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Guide to the Elizabeth Brownell Collier Papers, 1895-1968

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Collection Summary

Repository: Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries
Creator: Collier, Elizabeth Brownell
Title: The Elizabeth Brownell Collier Papers
Dates: 1895-1968
Quantity: 0.5 cubic ft (1 box)
Abstract: Material related to Collier's turn-of-the-century childhood, as well as her time at Vassar and beyond.
Forms of Materials: Correspondence, notes, transcripts, and photographs.

Biographical Note

Elizabeth Brownell Collier was born on December 30, 1883. Her mother, Laura Brownell Collier, was a member of a prominent New England family and her father, John Austin Collier, was a scientist. When she was a young girl, the family moved to Brooklyn, where Laura Collier taught at Packer Collegiate Institute, a private, all-girls academy. Both Elizabeth and her younger sister Katharine attended Packer. Elizabeth graduated from Packer in 1902 and spent a year at the University of Vermont before transferring to Vassar College.

Elizabeth did well at Vassar, where she was named to Phi Beta Kappa and awarded the Furness Prize for best essay on a Shakespearean or Elizabethan subject. In 1909 she found a job teaching English at Hunter College in Manhattan. Elizabeth earned her Master of Arts from Columbia University at 1911 and spent a year studying in Oxford, England.

When she was not at work, Elizabeth spent much of her time doing civic work. She was involved in the suffrage movement, and after women gained the vote, she was appointed Vice President of the New York City League of Women Voters, and Vice Chairman of the Brooklyn Republican Party. Among others, she worked closely with Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia.

After her retirement, Elizabeth moved to Highland, New York, where she lived with an invalid friend, a Miss Grace Roberts. She returned often to visit the Vassar College campus. Elizabeth died on November 30, 1968, in a fire which destroyed her home.

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Scope and Content Note

Material related to Collier's turn-of-the-century childhood, as well as her time at Vassar and beyond. Compared to the rest of the Collier Family Papers, this collection is very small. Most or all of the material was probably saved by Elizabeth's sister Katharine or her mother Laura, since whatever she owned at the time was probably destroyed in the fire in which she died. Elizabeth appears to have been an active and colorful figure who grew eccentric in her old age.

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Access and Use

Access

This collection is open for research according to the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Librarywithout any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to quote (publish) from unpublished or previously published material must be obtained as described in the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Library.

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Related Material

  • Researchers who would like further information on Elizabeth Brownell Collier are encouraged to examine the Class of 1906 Bulletins, which form part of the Class Box collection as well as the Alumnae/i Biographical Files in the Archives and Special Collections Library. They should also look at the Katherine Brownell Collier Papers and the Laura Brownell Collier Papers.

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Subject Headings

Organizations:

  • Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn
  • Vassar College -- Alumni and alumnae

Document Types:

  • Photographs

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Encoding Information

Encoded by Madeleine Amodio, June 2011.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

The Elizabeth Brownell Collier Papers, Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries.

Processing Information

Collection processed by the Vassar College Archives in May 1994. Last updated 28 June 2011.

Acquisition Information

This collection was a gift of Lincoln Brownell.

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Series List

Series I: PERSONAL CORRESPONDENCE

Series II: EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

Series III: WRITINGS

Series IV: NEWSPAPER ARTICLES

Series V: PHOTOGRAPHS

Container List

Series I. Personal Correspondence

Folder 1.1 Darling, Mollie, 1925 (3 items)
Folder 1.2 Wright, Donald Collier, wedding invitation, (cousin of EBC), 1910 (1 item)

Series II. Educational Institutions

Packer Collegiate Institute
Folder 1.3 Academics: report cards, 1895-1896 (5 items)
Folder 1.4 Annual Report of the President to the Board of Trustees, 1945/1946 (TS, 21 p.)
Folder 1.5 "A Long Way Forward: The First Hundred Years of Packer Collegiate Institute," 1945 (TS, 2 p.)
Vassar College
Folder 1.6 Package notifications, ca. 1904-1906 (2 items)

Series III. Writings

Book Reviews Written by Elizabeth Brownell Collier
Folder 1.7 The Doll's Trunk Murder by Helen Reilly, n.d. (TS, 1 p., 1 draft)
Folder 1.8 The Egyptian Cross Mystery by Ellery Queen, n.d. (TS, 2 p., 1 draft)
Folder 1.9 Peking Picnic by Ann Bridge, n.d. (TS, 2 p. 1 draft)
Folder 1.10 The Sheltered Life by Ellen Glasgow, n.d. (TS, 2 p., 1 draft)
Manuscripts Written by Elizabeth Brownell Collier
Folder 1.11 "A Piece of Ice," ca. 1960s (MS, 9 p., 1 draft)

Series IV. Newspaper Articles

Folder 1.12 "Honor Girls at Vassar," "The Furness Prize," sources unknown, 1906 (2 items)
Folder 1.13 "GOP to Name Ticker July 24…Miss Collier Presides," sources: New York World?, 19 June 1919 (1 item)
Folder 1.14 "Miss Elizabeth Collier Discusses Prostitution," source unknown, 16 July 1927 (3 items)
Folder 1.15 Published review of The Doll's Trunk Murder by Helen Reilly, source unknown, 19 December 1932 (1 item)
Folder 1.16 "Professor Collier Reports WAVES Occupy Part of Hunter College," Source: The Burlington Free Press, 28 January 1943 (1 item)
Folder 1.17 "Rites Conducted for Miss Collier," Source: Poughkeepsie Journal, 7 December 1968 (1 item)

Series V. Photographs

Folder 1.18 Portrait of EBC in various poses, youthful wearing white blouse and dark skirt, necklace, photographer: Parker, Washington, D.C., n.d. (2 items)
Folder 1.19 Portrait of EBC in various poses, youthful wearing white blouse and dark skirt, necklace, photographer: Parker, Washington, D.C., n.d. (2 items)
Folder 1.20 Portrait of EBC in various poses, youthful, wearing white blouse and dark skirt, necklace. n.d. (2 items)
Folder 1.21 Portrait of EBC in various poses, youthful, wearing white blouse and dark skirt, necklace. n.d. (2 items)

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