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Register of the Ruth A. Parmelee papers, 1865-1974 (bulk 1922-1953)
74099  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Arrangement Statement
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: Ruth A. Parmelee papers
    Date (inclusive): 1865-1974
    Date (bulk): 1922-1953
    Collection number: 74099
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford University
    Stanford, CA, 94305-6010
    (650) 723-3563
    archives@hoover.stanford.edu
    Language: English
    Physical Description: 7 manuscript boxes, 1 envelope (2.9 linear feet)
    Language of Materials: The collection is in English and Greek.
    Abstract: Includes diaries, notes, correspondence, reports, clippings, printed matter, and photographs, relating to the life and work of Dr. Ruth A. Parmelee. Parmelee was born and brought up in Turkey by her missionary parents. After her education in the United States, she began a long career in establishing reliable medical service in the Near East. Working in Turkey, Greece, and Palestine, Parmelee specialized in obstetrics, training nurses, caring for war orphans, and in refugee relief work.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    General Physical Description note: 7 manuscript boxes, 1 envelope (2.9 linear feet)
    creator: Parmelee, Ruth A., 1885-1973.

    Arrangement Statement

    The collection is organized into four series: Correspondence, 1895-1969; Diaries, 1913-1946; Work files, 1863-1974 (bulk 1922-1953); and Photographs, 1899-1957.

    Access

    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Ruth A. Parmelee papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1974.

    Accruals

    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Biographical Note

    Ruth A. Parmelee was born in Trebizond (now called Trabzon), Turkey on April 3, 1885. She studied with her missionary parents, Dr. and Mrs. M.P. Parmelee, until the family returned to the United States when she was eleven years old. Parmelee received her B.A. from Oberlin College in 1907 and her M.D. from the University of Illinois in 1912. She completed her internship at Philadelphia Women's Hospital.
    Dr. Parmelee sailed for Turkey in May 1914 and was the first woman physician to settle in the Euphrates Valley. She set up a medical practice in Harpoot, specializing in obstetrics, care of war orphans, and training nurses. She continued this work until 1917, then resumed the same post from 1919-1922. In October of 1922, she moved to Thessaloniki, Greece, where she worked under the American Women's Hospitals (AWH) organization, and with their support opened a hospital and the first school of nursing in Greece. From 1925-1933, Dr. Parmelee was appointed Director of the AWH Grecian Area. During this period, she directed the hospital in Kokkinia and continued to run the school of nursing, which moved with her from Thessaloniki. At Kokkinia, Dr. Parmelee was assisted by Emilie Willms, R.N.
    After a period of sick leave in the United States, Dr. Parmelee returned to Greece. From 1935-1941, she settled in Athens and worked with several institutions as an advisor, council member, or director, including: Athens Municipal Hospital, Kokkinia Hospital, Council for a Nursing School for Public Health, Patriotic Foundation of Social Welfare and Prevention (PIKPA) School of Nursing, Archbishop's Committee for Relief of Bombarded Families, Seventh Military Hospital, AWH Civilian Relief Center, and the Greek War Relief Committee.
    In 1941, Dr. Parmelee left Greece due to the German occupation. She returned to the United States and studied at Harvard University in 1942-1943, where she earned the degree of Master of Public Health. In September of 1943, the Near East Foundation sent Parmelee with a relief group to the aid of Greek refugees at Camp Nuseirat, near Gaza in Palestine. As Senior Medical Officer, she was responsible for 8000 escapees from the German occupation. The refugees came from the island of Samos, the Dodecanese Islands, and mainland Greece. In the autumn of 1945, Dr. Parmelee was appointed to serve as the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration's (UNRRA) Regional Medical Officer in the Cyclades Islands. From 1946-1947, Parmelee returned to Athens, where she acted as Medical Advisor and Director of the Near East Foundation's School of Physical Therapy. After a leave of absence spent in the United States, Dr. Parmelee returned again to Greece in 1948. She served Pierce College in Elleniko (near Athens) until 1953, teaching hygiene, community health, and medical information for social workers. She then returned to the United States, and died in 1973.
    In recognition of her service, Dr. Parmelee received several awards. She was appointed by King Paul of Greece as Commander of the the Royal Order of Efpiia in 1953, received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Oberlin College in 1943, was awarded the Silver Cross of the Chevalier of the Order of the Savior by King George II of Greece, and was given a citation for outstanding and meritorious service in 1945 by General Sir Bernard Paget, British Commander of the Middle East Forces.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Includes diaries, notes, correspondence, reports, clippings, printed matter, and photographs, relating to the life and work of Dr. Ruth A. Parmelee. Parmelee was born and brought up in Turkey by her missionary parents. After her education in the United States, she began a long career in establishing reliable medical service in the Near East. Working in Turkey, Greece, and Palestine, Parmelee specialized in obstetrics, training nurses, caring for war orphans, and in refugee relief work.
    The collection consists of four series, each of which presents a different aspect of Dr. Parmelee's achievements. The Correspondence series contains letters with family and friends, and provides a personal narrative account of setting up Parmelee's medical practice, caring for refugees, and establishing nursing schools and hospitals. Typescripts and handwritten notes in the Diaries series record Parmelee's daily routine, though the level of detail varies greatly from day to day. The Work files series comprises the bulk of the collection and provides an official account of Parmelee's work. Through reports and correspondence, this series documents Parmelee's role in establishing nursing schools, promoting access to quality medical care among the poor, and caring for refugees. It also reflects her efforts on behalf of several relief organizations, including the American Women's Hospital, the Near East Foundation, and the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. Finally, the Photographs series illustrates Dr. Parmelee's travels, the cities and landscape where she lived, and her work in the camps, hospitals, and nursing schools.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.
    American Women's Hospitals.
    Near East Foundation.
    Near East Relief (Organization)
    United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.
    Greco-Turkish War, 1921-1922--Medical care.
    International relief.
    Nursing--Greece.
    Refugees.
    World War, 1914-1918--Civilian relief.
    World War, 1914-1918--Medical care.
    World War, 1914-1918--Turkey.
    World War, 1939-1945--Civilian relief.
    World War, 1939-1945--Greece.
    World War, 1939-1945--Medical care.
    World War, 1939-1945--Middle East.