Skip to main content

Parker-McCollester Family papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00231

Scope and Contents

Papers include diaries, family correspondence, travel diaries, photographs, and memorabilia of various members of the family resided in New Hampshire. The diaries kept by Elizabeth Parker McCollester from 1878 to 1925 (some gaps) are all "line-a-day"s. While there is little in the way of introspective prose, the diaries do record the activities of an involved club woman and include some description of Smith College life, Claremont (NH), Detroit, and Medford (Mass.) Each diary also includes a financial record in back and a few inserts including photographs and notes.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1764 - 2009


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections. Fragile papers should not be photocopied.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in this collection may be governed by copyright. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. Researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical / Historical

The papers represent several generations of the Parker- McCollester family in New Hampshire. Lovisa Southgate of Bridgewater, VT, was the daughter of a textile mill owner who taught for several years before her marriage to Hosea W. Parker of Lempster, NH, the son of a subsistence farmer who went on to be a lawyer active as a Democrat in NH state politics, serving two terms in Congress. Their daughter was Lizzie Southgate Parker McCollester born in Claremont, NH 17 May 1865. She graduated from Stevens High School in Claremont in 1884 and received her A.B. from Smith College in 1888. The following year she married Lee McCollester, a Universalist minister and the young couple moved to Detroit where McCollester served as pastor in that city's Universalist Church. In Detroit Lizzie McCollester was a founder of the Twentieth Century Club; helped organize in the Michigan Smith College Club; and was a charter member of the Fine Arts Society of Detroit. In 1912 Lee McCollester became Dean of the Crane Theology School at Tufts College and the family then moved to Medford, Massachusetts. Lizzie McCollester continued to be active in her new home where her organizational skills were put to use in many settings including the Boston Smith College Club and the Medford Shakespeare Club. Lizzie Parker McCollester gave birth to three children, one of whom died in infancy. She died in Medford, Massachusetts of cancer 1 April 1928. Other individuals represented include Catherine McCollester Gallaher (Smith 1914), her husband Hugh Gallaher, and Elizabeth Gallaher von Klemperer (Smith 1944).


13.896 linear feet (14 containers)

Language of Materials



Civic leader; intellectual; teacher; lawyer; congressman; minister. Papers include diaries of Elizabeth Parker McCollester, 1878-1925, which record Smith College life, women's clubs, Claremont (NH), Detroit, and Medford (Mass.). There is also family correspondence, travel diaries, photographs, and memorabilia of various members of the family resided in New Hampshire.


This collection has been added to over time in multiple "accessions." An accession is a group of materials received from the same source at approximately the same time.

Other Finding Aids

Historical context provided by the donors for the early diaries of Lizzie Parker is available in this downloadable document: historical context for Lizzie Parker's early diaries.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Elizabeth von Klemperer and Parker Emerson in 1989, 2013, and 2016.

Processing Information

Between September 2022 and February 2023, Smith College Special Collections renumbered many boxes to eliminate duplicate numbers within collections in order to improve researcher experience. A full crosswalk of old to new numbers is available.

Finding aid to the Parker-McCollester Family papers
Minimum Finding Aid (Completed)
2005, Rev 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:14-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2018-10-25: Updated to conform to DACS

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063