Fonds PR3833 - Morris Taylor fonds

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Morris Taylor fonds

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    • Source of title proper: Title based on the provenance of the records.

    Level of description

    Fonds

    Reference code

    PR3833

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    Statement of scale (cartographic)

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    Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

    Dates of creation area

    Date(s)

    • 1927-1990 (Creation)

    Physical description area

    Physical description

    1.00 m of textual records and other materials.

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    Archival description area

    Name of creator

    (1929-2016)

    Biographical history

    Morris Taylor was born on December 26, 1929 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He figured prominently in Western Canada's horse racing history from the 1950s-1980s.

    Taylor's initial exposure to horse racing came from his mother's side of the family. From the age of 10, Taylor spent many summer holiday with his maternal uncles at various racetracks across North America. At the age of 22, Taylor made his foray into the world of professional horseracing as a clerk, beginning a lifelong career which would include chart-calling, radio and publicity, column writing and selections, television production, program editing, and racing management. When the Western Canadian Racing Association was formed in 1957, Taylor was appointed to the position of publicity director and chart-caller with offices in Edmonton; a decade later, in 1967, Taylor was promoted to Assistant General Manager of the association, and then to General Manager in 1971.

    Taylor became Racing Manager for the Edmonton Exhibition Association, now Edmonton Northlands, in 1976. There, Taylor saw the introduction of harness racing to the Edmonton track. At first a fledgling division of the sport, Taylor upgraded harness racing to a stature near that of thoroughbreds, through his acute talent for promotion and passionate involvement in every facet of his business. While at Northlands, Taylor also supported such innovations as slip betting and telephone betting, lauding the latter's potential to benefit those who could not make it to the track. With thoroughbreds now needing to catch up to the success of harness racing, Taylor worked towards raising two of Northlands' thoroughbred races, the Canadian Derby and the Speed to Spare Championship, to national prominence, and to this end, helped to found the $600, 000 Western Canada Derby Series in 1985.

    Other series in which Taylor played a notable role include the Western Canada Lottery Classics, and harness racing's Transcontinental Pacing Championship. During his final stretch at Northlands, Taylor played a leading part in introducing the importation of entire cards, strongly promoted Sunday racing, and envisioned a future for the sport which involved inter-track betting using computers. Taylor retired from Northlands in 1986.

    Taylor married Georgia Golis (1933-2006) on October 2, 1959, and together they had two daughters, Constance and Linda. Morris Taylor passed away in Edmonton on September 16, 2016.

    Custodial history

    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of materials made or received by Morris Taylor in his various capacities throughout his horseracing career, such as: photographs; correspondence; scripts from the prime-time television show “Track Talk;” audio and film recordings of racing events, including the Speed to Spare Championship and Canadian and Alberta Derbies; racing columns such as the “Racing Review”; racing history studies; stall applications; and, records of family horses.

    Records also include ephemeral materials collected by Taylor relating to the history of horse racing in Western Canada, including: scrapbooks, clippings, magazines, programs and pamphlets, posters, racing date cards, Northlands entry tickets, and a racing map.

    Notes area

    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    The records were donated by the creator’s daughter, Constance (Connie) Taylor.

    Arrangement

    Arrangement note: The fonds is arranged in original order; however, many of the textual records did not arrive in file folders. Therefore, artificial file divisions have been created using an inference of file groupings based on record subject and/or function.

    Language of material

      Script of material

        Language and script note

        The material is in English.

        Location of originals

        Availability of other formats

        Restrictions on access

        Access Conditions: None

        Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

        Use Conditions: Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

        Finding aids

        File list is not available.

        Associated materials

        Other records relating to the Edmonton Exhibition and horseracing at Northlands include the following collections: Lieutenant Governor’s Purse Collection (PR3391), and the Edmonton's Capital Ex and Calgary Stampede Poster collection (PR2358)

        Accruals

        Further accruals are not expected.

        General note

        The biographical sketch has been sourced from information provided by the donor, as well as Taylor’s obituary.

        General note

        Includes accession PR2016.0381.

        Physical description

        Includes 46 photographs, 13 transparencies, 13 posters, 49 video cassettes (45 beta, 4 VHS) [58 Hr: 10 Min], 4 audio discs (3 12-inch, 1 6-inch) [1 Hr: 35 Min], 2 reels cinefilm [1 Hr: 32 Min], 1 map

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