Series size: 25 archival document boxesSeries dates: 1960-2007
This collection consists of the records of the "Round Table West," a prominent book club in which Margaret Tante Burk played a key role, both as co-founder and as director. Partners in a public relations firm, Margaret Tante Burk and Marilyn Hudson, at the instigation of their friend the renowned journalist Adela Rogers St. John, founded Round Table West in 1977. Hudson would become the organization's executive director, while Margaret Tante Burk served as the chair. Round Table West's meetings centered on a luncheon, where authors, often celebrities, discussed their work. According to Publisher's Weekly, this luncheon was the largest held by any book club in the United States. From its initial meeting place at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, Round Table West grew, hosting three meetings at month, with 200 to 600 people in attendance. The meetings covered much of Southern California: the La Quinta Club and Resort in La Quinta, California; the Beverly Wilshire, in Beverly Hills, California; and in Orange County, either at the Balboa Bay Club or else at the Newport Beach Country Club. Authors and celebrities who presented books included Maya Angelou, Benny Goodman, Joseph Wambaugh, and Ray Bradbury. By 2005, in the twenty-eighth year of its existence, Round Table West claimed to have hosted 3,000 authors.
Besides hosting book forums at luncheons, Margaret Tante Burk, through Round Table West's "Books for the Bookless" program, collected, and then distributed, 2,000 books to hospitals, libraries, and prison.
By 2006, Round Table West had begun to cease meeting, and is now defunct.
Materials in this collection include correspondence, meeting and promotional flyers, newspaper clippings, press releases, and black and white and color photographs documenting the history of Round Table West. Photographs of authors at Round Table West include Jackie Gleason, Bob Hope, Carol Channing, Ginger Rogers, and Joseph Wambaugh. The dates of the holdings in this series fall between 1960 and 2007. The titles that Margaret Tante Burk assigned to the folders are found in parentheses at the beginning of the "Contents" field.
Series 6: personal and professional papers contains some material on Round Table West in the form of correspondence that was mixed in with Margaret Tante Burk's personal correspondence.
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