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Identifier: ARL29


The papers in this collection range from 1918 to 2005. They consist of materials gathered from Taylor's time in public service including correspondence, articles, newspaper clippings, political memorabilia and ephemera such as her hats, the flag used at her memorial service and many plaques and trophies.
SERIES 1 PROFESSIONAL PAPERS 1955-2003 BOX 1-3 This series contains papers relating to Taylor's career. Correspondence, reports, articles and newspaper clippings document her career as an aide to Jean Caper, as a Colorado State Legislator and as Clerk and Recorder of the City and County of Denver as well as other professional positions.
SERIES 2 ORGANIZATIONS 1973-2003 BOX 3 Papers from political parties and church and community organizations comprise this series. For many of the organizations, Taylor was a speaker. Her speech transcripts are included, along with programs, invitations and correspondence.
SERIES 3 PERSONAL PAPERS 1972-2003 BOX 4 Correspondence from friends and family comprises the bulk of this series. Taylor's church and volunteer activities as well as her biographical papers are also included in this series.
SERIES 4 PHOTOGRAPHS 1970-2003 BOX 4-5, 10 This series contains black-and-white and photographs of Taylor both serving in professional positions and relaxing with her friends. She is usually portrayed wearing her distinctive, colorful hats. Many celebrities such as Muhammed Ali, Sonny Liston, Wellington Webb and Hilary Clinton also appear in these images.
SERIES 5 EPHEMERA 1918-2004 BOX 6-10 Awards in the form of certificates, trophies and plaques comprise the bulk of this series. A campaign button collection including Taft and Wilson campaign buttons is also included.
SERIES 6 OVERSIZE 1982-2005 OVBOX 1-5, OVFolios 1-9, OVFF 1 Formal clothes worn by Taylor at official occasions and a selection of her distinctive hats are contained in this series as well as a selection of Taylor's hats and the flag used at her memorial service. The series also includes certificates and proclamations in honor of Taylor.


  • 1918-2005



The collection is open for research.


Literary and copyrights - as appropriate - have beenassigned to the Denver Public Library.


All requests for permission to publish,reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed withthe appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be givenon behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It isnot intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which alsomust be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume anyresponsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of themanuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproductionrestrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.


Arie Parks Taylor was born on March 27, 1927 in Bedford, Ohio. Her father, Jessie Lee Parks, Sr., was a Methodist minister. Her mother, Annie Dee Parks, was a schoolteacher and a nurse. Taylor was the second oldest girl of eleven children. Their mother died when Taylor was twelve years old. She helped raise her six sisters and four brothers.

Taylor attended Bedford High School and Miami University in Oberlin, Ohio. In 1951, she joined the United States Air Force becoming the first female African-American Non-Commissioned Officer in charge of Women's Air Force Training. During her enlistment, she met and married William D. Taylor. They had no children and the marriage that ended in divorce.

Honorably discharged from the Air Force after four years, Taylor moved to Cleveland, Ohio. There, she took a position as an aide to Jean Merrell Capers, who served on the Cleveland City Council. Taylor left Ohio in 1958 and moved to Denver. Her first job was at the Division of Disease Control at Denver General Hospital. While attending the University of Colorado, Taylor drove a taxi for Yellow Cab Company. From 1962 to 1965 she worked as Deputy Clerk for the City and County of Denver Election Commission, becoming Chief Clerk in 1965 and maintaining that position until 1968. From 1968 to 1971, she was Operations Manager for Rib Cage International, Inc., in Denver.

Taylor was active politically and attended the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. As a member of the committee responsible for seating delegates, she helped negotiate in the racially charged Mississippi delegate controversy. Taylor decided to enter politics and was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 1972. As the first African-American woman elected to this position, Taylor served for six terms, retiring in 1984. Taylor was responsible for eliminating pay toilets at Stapleton International Airport and for having a women's room installed in the Capitol House near the legislators' chambers. Taylor sponsored legislation to allow women to secure credit in their own names instead of their husbands; she also championed minorities, the elderly, and fought police brutality.

From 1972 through the 1990s, she also ran her own business, Arie Parks Taylor and Associates (APT Accounting), an accounting management firm specializing in tax preparation and public affairs. Coors Brewing Company was one of her major clients. In 1991, Mayor Wellington Webb appointed her Clerk and Recorder of the City and County of Denver. She also chaired the Denver Election Commission and served on the Denver Housing Authority.

During her lifetime, Taylor received many honors and awards including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award in 1990, the Individual Humanitarian Award from the Colorado Sickle Cell Association in 1991 and she was inducted into the Blacks in Colorado Hall of Fame in 2004. Named in her honor, the Arie Parks Taylor Administration Building is located in Montbello, Colorado. Arie Parks Taylor died on September 27, 2003. She is buried in Ft. Logan National Cemetery.


10 Boxes (9 linear feet)

5 oversize boxes

9 oversize folios

1 oversize folders

Language of Materials



Arie Parks Taylor donated papers and other materials on May 17, 2003. Pat Brooks also donated materials in 2004. Funding for processing provided by an Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant. Material donated by unknown donor circa 2005.


The Western History/Genealogy Department has additional collections with material related to Arie Parks Taylor, including:

Related Materials

Gerald Kopel Papers: WH1097


Number of Boxes: 10 (9.0 lf)

Oversize: 5 OVBoxes,9 OVFolios, 1 OVFF




Ann Brown

August 2008


Ellen Zazzarino
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Denver Public Library, Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library Repository

2401 Welton St.
Denver Colorado 80205