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McCaslin, Susan Series
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Artistic, literary, and musical projects

The series contains literary, artistic, and music works and materials created and aggregated by Mary Olga Park from 1909 to 1982.

Park worked in a variety of literary genres, producing poetry, drama, and non-fiction works. During the 1960s and 1970s, Park wrote and self-published her spiritual writings, consisting of detailed records of her visionary experiences, Biblical studies, philosophical reflections, theology, and studies of the mystics. These include: Between Time and Eternity (Vantage Press, 1960), Man, The Temple of God (self, 1968), The Book of Admonition and Poetry (self, 1969), and An Open Door (self, 1974). Park also loved arts and crafts, and in her spare time she would make booklets, pastel, charcoal drawings and sketches, and bookmarks with religious themes. Some sketches include depictions of individuals she saw in her visions. Often her poetry appears in her sketchbooks, inspiring the art surrounding the text. She also kept materials and books as inspiration for her artistic endeavors.

The series also contains records related to both the educational materials Park created for her position teaching at St. Mary’s Anglican Church Sunday school as well as the teaching materials Park created for her Society of the Mystical Communion of Christ (S.M.C.C.). As a Sunday school teacher, Park had a handmade book to teach students quotes from the Bible called the, “Book of Light.” She also rearranged parables of Jesus as rhythmic readings and recontextualized the parables with aspects of the New Testament. For the SMCC, Park created her own Communion Service, Sanctuary procedures, betrothal and christening procedures, and morning meditation practices which had corresponding handmade booklets.

Before moving to Canada, Park had a promising musical career in England as a soprano, but before it flourished, she moved to Canada. Park became a certified music teacher through the Tonic Sol-Fa College and taught music lessons in Vancouver, sang in the church choir, and her love of music endured. Park admired the works of Georg Friedrich Handel, and not only recorded herself singing excerpts from his oratorios (Jephthah and Messiah) but also re-arranged the composer’s Messiah to better fit her spiritual understanding of the work. Park played the autoharp, and arranged and composed music for the instrument. Music was an integral to Park’s communion service and throughout her life, she composed and recorded hymns for the communion procedure.

Series consists of manuscripts and typescripts of Park’s work, unpublished manuscripts of poetry, prose, and plays; handmade booklets, manuals, procedures and instructions for her “learners,” Sunday school teaching material, prayers, and talks and other study series material; sheet music, transcriptions, arrangements, annotated and inscribed hymnal books, musical certificates, and autoharp transcriptions; bookmarks and booklets, sketchbooks and artworks, and vinyl recordings of Park singing.

Park, Mary Olga

Personal and administrative records

The series contains records related to the personal life and administrative affairs of Mary Olga Park from ca. 1898 to 1985.

Park undertook research activities into understanding her own spiritual experiences. She studied astrology seriously, and understood spirituality in the context of star patterns. Park believed that astrological wisdom was central to her worldview, seeing that that the movements of the stars aligned with larger movements on earth.

She kept detailed subject files of clippings, articles, and notes on many different religious and spiritual phenomena, writings, and writers. Park also collected spiritualist publications including: include The Talk of the Times, the Spiritual Healer, The Aquarian Messenger, The International Spiritualist Review, Spiritual Frontiers, and Light: A Journal of Psychic Science. During the years spent in her remote cottage in Port Moody, Park undertook extensive Bible studies, keeping textual notes and annotations of the Book of Revelations, Gospels, as well as prophesies, parables, and other parts of the Bible.

Park maintained correspondence with family, friends, and her “learners” and “seekers” in her remote cottage in Port Moody. Also included are personal records Park kept for her own reference such as biographical research, astrological charts, and education certificates, as well as personal notebooks, notes and diaries. Park also made detailed cassette recordings of her talks, songs, communications with the Teacher, Master, and Rector, and sent cassette-letters to her learners explaining aspects of her communion service. Lastly, Park kept family photographs and collected cards and postcards throughout her life.

Record types include Bible study notes and annotations, family history research, education certificates, childhood books, religious and spiritualist publications, newspaper clippings and ephemera, diaries, notes, and personal notebooks, professional and personal correspondence, subject files on spiritualist matters, astrological charts, obituary records, photographs, audio cassettes, cards, and postcard collections.

Park, Mary Olga