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William Taber Papers

Identifier: FMS-147

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of three series: Talks, Retreats, and Pendle Hill Courses; Topical Files; and Additions. The Talks, Retreats, and Pendle Hill Courses include talks given by Taber, notes on talks, and other material related to these works.  They reflect the diverse topics Taber covered in his professional and personal work. They are arranged within the series in the order in which they arrived at Earlham. The Topical Files are arranged in alphabetical order and cover a wide spectrum of Taber’s professional interests. The materials include correspondence, notes, articles and talks written by Taber, and articles written by others on Quakerism that sometimes includes notes by Taber.  Topics range from spiritual issues, history, ministry, education, marriage, and Quaker meetings. The focus is exclusively on Quakerism. The Additions arrived in 2008 and 2010, and were kept together. Generally, the 2008 additions are an extension to the topical files. The first subseries in the additions is arranged alphabetically, and the second subseries is arranged chronologically. The additions primarily, but not exclusively, focus on Quakerism. The 2010 additions are Talks, etc., and are found in box 19.


  • 1939-2005

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

Some materials may be protected by copyright. Permission to reproduce and to publish for commercial purposes must be requested from the Archivist.

Biographical or Historical Information

William P. Taber, Jr., was born in Cadiz, Ohio, Oct. 29, 1927, the son of William P. and Sara (Negus) Taber.  His ancestors on both sides of the family had been members of the Society of Friends for many generations, and for three generations prior had been active in Ohio Yearly Meeting of Friends (Conservative).  At age ten, however, the family moved to Pittsburgh.  In 1945, he graduated from Olney Friends School in Barnesville, Ohio.  He married Frances Irene Smith, an Earlham student in 1952-53, in 1956. At the end of World War II, Bill, as he was known, refused to register for the draft and was imprisoned at Sandstone, Minnesota.  He subsequently graduated from William Penn College and studied English at the University of Pittsburgh.  His spent most of his life teaching: at Moses Brown School in Providence, Rhode Island; the Pennington School for Boys in New Jersey; and for twenty years at Olney, In 1981, the Tabers became members of the teaching staff at Pendle Hill in Wallingford, Pennsylvania, where they served until retiring in 1994.  They then returned to Barnesville. Bill Taber was best known as a “public Friend,” a sought-after speaker for Quaker organizations and a widely quoted and cited author.  He received the M.A. in religion from the Earlham School of Religion in 1966.  His thesis, a history of Ohio Yearly Meeting (Conservative), was later published as The Eye of Faith.  He died in Barnesville, Ohio, April 15, 2005.

Note written by


19 Boxes

Language of Materials



The William P. Taber papers document the life and activities of one of the most influential Quaker writers and ministers of the second half of the twentieth century.They are especially useful for the Conservative Friends tradition and unprogrammed Quakerism and its development.

Method of Acquisition

Donation, Francis Taber Simon, 2007, 2008, 2010

Accruals and Additions

Accruals are possible.
Archon Finding Aid Title
Anne Thomason
Description rules
Other Unmapped
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Repository Details

Part of the Friends Collection and Earlham College Archives Repository