Summary Information
Title: Marshall W. "Major" Taylor Scrapbooks
Collection Number: AIS.1984.07
Creator: Taylor, Major, 1878-1932

Collection Dates: 1897-1904
Extent: 1.0 microfilm reel (922 frames, 35mm, positive and negative)

Language: English

Abstract:
Marshall W. ("Major") Taylor, a professional African-American bicycle racer, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on November 26, 1878. The scrapbooks document, through newsclippings from American and foreign presses, the climate of racial opinion in America and abroad as well as Taylor's reactions along with providing more factual information about professional cycling as a national and international sport. Digital reproductions of the microfilm are available online.
Publisher:

ULS Archives Service Center
University of Pittsburgh Library System
7500 Thomas Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260
412-648-3232
archives-ref@mail.pitt.edu
Date Published:

1984
Author:

Finding aid prepared by Archives Service Center Staff. Revisions occurred to the finding aid as a part of the encoding process on August 6, 2003.
Biography

Marshall W. ("Major") Taylor, a professional African-American bicycle racer, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on November 26, 1878. He started racing in Indianapolis and was eventually barred from competition. Around 1895, Taylor moved with his trainer, Louis D. ("Birdie") Munger to Worcester, Massachusetts. Taylor further developed his talent which led to three consecutive American sprint points championships, from 1898-1900, and a world championship in the mile sprint in Montreal on August 12, 1899. "Major" Taylor then embarked on competitive tours of Europe and Australia. As a black athlete in a characteristically all-white profession, Taylor attracted attention and commentary and faced unusual challenges and pressures.


Collection Scope and Content Notes

The scrapbooks document, through newsclippings from American and foreign presses, the climate of racial opinion in America and abroad as well as Taylor's reactions along with providing more factual information about professional cycling as a national and international sport. "Major" Taylor's autobiography, The Fastest Bicycle Racer in the World, was published in 1928, four years before his death (a copy can be obtained from the Hillman Library, African-American Collection, call number - GV 1051 T3A3). An article in The Pittsburgh Press from April 29, 1984 includes an interview with Mrs. Sydney Taylor Brown, of Pittsburgh, Taylor's only child.


Subject Terms

Topics
  • African American athletes
  • African Americans -- Biography
  • Athletes -- United States
  • Bicycle racing
  • Cyclists -- Biography
  • Cyclists -- United States

Personal Names
  • Taylor, Major, 1878-1932

Genres/Forms
  • Scrapbooks

Category
  • Ethnic groups
  • Personal papers
  • Sports

Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Acquisition Information:

Donated by Mrs. Sydney Taylor Brown in 1984.

Alternate Format:

Digital reproductions of the collection are available online.

Preferred Citation:

Marshall W. "Major" Taylor Scrapbooks, 1897-1904, AIS.1984.07, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

Previous Citation:

Marshall Walter Taylor Scrapbooks, 1897-1904, ais 84:7 Micro, Archives of Industrial Society, University Library System, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15260

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by Archives Service Center staff in 1984.

Copyright:

Permission for publication is given on behalf of the University of Pittsburgh 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.

Location of Original Documents:

Original records are in the possession of Mrs. Sydney Taylor Brown.

Bibliography:

  • Balf, Todd. Major: a black athlete, a white era, and the fight to be the world's fastest human being. New York: Crown Publishers, 2008.
  • Ritchie, Andrew. Mill Valley, CA: Bicycle Books, Inc., 1988.
  • Taylor, Major. The fastest bicycle rider in the world: the story of a colored boy's indomitable courage and success against great odds.Worcester, MA: Wormley Publishing, 1928.


Collection Inventory
Reel 1 Volume 1, September 15, 1897-December 17, 1900
Volume 2, June 26, 1898-December 25, 1900
Volume 3, January 21, 1900-March 7, 1901
Volume 4 (also in French, German, and Italian), January 5-May 25, 1901
Volume 5 (also in French and Italian), April 13-June 26, 1901
Volume 6, December 10, 1903-April 22, 1904