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Ethelyn Murray Parker papers

 Collection
Identifier: AMN 1029

Collection Overview

The Ethelyn Murray Parker collection consists of her early writings, correspondence, and photocopied newspaper clippings from periodicals such as the The Lighthouse and Informer and The Charleston Chronicle. The material include booklets, ephemera, awards and plaques, and a host photographs throughout various series.

Series 1. Writings, 1947-1987, and undated includes various poems and newspaper columns written by Parker; invitations, certificates and brochures from her disassembled scrapbook along with her honorable mention for Talent-Songwriters and Poets from Haven Press of New York. This series also contains Parker’s notification of acceptance into the Poetry Digest Annual Anthology of Verse and newspaper clippings of her “Letters to the Editor” and an article by the Charleston YWCA.

Series 2. Correspondence, 1927-1965, and undated is comprised of professional correspondence from newspapers regarding payments for her writings, the issuing of her 1964 press card, and the announcement of Harpers Weekly newspaper auction. This series also contains a response to her consumer dissatisfaction letter, and numerous personal greeting cards and postcards from Parkers relatives and friends.

Series 3. Affiliations, 1837-1988, and undated consists of five subseries that detail Parker’s involvement with local and national organizations. The subseries are categorized by affiliation with the first being her institutional related materials from Tuskegee University, Voorhees Institute and local Charleston Schools. Subseries two focuses on her involvement with the National Council of Negro Women including a historical sketch, programs and a local financial ledger of the organization. The next subseries highlights her work with the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs that contains photographic material and tax forms from the local and national level. Subseries four spotlights her work with the South Carolina Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs, which contains a historical sketch, financial reports, newsletters, and photographic materials. Lastly, the fifth subseries contains reports, minutes, programs and photographic materials of her religious involvement with Central Baptist Church and related organizations.

Series 4. Family Papers, 1931-1987 includes obituaries, programs, newspaper clippings and invitations regarding her immediate family. This series contains a photocopied newspaper obituary of her husband, as well as an original leather bound program from Morehouse College 1931 commencement.

Series 5. Visual Materials, 1899-1989, and undated is comprised of identified and unidentified photographic material that spans nine decades of history. This series of colored and black & white photographs includes images of Parker’s family and friends, organizations, programs, historic buildings in Charleston, SC, and rare photographs of an African American regiment from the Spanish American war.

Series 6. General Material, 1948-1989 consists of Parker’s various certificates, invitations and ephemera. This series also contains programs from numerous events including the 26th Anniversary Freedom House dinner honoring President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966.

Series 7. Artifacts, 1972-1992 this series contains nine plaques and statuettes Parker was honored with from organizations such as the Black Press and Charleston Chronicle, Central Baptist Church, and the South Carolina Coastal Association of Black Journalist.

Dates

  • 1899-1992
  • Majority of material found within 1920-1980

Creator

Access Restrictions

No Restrictions

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership of most archival materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical Note

Ethelyn Murray was born in 1895 to Georgie Westcott and Robert J. Murray, in Charleston SC. Her father served as a butler at the Silas Francis Rodgers Mansion on Wentworth Street, and her mother was a homemaker. Murray attended the Simonton School and the Avery Normal Institute, graduating in 1914. She taught in several counties in South Carolina before enrolling at Voorhees Institute in 1918, studying religious and elementary education. In 1920, she relocated to Mobile, AL, teaching for five years. She received a Rosenwald Scholarship to Tuskegee Institute to study physical education and dressmaking. Returning to South Carolina, Murray worked at Voorhees for nine years and in 1936, she moved back to Charleston, teaching at Henry P. Archer Elementary School, and at Hampton Institute, VA in the summer. She married Sebastian L. Parker in 1939. In the 1940s, Parker took a writing correspondence course and upon completion, she began a column for The Lighthouse and Informer, an African American weekly newspaper. She also wrote for Baltimore’s The Afro-American, the Pittsburgh Courier, and The Charleston Chronicle, commencing in 1971. Parker was a member of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), serving as president for the Charleston Council (1956-58); she was affiliated with the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs (NACWC), served as treasurer and publicity chairperson for the South Carolina Federation of Colored Women's Clubs (SCFCWC), and was a member of The Elite Art and Social Club, Charleston, SC. She attended Central Baptist Church, working with the church’s Missionary Society and the Ever Ready Club, and was director of the YWCA Senior Citizen Program (c.1975-1985). Parker died in Charleston, July 28, 1995.

Extent

3.5 linear feet (5 archival boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Ethelyn Murray was born in 1895 to Georgie Westcott and Robert J. Murray, in Charleston, S.C. Murray attended the Simonton School and the Avery Normal Institute, graduating in 1914. Murray worked at Voorhees for nine years and in 1936, she moved back to Charleston. She married Sebastian L. Parker in 1939. In the 1940s, Parker took a writing correspondence course and upon completion, she began a column for The Lighthouse and Informer, an African American weekly newspaper. Parker served as president for the Charleston Council (1956-58) of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), and served as treasurer and publicity chairperson for the South Carolina Federation of Colored Women's Clubs (SCFCWC). She attended Central Baptist Church, and was director of the YWCA Senior Citizen Program (c.1975-1985). Parker died in Charleston, July 28, 1995.

Abstract

The Ethelyn Murray Parker collection consists of her early writings, correspondence, and photocopied newspaper clippings from periodicals such as the The Lighthouse and Informer and The Charleston Chronicle. The materials include booklets, ephemera, awards and plaques, and a host photographs throughout various series.

Collection Arrangement

Acquisition Note

Materials were donated by Mrs. Ethelyn M. Parker, November 1992.

Separated Materials

Book and Supply Cabinet (c. 1885) along with books have been separated from the collection.

Legal Status

The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership of most archival materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Processing Information

Edited by Daron L. Calhoun II, August 2014

Encoded by Daron L. Calhoun II, August 2014

Creator

Source

Title
Inventory of the Ethelyn Murray Parker Papers, 1899-1992, undated AMN 1029
Author
Finding aid prepared by Daron L. Calhoun, II
Description rules
DACS
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture Repository

Contact:
125 Bull Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424 United States
843-953-7608