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Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies records

Identifier: UA 1072

Scope and Contents

Contains records of the Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies, collected by Robert C. Taylor, dated approximately 1950-1998. Includes minutes of the Jerusalem Center Academic Coordinating Committee, administrative records, journals, histories, and records concerning the development of the center. Also includes architectural records, including two 3D models, photographic slides, photographs, and negatives, and audio recordings. Much of the material is related to the BYU Travel Study program, which Robert C. Taylor managed between 1959 and the 1980s.


  • approximately 1950-1998


Conditions Governing Access

Donor restricted until 2052; permission to use materials must be obtained from the Board of Curators and Board of Trustees. Materials in [xxx] kept in cold storage; access requires 24 hours advance notice.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Robert C. Taylor papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical / Historical

Robert "Bob" C. Taylor was born April 17, 1927, in Salt Lake City to Frank C. and Bessie T. Taylor. Taylor served in the United States Coast Guard from March 1945 to May 1946. He was a German-reading specialist. He then attended the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he received a bachelor's degree in speech in 1952. Upon graduating, Taylor went to Hollywood and worked as a staff assistant for the Howard Hughes Production company and as president of the Deseret Theatrical Artists of Hollywood Association until 1959. While working in California, Taylor married Katherine Cook, who was a model and an actress in several of the productions made by Howard Hughes. THey had three children, Mark, Michael, and Michele. In 1959, Taylor was named as the chairman of the Brigham Young University Travel Studies Program, replacing Dr. Jay B. Hunt. Taylor was instrumental in obtaining permission to build the BYU Jerusalem Center and oversaw its completion. He worked for BYU the Travel Studies program until his retirement. Taylor passed away in 1995, and Katherine Cook Taylor passed away in 2003.

Biographical / Historical

The Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies serves as the hub for Brigham Young University's study abroad program in Jerusalem. Brigham Young University students study and live at the Jerusalem Center during their stay in the Holy Land. Students study a core curriculum that focuses on Old and New Testament, ancient and modern Near Eastern studies, and either the Hebrew or Arabic language.

The Center itself is located on Mount Scopus overlooking the Mount of Olives, the Kidron Valley, and the Old City. The 125,000 square-foot, eight-level structure rests on five acres of gardens. The Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies contains dormitory and apartment facilities for students and faculty, cafeteria facilities, classrooms, gymnasium, computer facilities, library, various auditoriums and theaters, lecture rooms, and offices.

Funding for the center was raised in the 1980s, and the center was dedicated by Howard W. Hunter, then President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on May 16, 1989.


25 boxes (12.5 linear ft.)

5 oversize folders (0.6 linear ft.)

1 oversize box (1.5 linear ft.)

7 folders (0.1 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Arranged in seven series: 1. Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies minutes, 1983-1988. 2. Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies administrative records, 1961-1998. 3. Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies development records, approximately 1950-1995. 4. Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies architectural records, 1982-1986. 5. Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies slides, approximately 1963-1995. 6. Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies sound recordings, approximately 1980-1987. 7. Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies artifacts, approximately 1965-1988.

Custodial History

Materials were donated to the repository by Michele Taylor, daughter of Robert C. Taylor, in 2003.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Michele Taylor; 2003.


Departmental records (University Archives collecting policy, July 2003).

Separated Materials

Some Brigham Young University publications removed for cataloging.

Processing Information

Processed; Kayla Quinney; February 2009.

Processing Information

Processed; Natalie C. Fisher and Katie Shull; October 2003.

Processing Information

Processed; Karen Glenn; April 2024. Inventory added to finding aid.

  • Duplicate materials, including 1 3D architectural model; personal papers of Robert C. Taylor, including retirement papers, slides of family, family history, and music scores.
  • 1 map of Bible lands, National Geographic
Register of Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies records
Under Revision
Kayla Quinney
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections. University Archives Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo UT 84602 US