Five College Archives and Manuscript
Mount Holyoke College seal
White papers, 1908-1989.
10 boxes (3.8 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 0600 (LD 7096.6 1917 Parker)

White, Ruth Esther Parker, 1895-1989; Missionary. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1917. Parts of the collection in Tamil. Papers consist of letters, speeches, writings, biographical information, memorabilia, and photographs. Primarily documenting her work with children in India and the social conditions of the country including famine and leper colonies.

Terms of Access and Use:


Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Ruth Esther Parker was born on September 30, 1895. She graduated from Grafton High School in 1912, and from Mount Holyoke College, in 1917. She married Emmons Eaton White, a missionary and Yale graduate, and they sailed to India in October of 1917 to work as missionaries. In 1934 they returned to the United States, and Emmons White became the Pastor for the Palmer Congregational Church. From 1920-1932, Ruth worked as the Superintendent of two boarding schools. In 1937 the Whites returned to India where they remained until 1959. They had three children while in India, and adopted a fourth much later. Ruth Parker White died on May 7, 1989, in Claremont, Massachusetts.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Chiefly letters by White and her husband, Emmons E. White, relating to their work as missionaries in southeastern India, 1917-1957. The letters particularly underscore their interest in the education and care of children, famine relief, a hospital for lepers, Christian churches in the region and Tamil music. Also includes letters written by Ruth Parker White as a student at Mount Holyoke College, 1913-1917; letters to the Whites from relatives and friends, including their son, Robin; diaries, speeches and other writings; biographical material; memorabilia; and photographs. Some materials, including letters, in Tamil.

Material from this collection is available in an online digital format.

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:


Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Ruth Parker White Papers, Mount Holyoke College, Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, Massachusetts

History of the Collection

Additional Information
Contact Information
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:
English and Tamil
Encoding funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

  • Parker family.
  • White family.
  • White, Emmons E.
  • White, Ruth Parker, 1895-1989.
  • Clergy - United States - Biography.
  • Education - India - History - Sources.
  • Family - United States - History - Sources.
  • Famines - India.
  • India - Description and travel.
  • India - Politics and government - 20th century.
  • India - Religion.
  • India - Social conditions.
  • Leprosy - Hospitals - India.
  • Marriage - United States - History - Sources.
  • Missionaries - India - Biography.
  • Missionaries - India - Correspondence.
  • Mount Holyoke College - History - Sources.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Student life - 1913-1917.
  • Music - India.
  • Spouses of clergy - United States - Biography.
  • Tamil (Indic people)
  • Tamil Nadu (India) - Description and travel.
  • Transportation and travel.
  • Women - Health and hygiene - United States - History - Sources.
  • Women missionaries - India - Biography.
  • World War, 1939-1945 - India.

  • White, Emmons E.
  • White, Robin, 1928-

Genre terms
  • Diaries
  • Letters
  • Notebooks

Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
Home | Help | About | Search