.C.A., postcards, concert and recital programs from overseas, church bulletins, newspaper clippings, and whole newspapers: The Mal-de-Mere (of the H.M.T. "Empress of Britain"), Red Triangle Oveseas (a Y.M.C.A. publication), and Qu'est-Ce-Que C'est? (published at University of Toulouse). Taylor's academic career at Butler University is documented after his return from France. Programs relate to glee clubs and the Butler Union Choir. Newspaper clippings and an essay by his daughter record Taylor's retirement from Jordan College and his death.

Also included is various memorabilia from Taylor's service in World War I. There is a canvas pouch with sea shells, souvenir books from France, French phrase books, Militaires en permission, German marks, an outline of the history of Bordeaux, and a Y.M.C.A. service flag.

There is also an oversize transport order from the Minister of War dated 1919 (OBC144).

There are two scrapbooks, ranging from 1896 to 1963 (V308). The materials include: newspaper clippings (particularly reviews of recitals and other musical perforamnces), programs, church bulletins, business cards, promotional brochures, photographs, telegrams, letters, postcards, a newsletter, and a page from the Red Triangle, published in Paris, France. These items document performances in Indianapolis, throughout Indiana, and in France. Places mentioned are Propylaeum Hall, Fairview Park, Das Deutschen Haus, the Southside Turners Club, the Claypool Hotel, Murat Temple, and Indiana University.

Volume 1 (1896-1924) mentions organizations such as the Premier Lyric Quartette, the Central Lyceum Mixed Quartette, the Temple Male Quartette, the Philharmonic Club, the Y.M.C.A., the Roberts Park Choral Society, the Epworth League, the Musikuerein, the Muncie College of Music, the Metropolitan School of Music, the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, Central Avenue Methodist Church, and other church congregations.

Volume 22 (1926-1963) contains material relating to Butler University, including the Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Music, the Butler Women's Glee Club, and the Butler Men's Glee Club. The Irvington methodist Church is well-represented, along with Phi Mu Alpha and Centre Lodge F. and A.M. Also represented are the Indianapolis Musicians Club and the Mystic Knights of Lake and Stream. A picture of Mrs. Taylor appears among these fishing pictures.


  • 1896-1963


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Franklin Newton Taylor was born in Danville, Indiana in 1878, the son of Judge Newton N. Taylor. He studied voice with Edward Nell in Indianapolis and E. Chomley Jones in Philadelphia. In Philadelphia, Taylor was a member of the Castle Square English Opera. He returned to Indianapolis and graduated from the Metropolitan School of Music. Taylor joined the faculty of Butler University in 1908.

In addition to directing the glee clubs of Butler University, Taylor organized the Centre Masonic Lodge Choir and was a member of many quartets. Taylor served as director of several church choirs in Indianapolis. He directed a quartet at the Indianpaolis Hebrew Congregation. Taylor sang in England and France during World War I and was a soloist at the International Reception for President Woodrow Wilson in Paris. Taylor retired from Butler University in 1949. He died on February 8, 1963.


1 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box, 2 small boxes, 2 volumes,1 large oversize folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by item type, while general documents and correspondence arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Florence Marie Taylor on 1983/05.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2016/09/01 by Lauren Patton. EAD finding aid created 2016/09/01 by Lauren Patton. EAD finding aid revised 2018/01/09; 2021/11/02 by Lauren Patton.
Franklin Newton Taylor collection
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.