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Mary Daniels Taylor papers

Identifier: MSS-0007

Scope and Contents

This collection contains items relating to Mary’s time spent as an associate professor at Towson State College’s Department of Education. It includes her notes, speeches, administrative documents and work of her students. The collection also contains information on Mary’s service outside of TSC: her tutoring programs; her involvement with UNICEF, Brown Presbyterian Church, and the Woodlands Institute; and information provided on her travels.


  • Creation: 1942-2001

Conditions Governing Access

Some materials in this collection may be restricted due to the presence of confidential or sensitive content. Please contact Special Collections & University Archives for more details regarding access.

Conditions Governing Use

Towson University Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) is the owner of the original materials and digitized images in our collections; however, the collection may contain materials for which copyright is not held. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials. Consult with SCUA to determine if we can provide permission for use.

Biographical Note

Mary Daniels Taylor was born Mary Daniels in 1917 in Tyrone, Pennsylvania to a mother and father both involved in the field of education. She attended the University of Pittsburgh where she graduated in 1940 with her bachelor’s degree in education. During the summers Mary would work with her parents at their Pennsylvania farm, Trails End Farm, organizing a summer camp based around experiential learning. In 1942 she obtained her Master’s of Education (Ed.M.) degree from Boston University and specialized in remedial learning and learning disabilities. At a social dinner in Boston one evening, Mary met her future husband Carl. They remained very close by writing each other throughout Mary’s graduate studies and eventually became engaged to be married.

After graduation, Mary joined her fiancé Carl in Panama where he was completing his residency in Tropical Medicine and treating an outbreak of malaria. Meanwhile Mary was organizing Girl Scouts of America and working for the school system administration in the U.S. Panama Canal Zone. They wed on Valentine’s Day, 1943 and then spent the duration of World War II in Panama.

Shortly after World War II, in March 1947, Carl and Mary traveled with their two year old son Daniel to Northern India to serve as missionaries for the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missionaries. Whilst in India, Carl practiced tropical medicine while Mary taught. In addition to her teaching Mary helped to lead Muslim women and children out of the Punjab region which was experiencing civil war due to the partitioning of India and Pakistan. She also created a documentary film of women and children in 1949 during Carl’s trek through Nepal, and their children were involved in holding the camera and lighting fixtures. Carl and Mary concluded their work in Nepal in 1953 when they returned again to Asia where Dr. Taylor organized the first Department of Preventative Medicine in India, while Mary was involved in teaching social science and child psychology at the Christian Medical College in Ludhiana.

In 1958, Mary returned with Carl and her children, Daniel, Henry, and Betsy, to the United States when Carl was offered a position at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. The family again relocated to Massachusetts where Mary became employed by the public school system because of her expertise in remedial reading. In 1962 the Taylor family relocated again to Baltimore, Maryland when Carl was recruited to found the School of International Health at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. Mary was initially employed as a remedial reading specialist for Baltimore Public Schools and aided minorities who were rushed into hostile white schools during desegregation. She also contributed her time to the Johns Hopkins University where she welcomed international students to the university and aided them in finding their classes, dorms, and introducing them to the campus and its resources. She planned annual picnics for the School of International Health where she organized baseball games and cooked curry dinners for as many as 175 students. Mary was also on the support committee for both the Native American Center and the Jim Grant Society. She also worked with Carl in many of the Department of International Health’s projects in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South Pacific, and South America - including four years of residence in the People’s Republic of China where she translated “Peter Rabbit” into Chinese and presented a copy to Queen Elizabeth II during her visit for Chinese Children’s Day. During the 13 years that the Narangwal Rural Health Research Project was the main international project for the Department of International Health, she was very active in field work and field logistics. In 1964 Mary joined the Elementary Education faculty at Towson State University and began involving herself again with inner city students when she contributed to the creation of “Project Mission,” an innovative program to improve teaching in inner city schools. Her involvement with Towson State University and the community led her to found or participate in many educational programs including a role as Chairman of Alternatives for the Elementary Child with Language Learning Difficulties. She was a member of the Asian Studies Committee, Maryland State Teachers Association, Maryland Corrective Reading Association, International Reading Association, Maryland Committee for Social Welfare, and Orton Society Inc. Mary also founded tutorial programs at Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church and Johns Hopkins University, as well as a tutorial program at Arlington elementary school and a reading program at the Maryland Training School for Boys. She was also very instrumental in promoting outdoor education by campaigning for collaboration between the Towson Physical Education Department and the School of Education for an environmental and outdoor education tract at Towson State University. She was a strong contributing force in the workings of the Woodlands Institute at Spruce Knob, WV, a project of her son, Daniel Taylor-Ides and his wife, which promoted conservation, nature, and outdoor and environmental education. She was also a member of the Towson planning committee that was responsible for the International Summer Seminar in Children’s Literature, held at Towson State College July 30-August 4, 1973. Mary also led a Study Abroad minimester course to Nepal and India in the winter of 1973.

After retiring from Towson State College in 1979 in order to care for ill family members, she served as the chair of the Maryland committee for UNICEF. She played a key role in the annual program for presentation of the State of the World’s Children Report which was done in collaboration between UNICEF and JHU’s School of Hygiene and Public Health. In 1994-1995, Mary was a key component of UNICEF’s “I Dream of Peace” exhibition which displayed a blanket created by children from developed countries. After her time spent at Towson State College, Mary still remained very active in the world of remedial reading. She became an outside consultant for both children’s authors and for instructors in the Towson/Baltimore area and continued to organize conferences and develop reading programs. Mary Daniels Taylor died of cardiac arrest in February 2001 at the age of 83.


9.16 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Mary Daniels Taylor was an associate professor at Towson State College from 1964 until 1979 (then Towson State University) when she retired. This collection contains items relating to Mary’s time spent as an associate professor in the Department of Education. It includes her notes, speeches, administrative documents and work of her students. The collection also contains information on Mary’s service outside of TSC: her tutoring programs; her involvement with UNICEF, Brown Presbyterian Church, and the Woodlands Institute; and information provided on her travels.

Processing Information

Material in series 17, 18, 19, and 20 have been maintained in their original order. For the remainder of the series order was imposed by organizing material distributed across multiple boxes that did not seem to have been stored according to a discernable organization scheme.

Guide to the Mary Daniels Taylor papers
Ryan Williams, revised by John Esh
Spring 2011, 2020
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Towson University Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Albert S. Cook Library
8000 York Rd
Towson MD 21252 United States