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Eleanor Clark Parker was born on March 29, 1920 in North Woodstock, New Hampshire to Leander Fox Parker, Water Commissioner of North Woodstock, and Clarice Vinn Clark Parker. She graduated from Woodstock High School in 1937 and attended Mount Holyoke College from 1937-1941. After graduating she taught at Madison High School, Lincoln High School and New London High School, all in New Hampshire. From 1954 until her retirement in 1980 she was an English teacher at Laconia High School (also in New Hampshire). She died at age seventy-four on February 12, 1995 in Concord, New Hampshire.
The Eleanor C. Parker Papers consist of scrapbooks, an autobiography, correspondence, biographical information, and photographs. The material predominantly relates to her years as a student at Mount Holyoke College, 1937-1941. Parker's four scrapbooks are chiefly comprised of programs for concerts, musical recitals, theatrical performances, and events at Mount Holyoke such as Founder's Day, Junior Show and Faculty Show. They also contain her results for physical examinations that were given to all students; copies of examinations from English, psychology, and zoology classes; tests about the College's rules; information about religious activities at Mount Holyoke; newspaper articles about the campus, buildings and faculty members; and photographs of students, Abbey Memorial Chapel and Williston Memorial Library. Parker's autobiography "Strong Currents," completed in about 1993, includes excerpts from letter written to her parents while at Mount Holyoke. She describes her course work and social activities, traditions such as Mountain Day and freshmen hazing, smoking and alcohol use by students, visiting lecturers, Junior Prom, a weekend at Senior Towne House, faculty members (particulary English professor Anna Jean Mill), the hurricane of September 1938 and events in Europe during World War II. Her autobiography reviews her career as a high school English teacher and includes an account of a controversy that arose over her decision to teach Harper Lee's novel "To Kill A Mockingbird in one of her courses. In addition, she describes trips that she took to the Middle East in 1972 and China in 1983. The autobiography also includes poetry by Parker and extensive recollections written by her father, Leander Fox Parker. Biographical information documents her career as a teacher and primarily consists of newspaper articles and obituaries. Photographs consist of portraits of Parker taken during her senior year at Mount Holyoke and in 1965.
Arranged in five series: Series 1. Scrapbooks. Series 2. Autobiography. Series 3. Excerpts from Correspondence. Series 4. Biographical Information. Series 5. Photographs.
Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:
Eleanor C. Parker Papers, Mount Holyoke College, Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, Massachusetts.
Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
8 Dwight Hall
50 College St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Phone: (413) 538-2013
Fax: (413) 538-2370 Email Reference Form: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/lits/library/arch/forms/areq.htm